Doom II project offers up 32 new maps based on original names
Here's a fun mental game for you: imagine if Doom II never released. I know it hurts, but bear with me. Imagine if Doom II never released but somehow the engine, level editor and some map names were discovered. Now imagine what a community could cobble together based on this scant information.
Doom II In Name Only is a community project which imagines just that, and after two years (or more specifically, 666 days) it's finally complete and ready to download. The new .wad works with vanilla Doom II and makes use of inbuilt textures only. There are no new monsters, no new weapons and no fancy tricks, just 32 new maps influenced by the map names iD Software dreamt up.
It's an interesting project, especially since the 20-year-strong Doom II community has created maps which would probably make 1994 John Romero's mind boggle. 20 years of finely honing techniques and tricks to squeeze more juice out of the engine has no doubt resulted in a much more graphically impressive game than the original, but I suppose you'll have to download the .wad to see.
The Doom II In Name Only Doomworld page has screenshots for each level, with most demonstrating how the level name has influenced the new creation. 'O for Destruction' takes things literally, while 'Barrels O' Fun' contains lots of... barrels. The project was founded by writer and developer Ella Guro, who has written extensively on Doom and Wolfenstein level design on her blog. Those come very highly recommended.
It's good timing, because interest in Doom is high thanks to the recent behind-closed-doors reveal of the next Doom, though non-QuakeCon-attending proles like myself are unlikely to see it until next year. In other Doom II related news, this recent mod makes the 20-year-old game look like the product of a 21st century Triple-A studio.