Map Review of mechanized-death:army-of-none

by dunkelschwamm | January 23, 2022 | 7265 characters

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Mechanized Death: Army of None is… quite a project. From what I can gather from the reading, it's a conversion of a separate mod by one Jed Kirchner. I researched a bit further to learn about what this port does different from Mechanized Death: Army of None. I'll make notes throughout the review about this, but first and foremost this is a review of the Sven Co-op port of Mechanized Death: Army of None as its own experience as a Sven Co-op mapset.

The mapset includes two walkthrough maps: A short, simple lab scenario with a large aquarium, some teleporter shenanigans, and enemy attacks; and a longer-form sewer level which evens out into a massive finale. Both maps feature some tense firefights with sponged-up grunts clad in Team Fortress Classic models. Similarly, the weapon models are very Team Fortress themed throughout.

Let's talk about the weapons: there are a lot of them, and until the finale of the second map you'll find yourself often running out of ammo for a few of them. It's an interesting way of balancing ammo- every time your player is likely to run out of ammo for one gun, just give them another gun. For most weapons you spend most of your time thinking of when to spend their one or two only magazine/magazines. This would get a bit annoying at times, as some weapons did feel like they could have been better balanced for the situations at hand than the ammo limitations allowed for. On servers with many, many people, however, this may not be nearly as much of an issue just because of the overwhelming power of collectivist firing squads.

Let's talk about the overwhelming power of collectivist firing squads: The maps' main modes are broken up into four distinct food groups: Boring fights with aliens, chewy fights with mercs, bullshit, and the finale.

The boring alien fights are most prominent in the first map, starring such battles as "big houndeye" which is a houndeye, but big (and has like 500 hp). There are other great battles like: a shock trooper. There's a few zombie chimps, whom we've seen in other maps before.

The real meat and potatoes of the maps are the chewy fights with the mercs. Throughout the maps you battle Team Fortress Classic mercs with all of the trappings: soldiers with rocket launchers, knife-wielding homicidal spies, heavy weapon guys reskinned to be heavy weapons guys, garg pyros- it's all great. They're thrown at you many at a time, especially in the second map, so be privy to how quickly you can scroll to a crowd-clearing explosive weapon from your arsenal! Many of these maps are pretty fun and tense, though in some instances it really feels like you're just throwing bodies at bodies and trying to make numbers slowly click down. I felt like some parts of the beginning of the second map and the finale suffered from that battle ennui, but I'll get more into that when I get to the finale. Before I move on, however, I do want to note that these mercs were originally just standard Opposing Forces enemies in the original mod, so this is a creative liberty on the part of the port authors. I support this change, because I suspect that the original mod might have been boring and bland.

The bullshit is weird bullshit that I think is a left-over garbage from the original map, or the areas where the port authors paid less attention to smoothing things over (probably because they were so busy on adding tons of shit in other places). There's a weird bit in the beginning where you need to climb over a shelf with shit on it that looks breakable and isn't but is very in the way and you can only test if it's breakable by shooting it because the map has given you weapons before the original map gives you a crowbar but they didn't give you a crowbar so you end up wasting some of what you'll soon find is very limited ammo- It could've been better is all I'm saying. And then there's a weird stitching teleport with a hallway corner, which I suspect is very necessary because of how maps were merged together, but it also makes a battle which immediately follows SUPER wonky if the players get pushed back into the teleport tunnel. There's also some pipes you have to crawl through that take like at least a minute to crawl through. Just long, straight pipes. My teammate estimates it was three minutes. I think it was closer to one and a half, but that it feels like it was three minutes is a problem. And if you die in any of the highly treacherous battles which follow, you have to repeat the pipe all over again. Just sub-optimal bullshit which makes the mapset a little worse than it needs to be.

The finale, however, is a completely different beast. After battling with wave after wave after wave of soldiers and robots alongside personifications of the Sven Co-op mapping community (including favorites like Turrican, Robootto, RaptorSKA and more). After a fun battle set to the Team Fortress 2 theme, a few minor boss fights, and some forumfic level cinematics, there's an incredible mech Goliath battle that must have taken a ton of work to do. It's one of the most impressive custom enemy battles I've seen in Sven Co-op. It's really great and I think it's fantastic to see. It's huge and has a million attacks going off at once. I wish it didn't just end up stomping around where the players spawned making a lot of the fight rapidly switching to a high-damage weapon to fire before its chainguns shred you to pieces. The battle somewhat unsatisfactorily cuts off halfway through and there's a far less satisfying REAL final boss. Then the map ends.

Overall I think that Mechanized Death: Army of None is a port which elevates a boring mapset for Opposing Force into a wonky, weird, and entertaining mess. It's like fairy bread: it's still the boring, mostly uninspired whitebread mapset it used to be, but somebody dumped an entire jar of sprinkles onto that whitebread. It's a lot of whitebread to eat for those sprinkles, but when the sugar rush hits you'll bounce off the wall for a second before crashing and barfing. It's certainly unbalanced and janky, but it's so weird and interesting I can't NOT recommend it.

If you're playing with friends, give it a try. If you're running a server and have lots of action maps, throw the second map on there. The first really isn't necessary.


  • The finale is about as epic as I've ever seen in Sven Co-op
  • The forum fiction stuff is cute
  • The Team Fortress stuff really classes the joint up
  • There are some pretty fun firefights throughout
  • Great bosses
  • Lots of weapons


  • Weird janky bullshit design that makes navigating the levels inconvenient
  • The first map is kind of boring and feels like a nothing
  • Not very much ammo
  • The first con kinda covers this, but that vent deserves another listing for how much it's shit
  • The first half of the second map is a sewer level that feels like a sewer level
  • Some of the enemies, especially the big houndeye, only serve to be slowdown bullet sponges
Score: 6 / 10
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