Doom 3 revisited: Recycling

Up comes Monorail Skybridge, aka Recycling 1. This is a classic “waste processing” themed level filled with pumps, slime, service ladders, monster closets, and a nice blend of hostile inhabitants. To make your life properly miserable, you’ll start seeing Revenants here.

The layout of the level will wind over, under and around itself, and you’ll often see areas that you can’t get to until later. It’s quite competently done, and it’s not as dark as the previous ones. It’s another run and gun but the pacing is different, there are some tough fights now, and a lot of scare attempts where an imp will just walk through a door or wait directly behind one (I memorized most of them, but eventually one of them will always get me), and monsters respawn in “cleared” areas so you can never be too sure of yourself. There are tons of items hidden around this foggy industrial environment, so exploration is rewarded as usual.

Kill monsters, disable the pump, stay alive, and you’ll finally be rewarded with the rocket launcher. You’ll promptly get to use it, as well. It’s probably obvious by now that this one is a bunch of fun and quite pretty as well, if you like industrial.

Recycling Sector 2 is the continuation of the first one. After Dr. Betruger gives his master-villain speech, you’ll enter another layout that likes winding around itself and is stocked with lots of items and bunches of Revenants. Lost Souls are also back here.

The atmosphere of the level is outstanding, spooky, foggy and reeking of disaster, and gives one a first taste of what’s to come, especially in the game’s last few levels. It’s very foreboding in that way. The environment is again expertly done, the lighting is appropriately dank, and some of the brushwork is very pretty.

I guess it’s probably my favourite piece of level design in Doom 3. Screenshots don’t entirely do it justice, but it is really very nifty. The pacing of the gameplay is a little more relaxed than in the previous one, but there’s plenty of action, some very disturbing new enemies, and a mini-boss fight to top it off.

This level is simply a class act and I always look forward to it.


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