Total Chaos is a total conversion mod for Doom 2 that runs on the GZDoom source port. The mod is a survival horror set on a remote island known as Fort Oasis. The island was once run by a community of coal miners which one day suddenly disappeared, leaving behind the abandoned concrete jungle to waste away. Something, clearly, has gone very wrong with this place. Upon your arrival at Fort Oasis, you receive a strange radio transmission. Someone wants to be found.
Ive only reached chapter 4/5 as of this review, still, it will be a bit long.
On a technically level, Total Chaos is amazing. I havent seen a mod do so much visually with so little, even most full release games don't manage this level of visual fidelity. The same goes to the sound design and overall atmosphere; it's a very good game on paper. The issue, or issues, are all in the actual moment to moment game play.
The inventory is a great idea, people loved the RE4 attache case inventory, but Total Chaos adds a 2nd layer; weight restrictions. This means not only do you sometimes have to do inventory tetris, but you have to manage your overall weight, with a very strict and punishing cap. This wouldnt be so bad, but unlike the RE4, you don't simply have weapons, ammo and healing items to worry about, because Total Chaos also adds a full suite of survival stat meters, including hunger, radiation, bleeding, and stamina. Meaning your inventory will be cluttered with items and it will be way harder to know what you should keep or throw away since most everything heals but also degrades one of your many stats. Theres also the issue of many items weights not lining up with how much they would actually way; every single syringe you find, empty or otherwise, weighs at least a pound, a single shotgun shell weighs .8 pounds, etc.
Going back to the stats though, the item placement seems to be completely arbitary. HP items and radiation heals are fairly uncommon, while bleed heals are moderately common but mostly pointless, and food is so plentiful you can finish the first 3 levels with over 200 pounds of it and a full stomach. You also have plenty of crafting materials, but the game prefers to give you things you don't need, like duct tape and glass bottles, instead of actually useful items like rags.
Suffice to say, if youre at all good at resource conservation, but also don't have an already established intimate understanding of whats coming up next or what items are going to be more useful in the long run, or just would rather be safe than sorry, the inventory system is a nightmare.
Finally, and this is the straw that will probably keep me from proceeding, and is slightly spoilery, the difficulty is all over. Most of the enemy pathing is bad enough they get stuck behind walls trying to get to you and the combat isn't particularly hard, but enemies deal so much damage per hit, corridors are so small, and your dash (not sprint, dash) and attacks take up so much stamina, you will often get cornered and have to take hits, and when doing so you will be forced to expend a lot of resources to counteract this. Normally this would be fine, it wouldn't be the first time iv'e looked past a games overly punishing/annoying combat to enjoy it, but the game forces you to do it fairly often with cheesing being the best option (charge up a heavy strike, swing, then quickly back off and wait for your stamina to recover. Repeat until game is over) so it's not only unfun, it makes up the majority of the game.
Even THEN, I was willing to put up with it; the cheese was easy, and I wanted to see what the game had to offer in terms of atmosphere later on, but then they start pulling out some of the most obnoxious enemies iv'e likely seen. Namely, an enemy that is basically just an invincible, exploding copy of the statue from SCP containment breach. Unlike containment breach though, which only has 1 of said statue, this game feels free to throw as many as 5 at you at any given time, making the game more about save scumming to find the best path forward than actual strategy or resource management.
All in all I think the game had promise but got bogged down by too many things that if I had to guess, the creator saw in other games and thought he should add into his. If it had stuck to the basics and stayed as fairly basic, but very atmospheric and tense survival horror FPS, ti would be legitimately great, but they threw in all these elements of other games that don't mesh with that base, like inventory management in a linear game with no backtracking between levels, complicated stats when you have no way to get specific items you may need, and enemies who's innate function conflicts with the general playstyle the game wants you to take.
I think there are 2 kinds of people this game is for; those who are able and willing to brute force their way through anything and learn every in and out the game has, and those who are very inexperience to horror games who will miss secrets constantly, panic often, and play it by ear most of the time. If neither of these sound like you, I can't really recommend it. Its just far too tedious.
Pros - Atmosphere, enemy design, level design, sound design, honestly its just well designed.
Cons - Spent 3/4 of the game over-encumbered and the remaining 1/4 on the verge of becoming over-encumbered.
Item weights should be revised, don't know if doom supports decimal values but definitely something to look into.
Aside from a few moments early on was never in any real danger outside of enemy groups that bordered on BS instant death squads but a liberal application of shotgun to the face of the heavy hitters of the group resolved the problem.
A few buggy collision blockers in weird places, missing things and several dozen rubble things rotated the wrong way but that's of little consequence beyond 'looking weird'
Cant say i like the twist ending i got, hold a great dislike for games that feature the 'it was all in your head / the player dies in the end' trope (why cant it just be mysterious mutant apocalypse for once) but the game was fun enough that it was little more than a slight smear against a ultimately solid experience.
Brilliant atmosphere, scary af, amazing work. Probably mod of the year.
Oh my goodness, this mod is so incredibly great. I just play some on this, but very impressive. Actually, feel like S.T.A.L.K.E.R. + Doom + Outlast...My current situation is run and dodge the monster(Because my pickaxe is broken, damn), like Outlast...(That creatures and environment feel really like S.T.A.L.K.E.R series) Also this mod have inventory and status, that is why I said this is S.T.A.L.K.E.R....LOL
A technical and design achievement that compares with commercial releases.
Excellent sound design and atmosphere.
Great total conversion, this is not a mod anymore, great example of what the modding community can accomplish.
Total Chaos is simply a masterpiece, what was once doom 2 turned into a silent hill like horror game, I would boot this ****** up any day to play some damn good horror. Good weapon design, good enemy design, making the maps and challenge feel like your overcoming an actual obsticale. Good job wadaholic.
Wow, I have no words. This is amazing
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