Map Review of space-viking-2

by dunkelschwamm | December 12, 2021 | 7624 characters

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Space Viking 2 is a very adequate, I would even say great, sequel to Space Viking 1 which takes the idea of the original map in new and interesting directions. By exploring a new planet, new and interesting areas of the original ship, and introducing setpieces which wow the player to extremes to which the original had not, Space Viking 2 really forges an identity for itself apart from its predecessor.

I'll get to the many ways in which I think this map is an extraordinary accomplishment in Sven Co-op, or even Goldsrc in general, mapping- but first I'd like to express a few gripes. First of all, the map takes a very bold approach by starting the players off with nothing but crowbars while facing them off with armed goons. I can kinda get behind that on servers with a bunch of player swarming armed goons with crowbars, but with only a couple players it's a little less accessible at first than Space Viking 1 was. That's something that's only a negative through my own subjective lens, and I imagine others might disagree with my perspective here. Regardless, it isn't long before the player is supplied with uzis anyway.

Another small gripe is that I think some of the early outdoor areas, while very memorable and interesting at first, become a bit of a chore to have to backtrack through due to their size and seemingly respawning enemies. To the map's credit, however, whenever these sections feel like they're overstaying their welcome, they don't overstay their welcome long. A testament to its pacing, perhaps, that often you find yourself in a new area right as you're desperately wishing for one.

One two more small gripes and then I'll move on to my gushing: some of the later bits don't make clear how the player is intended to progress or neutralize some novel (and imposing) threats, and there's a couple questionable areas where it seems there's no way to progress without taking environmental damage. The latter of these gripes is a fairly minor nitpick mostly neutralized by the inclusion of player medkits; the former gripe however I think is a bit more significant.

Space Viking 2 has incredible brushwork and lighting from beginning to end which evokes novel sci-fi, interstellar environments which are oozing with their own identity. Some inspirations leak through- I definitely feel like some environments evoke a very Marathon 2 or maybe even Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire atmosphere at times, and it all comes together really nice. Much like the original Space Viking, every section of every map really impresses the location of the player through its characteristic environments that it's hard to get lost. It's all very memorable.

It's surprising to say that even the earlier parts of this map which take place on the Space Viking, the setting for the first part of the first Space Viking map as well, are entirely fresh and new and make an incredible impression. There's even a certain operable part of the ship which the players can use at one point which is incredible fun. It's also fantastic to get a sense of the scale of the ship from the outside while exploring the dock. The size and shape of the ship lend a believable quality to it and walking around underneath it really is a spectacle.

Much like the first map, Space Viking 2 incorporates some very creative puzzles throughout, including a very fun seasaw puzzle. There is one puzzle in particular, though, that chafed the non-platformers of my group. Two cylindrical platforms are raised or lowered by respective buttons by one player while another ascends. None of the players liked the idea of one or two players going ahead while another has to stay behind, so we tried to set the platforms up so that everybody could abuse Sven Co-op's climbing system to climb up those platforms. Ultimately, the rest of my group gave up and I climbed up through and completed the puzzle myself, eventually unlocking the rest of the way for my comrades. I don't really feel great about a puzzle so excluding the rest of the party from the task because of these circumstances, but I also can't help but be reminded of a similar puzzle which was played in a much more accessible way in Marathon 1.

There's an interesting bit later in the map where the player must access a number of computer in quick succession while a unique type of enemy attacks. It's not terribly difficult, is pretty fun for the players to rush to each computer, and I think it feels actually really weirdly stitched onto the rest of the map with both its visual style and how it plays. Regardless, it's a fun addition, and I can't fault the map for its inclusion.

The finale of the map is a bit confusing at first, but once you take a moment to orient yourself to the layout of the area and how to make progress throughout it all it takes is to organize your team to rush to the end. That said, I played this both with two players and with three players. With three players I would say we barely pulled it off by the skin of our teeth. With two players we ran out the timer throwing ourselves at it. I think that goes back to my previous point that this map is a tad less accessible to fewer players than Space Viking 1 was.

Much like the first map, however, the map constantly opens up, the spawn is always either close to the action or close to teleporters to the action, and action is always around the corner. Setpieces litter the progression of the map from beginning to end. Despite an early trickling of HEV from a single charger early in the map slowed things down with higher player count having to wait for the charger to recharge, the opening of the teleporter room later with the multiple rechargers and respawning batteries rectified this issue quickly. The story is also told completely in-game and allows the player to once again gain the upper hand over space scoundrels who would attempt to malign the crew of the Space Viking. The progression is always satisfying whenever it comes.

If you've played Space Viking 1, play Space Viking 2. If you haven't played Space Viking 1, play Space Viking 1, and then play Space Viking 2. Definitely make sure you have a party of more than two players, though, as Space Viking 2 is a bit less accessible to fewer players than Space Viking 1, and if you play Space Viking 1 with two players you're going to want to play more. If you're setting up a server for sci-fi or action maps, both Space Vikings are a must for your rotation. Both are indisputable classics which have accomplished feats I had never seen before nor since.


  • Incredible setpieces which are not just incredible for Sven Co-op maps but for all that has been done with Goldsrc
  • Immersive and beautiful environments sell a novel sci-fi setting.
  • Sets up mostly clear and compelling goals.
  • Mostly very fun pacing.
  • Everything from platforming puzzles to massive battles.
  • Spawn area kept close to the action at all times.


  • Less accessible to fewer players than the first map.
  • Stumbles a bit in the first act, mostly due to meager player resources and hazardous sewer-like environments.
  • One of the impressive setpiece novel threats later on is hard to determine a solution to for a while.
  • The pacing of this map always feels just one beat behind, with an area often just overstaying its welcome before it ends
Score: 9 / 10
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