Map Review of alley

Map review of Alley

by dunkelschwamm | March 19, 2022 | 4137 characters

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Alley is a straight-up walkthrough map through and through. It takes you from scenario to scenario, each brushed with moderately decent architecture and passable -if mediocre- natural rock structure brushwork.

There is no attempt at theme or continuity. In one room you battle a hostile gargantua, in the next you are teamed up with a friendly gargantua fighting human grunts, and literally around the corner from there you fight hostile alien grunts. This sequence of events is so sudden and jarring that my teammate and I immediately opened fire on the friendly gargantua.

The map revolves largely around simple battle setups: fighting grunts in a turret crossfire, falling into a pit of toxic goop surrounded by vortigaunts, finding an egon gun to take down a gargantua, the works. Oddly, the map caps off in an underwater hallway full of bullsquids. The map doesn't give you any weapons which are very useful under water— I ended up killing them all by collecting crowbars, then taking them to the bullsquid hallway and throwing them. It felt like a weird conclusion to a map that wasn't underwater, or fighting bullsquids, or utilizing thrown crowbars. The map is inconsistent, is what I'm saying.

Now, to be inconsistent is another way of saying "varied," so I don't want to come across as somebody who despises experimentation or bold breaking of the flow. However, I'd argue the last bit of this map is a slow and miserable affair, and leaves the player drowning long before they get their endmap portal unless they're constantly trekking back for air between every action they perform in that hallway. The bullsquids and lack of underwater-capable weapons don't help.

At one point early on, the map teleports players into a room full of vortigaunts. The player lands out of the teleport into what I can only describe as a tiny volcano full of radiation in the middle of a very blocky room. By killing the vortigaunts and stealing three portal sprites which are conveniently placed next to one another, a spiral staircase emerged with a portal at the top to the next area. This part comes out of nowhere, and doesn't really tie into the next part at all. It's fine to shake things up, but it's also just a bit confusing because it seems so much drastically poorer in quality compared to the rest and, if cut, would really only serve to make the map make more sense.

Overall, I'd say this is a mostly decent map. It looks fine, I'd say even above average with good lighting, some rough patches, a terrible ending, and mostly forgettable combat throughout. Some other things could have helped, like not forcing players to trek all the way back through the map collecting weapons which *very slowly* respawn all the way to where the action is if they die. Really, the map is pretty easy when it isn't drowning you while you clumsily wrestle bullsquids though, so the walk of shame issue isn't a huge problem until the end of the map.

Regardless, if you're looking for a C or B tier map for a walkthrough map server list and just about anything will do, throw alley on there. If you're looking for something to play with some friends, give it a go and don't feel bad if you all bail at the underwater bullsquids- nothing of any importance happens after that.


  • Quite a bit of this map looked rather nice
  • Good variety of guns over all for fighting grunts and aliens
  • Not many maps give you a friendly gargantua. That was a fun novelty.
  • Plenty of HEV to go around.
  • Lots of variety in enemies.


  • Inconsistent map quality and theme makes the whole thing kind of bland and forgettable
  • No checkpoints really hurt, especially with the ending
  • The ending of this map, the underwater bullsquids area, is torturous to play
  • That weird room full of vortigaunts is also a bit strange and slapdash compared to the rest of the map.
Score: 5.8 / 10
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