OverviewThe Blood Plasma Pak is the second expansion pack for Blood and the only one produced by Monolith Productions, who had developed the original game after the rights were sold to them by 3D Realms. The most significant feature of the Plasma Pack is the introduction of an entirely new nine level episode entitled "Post Mortem," which takes place after the defeat of Tchernobog. Following Caleb in his continued fight against the Cabal, this episode includes several new monster types such as the Ackolyte and the Chrysalid Pod, two new weapon firing modes, and the ability to use the Tesla Cannon with the Guns Akimbo power-up. Three new multiplayer "Bloodbath" maps and various bug fixes are also included. Installing the expansion upgrades Blood to allow use of the new weapon abilities in the original game as well as Cryptic Passage for Blood, though the newly introduced monsters are not incorporated into the previous episodes.
- E6M1: "Welcome to Your Life" - The episode begins with Caleb in the alley outside of a "K-Merch" store (parodying the large U.S. K-Mart chain of department stores), winds around outside the front, in through the store and then upwards onto the roof. The level introduces the Ackolyte enemy type early on and midway through also introduces the Zealot for the first time.
- E6M2: "They Are Here" - The main bulk of this level takes place in the Innsmouth Corporate Plaza, which is the first indication in the official canon that the Cult of Tchernobog is more than just a simple underground cult. The Chrysalid Pod and Little Caleb enemy types are introduced here.
- E6M3: "Public Storage" - Akin to the second map of Shadow Warrior's first episode and the secret level of Duke it Out in D.C., Public Storage is a large warehouse level, though in its own unique twist, there's also a processing facility built in as well.
- E6M4: "Aqueducts" - Large lengths of underwater sections connect the hydroelectric plant in this map. Due to the effectiveness of the Fanatics' tommy guns underwater, this level is commonly considered the most difficult of the episode. Towards the end of the map is a ship that the player is required to sink and then explore a large sailing ship.
- E6M5: "The Ruined Temple" - Beginning underwater from the previous mission, the player initially surfaces onto a dock outside of a small wooden cabin. The bulk of the level weaves through a long since destroyed temple and the various antechambers that still exist underground.
- E6M6: "Forbidden Rituals" - A castle-themed map, it starts outside of the main gate and proceeds through the outer grounds, the catacombs and on into the inner chambers. Among the most memorable scenes in the level is when the player enters a room, looks over the balcony, and sees the chanting cultists gathered around a sacrificial pit. "Forgotten Catacombs", the secret level of Plasma Pak, is accessed through this level.
- E6M7: "The Dungeon" - Unique to the series, this level starts off not only in a central hub from which the player can proceed through any of three exits, but they are chosen by selecting the appropriate combination of symbols (each of which mirrors one of the keys) on three pillars in the main room.
- E6M8: "Beauty and the Beast" - As the final level in the episode, this is primarily a large boss fight against the four priests being groomed to be the new Chosen. As each priest is defeated, they transform into their beast form and must be defeated again.
- E6M9: "Forgotten Catacombs" -
Additionally, three new multiplayer maps were included:
- DM1: Monolith Building II - Modeled after Monolith's corporate offices. Complete with a Christmas tree in the lobby and a bloated butcher in Jason Hall's office.
- DM2: Power! -
- DM3: Area 15 -
EnemiesSix new enemy types were included in Plasma Pak:
- Ackolyte - Green robed cultist that only attacks the player with sticks of dynamite.
- Zealot - Also known as an Elite Cultist, Zealots wear blue robes and attack with tesla cannons.
- Little Caleb - Inspired directly by the mini Ash characters of the Evil Dead series, Little Calebs are miniature duplicates of Caleb that jump from broken mirrors and swarm the player.
- Chrysalid Pod - Also known as "Acid Pods", these can sometimes have green vines stretching up around them. They attack the player with acid projecticles that cause splash damage.
- Magma Chrysalid Pod - Much like the Chrysalid Pod, but launches fireballs at the player and generally have twice as many hitpoints.
- Priest/Beast - The final boss(s) of the episode. These priests represent the four new Chosen that were picked to replace the four that fell victem to Tchernobog's betrayal during the events of the original game. As priests, they resemble red robed cultists with shotguns, though when defeated they turn into large, lumbering beasts which resemble werewolves. In beast form, they can damage the player through slashing attacks and with earthquake-causing stomps.
WeaponsWhile no totally new weapons were added to the game, the existing weapons were expanded a bit to increase flexibility in the gameplay.
- Life Leach - The staff can now be utilized similar to a sentry gun and dropped in a location to automatically attack any enemies that come within range of it.
- Tesla Cannon - New to the Plasma Pak is the ability to use the Tesla Cannon in "akimbo" mode with one cannon in each hand. Previously this was not allowed due to its overwhelmingly powerful nature, but the increased deadliness of the new enemies in Plasma Pak (particularly Priest/Beast) necessitated an equal counterbalance.
- Napalm Launcher - A new alternate fire mode has been added that allows the player to fire destructive balls of lava similar to those fired from the Magma Chrysalid Pods.
ReceptionPlasma Pak was met with a mixed reception by critics. Adrenaline Vault awarded it four out of five stars, praising the level design of the second half and stating that new features more than make up for the weaker level designs of the first half. Reviewer Emil Pagliarulo concluded with, "The original Blood now seems incomplete without all the great new monsters and weapon firing modes -- they really add that much, and help round out the new Lovecraftian feel" ( link).
Computer Games Magazine, on the other hand, only awarded the game a score of 30 out of 100, stating, "the Plasma Pak looks like an assembly of the stuff that ended up in the designers Recycled bin, which is where it belongs" ( link). Ironically, the reviewer was partially correct; some of Plasma Pak's levels evolved from levels that were originally removed from Blood during development.