Map Review of another-unit

by dunkelschwamm | March 26, 2022 | 4667 characters

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Another Unit is a map by B-dama which comes default with Sven Co-op. It is a standard walkthrough map, with lots of mixed alien combat and fighting with Barnies, turrets, and robogrunts.

First thing you'll notice when playing this map is that it looks rather good. It has a lot of the same aesthetic that Black Mesa style maps usually do- industrial, mostly subterranean concrete brutalist corporatism. However, it also has that look that's a little past the generation of Half-Life's original graphics, with more ambitious brushwork and scale. Everything in this map looks good, is decently well lit, and every location in the first half of the map has its own unique look. After about halfway in (when you get the spawn location moved) things start feeling like samey concrete Black Mesa corridors which I'd often get lost in and found sorta miserable to explore.

More greatly hampering conditions are the confusing puzzle-like elements of progression. There's a bit where a very easy to miss explosive must be shot from an outside hallway, which we could blame on ourselves not being terribly perceptive while searching a massive map all over for every detail and managing to miss the obvious one. We also got turned around a lot, sometimes due to the map tending to branch into wildly useless dead-end tangents. There's also a moment where you get an enemy scientist to open a door for you by shooting him, which was confusing to me because I thought we should heal him to get him to open doors- which is usually the convention. I guess it's clever that it subverts that expectation, but overall just kinda felt weird.

The focus of the map, however, is largely on combat. I found the combat tedious almost from beginning to end. To Another Unit's credit, it does supply the players with some decent weaponry- namely the shotgun, the MP5, and across the map all of the handheld explosives become available. Strangely, the player has to pick up the handgun, and though it becomes very easy to find after the first area of the map, I just found it strange and sometimes a bit stifling especially since the beginning requires fighting lots of turrets and robogrunts in long hallways- a precision weapon would have been a great help.

As the map goes on, the combat doesn't get better, it just changes how it's frustrating. Combat comes in the flavor of dense hitscan moments where the player lacks decent precision outside of the MP5; to the battles with respawning high HP aliens in wide-open spaces, with little cover; to the clunky corridors late into the map where the player is constantly pushed back by aggressive shock troopers or gonomes which take up all of the space of the twisting, tangenting hallways. Sometimes the map just dumps houndeyes and headcrabs on you. I'm trying to think of a very memorable battle, but I remember spending most of the map being annoyed by enemies spawning out of mid air and shocktroopers spamming attacks from up upon the walls.

Overall, I think this map is really pretty and kinda dumb. It has really good brushwork and texture usage and everything looks great, but the puzzles and combat are just kind of stiff at best and annoying most of the time. When it was finally done, I was surprised because there was no pacing or satisfying moment to indicate the map was completed. Even worse, I found the map got less interesting as it went on and increasingly difficult to track, blurring together. There's plenty of scripted sequences, but they're mostly in service of weird little moments thata you'll miss if you blink.

If you're looking for a good action-packed walkthrough map, Another Unit is a good one to check out once you feel like you've checked out all the REALLY good ones. If you have a server list you're looking to populate, I'd say Another Unit is C-to-B tier filler, earned almost entirely on its looks and the fact that it gives the players a spore launcher.


  • Gives the players a spore launcher
  • Looks really quite good
  • Pretty big map that does update spawn
  • Opening aesthetics are very interesting.


  • Combat is often clunky and annoying
  • Puzzles almost never read to me or my partner
  • It just kinda fritters out at the end
  • The shocktroopers in this map can suck a fat one
  • The whole last third of the map is samey and boring and easy to get lost in and just really unappealing map design
Score: 5.3 / 10
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