Mayhem Mansion is a Doom 2 mod that pits you in the middle of an enormous mansion to fend for yourself. The Doom demons have nothing to do with your little adventure. No, you will instead be fighting lamps, floating lips and wizards to name a few of the bizarre enemies to be found. Why does a pair of lips and even the furniture all want to see you dead? Who knows, it’s best not to question the mayhem found in this mod and just roll with it. Starting off your only weapon will be a sword and shield which is a pretty unimpressive weapon that will quickly get replaced by the shotgun. This is not the shotgun we know and love sadly, the one in here has very short range and nowhere near as powerful.
Funnily enough this mod manages to create a tense and foreboding atmosphere in large part due to not knowing what is going to attack you such as the seemingly innocent lamp. Both the environments and level design are brilliantly done, keeping you moving in the right direction even if your brain is about to overload from the oddness of it all. Mayhem Mansion is as much about exploration as it is combat and will have you bringing gifts to cats or other bizarre things in place of collecting keycards. From time to time you will have to jump to your destination so you will have to bind a jump button in order to advance.
The sheer scale of the 6 levels is insane and very complex. You will be teleporting, walking on the ceiling, going into an alternate dimension and following a rambling wizard throughout to name some of the events that keep this mod from ever getting stale. One event will warp the world into a spooky theme and require you to collect several items in previously explored areas. This could have easily been annoying but was a rather neat retread as you see the once bizarre world turn dark and oppressive. Never scary though since you have quite an arsenal of destruction at hand such as a magical spell that summons a bunch of gorillas to stampede over your enemies. All weapons require a certain type of ammo such as magic, bolts or shells and all of them are completely new.
Every weapon has an alt fire such as the sword and shield that allows you to throw the sword at an enemy, the cross-bolt that explodes on contact and a spell that fires a giant anvil out of your hands. It is quite the lineup of strange weapons and all are fun to use. Every enemy is weak to a certain type of weapon so experimenting with what works best against them is a wise choice. Once an enemy has been defeated they will drop a coin or some ammo for you to pick up. Coins will allow you to purchase items/ammo from one of the various weapon shops found throughout the world. Mayhem Mansion starts off easy enough but will soon bare its teeth and expect some skill on your part to survive. It does start to feel overbearing after level 4 but has three difficulty modes to better suit your taste.
Level 4 and everything there after is going to test your FPS skills. Bigger, badder enemies are introduced and encounters take a Serious Sam turn with the amount of foes being thrown at you at any given time. The main annoyance I have here is that the enemies do not have a flinching mechanic to them so they will continue to fire none stop at you until either they or you die. Makes combat feel less satisfying but is a minor thing overall. Puzzles will become far more difficult as well, enough so that I wouldn’t recommend this to people that just love to shoot stuff but if you like the Adventure genre you’ll love this. This may be a Doom mod however it shares very little in common with it, Mayhem Mansion is for all intents and purposes its own game.
Music is very fitting for the theme of the game and does its job. The enemies all sound how I’d imagine it would sound to have an attack helicopter with Doom Guy’s face attached to it fly after you. A hostile, flying piece of toast trying to take a bite out of you as well. As you can probably tell I’m as confused at trying to explain the mod as I was playing it. This is not the type of experience where you will ever get your grips on what is going on, all that you’ll know is that you have to pay close attention to the madness to make it out in one piece. If you enjoy lots of exploring, puzzles and random nonsense in your FPS games, this is a mod you can’t afford to miss out on.