Map Review of another-day-at-the-office

by GrandmasterJ | April 2, 2022 | 8856 characters

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When I come across a map with survival mode I don't even think about it, I toggle survival mode right off. I usually forget all about it and don't even mention it in my reviews but I think its important to note this map has survival mode on by default. This map set has two maps and both piss me off for different reasons.

The first map starts players off in offices, with a nearby security office granting access to a room with a scientist and a room with an gluon gun. There are two buttons, one for each door, and pressing one will break the other thus cutting off access to that room. We kept picking the gluon gun because we didn't need a scientist and it was only after we had beaten the map (with heavy cheating) that we returned to see what was behind door number scientist. Behind that door are much better weapons. With survival mode on and how hard the map is, this feels like a mean trick. Plus, players start out without crowbars, the nearest crowbar being in front of a vending machine. But even when it's right there my teammate and I would still miss it. The security office has a button that opens the door to the next area, which only stays open for a few seconds, prompting players to rush over before it closes. The spawn area is filled with so many annoying inconveniences.

The first time I entered the next area I spotted some HEV on the wall and walked over to it. The moment I came to a stop I was instantly killed by a sniper. Remember, this map has survival mode on. My teammate and I died a couple times here, in the first combat room. After we killed the snipers we flipped switches that dropped a bunch of enemies on us. The way out is by walking on conveyor belts going the wrong way. It's so annoying.

The map goes on for a while, we pass an area that looks like it would be a great place to respawn, but alas, the respawn area does not reset, it stays the same forever and we have to trek all the way back to the action. This is important to know, because after a few corridors we get to the main part of this map, a labyrinthine series of hallways with areas holding monsters that need to die in order to access the next area. These rooms are denoted by a light over a doorway that will light up with completed. There is an elevator near the entrance that has seven lights over it. Clearing all seven areas will open the elevator and the map will end. It is a great concept and it's communicated to the player very well, but the problem lies with the labyrinth. I don't think the complicated series of hallways was supposed to be a maze, but it felt like one. The halls were filled with male assassins, robo grunts, and ceiling turrets. On death players would have to find their way through this maze every single time, sometimes taking a wrong turn and fighting a whole new slew of enemies, alone.

We had to play this map twice, we failed the first time because we could not figure out how to solve the red laser room. There is a fence of red lasers on the far side of the room, two buttons that will drop robo grunts two at a time, and two pits with electric pyramids. I tossed grenades all over that whole room and nothing was destroyed. I cheated to win this map. The first time the map time limit was up and we lost, this time we just cheated our way through. I have no clue how to do the red laser room. Honestly, at this point I was fed up with the map and happy to cheat through it.

The second map starts players off near a Barney in an office asking us to get his divorce papers. Getting them is fairly straightforward, they are behind some crates at the end of a linear path. Weapons here are spread out, there is some in Barney's back office, upstairs are some underbarrel grenades and an M16, must haves for this map, batteries are scattered in separate rooms. It's a real pain to gather all this up when we respawn, and we died a lot on this map. Access to the next area is by long elevator ride. Every respawn we had to ride this stupid elevator. Coming off from the previous map very annoyed, this development did not make me happy.

The top of the elevator leads to the roof of a building. aliens and soldiers fight each other up here. Due to a severe lack of HEV in the map I ended up dying here a lot, but whenever my teammate or I saved up some HEV and came out here we lasted a lot longer and were able to make progress. We spent a lot of time collecting supplies before travelling back to play the map. The trick here is to destroy the sandbag building that the soldiers are coming out of. Then destroy the alien portals located inside the rock pyramids on top of some of the buildings. Only explosives seem to work, so dump your two underbarrel grenades here and empty your crossbow, then die because you can't damage the portal. To get to the next building you have to use a vent that propels players way up high when they jump on it. My teammate and I both died a few times on this thing, I more then him. Eventually I gave up here and started cheating again. I flew past the vent-jump that I died four times in a row trying to make and then dumped 5 rockets and about 6 underbarrel grenades into the alien portal point blank, my teammate was also attacking it with me, at this point if we manage to make it past the killer vent jump we would have about two underbarrel grenades and maybe 10 explosive crossbow bolts to destroy the portals. The map has survival mode on.

Eventually a helicopter appears and we have to kill it to win the map. The explosives we have at this point are a couple of underbarrel grenades (assuming you didn't camp the grenades and and assuming you survive the vent jump), crossbow bolts, and maybe grenades and satchel charges. To fight against a helicopter. I'm glad I cheated because that does not sound like any fun. There was a mounted gun my teammate used to kill it, which he only recognized as a usable turret by noclipping inside of it.

Everything about this map is annoying. Weapons are so spread out that resupply is a chore, HEV is withheld and enemies hit hard, the first enemies in the game are capable of one hitting players, the HEV chargers grant only 50 HEV and at least one had a much longer respawn time than normal, the hallway maze on the first map, the spawn elevator on the second map, the vent that kills players if they don't jump off perfectly and land on the opposite building, the lack of good explosives and alien portals that need to be blown up, its awful gameplay through and through.

The map itself is dressed up nicely. The hallways sometimes had accents to break them up and give landmarks for navigation. I'm not a fan of the same old overused Half-Life textures this map seems to exclusively use, but the textures are all done competently. I even really like how progress was noted with the lights over doors, both signifying how many more rooms we have to clear and which rooms we've already cleared. Plus there were messages in the HUD indicated progress, goals, and sometimes secrets. There was clearly a lot of thought put into how the map was presented and how the players would experience it. That makes it really hard to dislike as much as I do, I just don't like any of the gameplay and the level design choices really suck.

This is a map that gets a lot right, but gets a lot wrong. This map really rubbed me the wrong way in a lot of areas. I just can't stand taking so long to gather up all these supplies scattered around the amp, taking a long complex journey to get to where I need to go, then trust my life to a stupid vent only to fail the jump and have no idea why. I wasted so much time on this map. I understand that this was made with more players in mind, but that vent is a killer and can wipe a server out alone. Then we have to travel all the way back, unless survival mode is on in which case now you get to do nothing.


  • Good looking map, despite using the same old Half-Life textures
  • well telegraphed progress to opening the elevator in the first map
  • addition of secrets was fun


  • cutting off weapons in the first room of the map was mean, combined with the HEV in view of snieprs
  • first map featured confusing map layout
  • We could not figure out the red laser room, we pressed the buttons, blew stuff up, I don't know
  • the elevator ride in the second map start was boring and horrible to constantly deal with
  • that jump via vent in the second map made me break down and give up
  • survival mode is annoying to deal with, respawning was annoying, resupplying was annoying
Score: 5.5 / 10
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