Map Review of dock-battle

by dunkelschwamm | April 16, 2022 | 3435 characters

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Dock Battle is a horde style map that is shaped like two boats and a dock, and features an unmanned mounted gun that constantly fires on players. I had wondered if I need to go up and confront it, and felt this suspicion confirmed with the discovery of a gauss gun. The gauss gun jump is disabled, however, so our plan fell short. Indeed, this is a map about being shot by never-ending enemies.

The map, as mentioned previously, is shaped like two boats and a dock, which was likely very novel in 1999 when this map came out. Honestly, even in the year 2022, the concept of battling on multiple boats feels horribly underutilized still. I can't say anything interesting was particularly done with it as a concept, and the ultimate outcome feels like playing on top of two boat-shaped chunks of land in a crossfire between respawning grunts and alien controllers. There's also assassins, and the aforementioned mounted gun on a building in the dock area. The sheer number of bullet-firing enemies with good accuracy paired with the low cover means the map is a meat grinder. There's one area where players can run to for health and armor- it would have been really nice if they spawned there and not in the grinder. Other weapons are scattered throughout, and if you waited for the HEV recharger to refill and got your share you might live long enough to use a couple of those guns on the endlessly respawning enemies.

The map didn't age fantastically, but it's evocative enough and has a moody atmosphere. I think it's adequate.

I get what it's trying to be, but playing it with fewer than four players is not recommended. It's just constantly popping up in the grinder unless you have enough people to draw fire and combine their might. Even then, it's a map without a lot of options for reducing your own taken damage other than retreating to one single location on the whole map. It makes the experience pretty flat, and not very dynamic. You have two options: throw yourself at the action until you die, or throw yourself at the action until you run back to that one room. There's no version of it where being skilled prevents taking damaged, because you are constantly surrounded by respawning enemies with accurate instant-hit weapons. Your health is just the currency you rapidly spend while being exposed to action, and you either let it run out fast or stay chained to that one room for refills. If that sounds like a fun version of a horde map, then go for it.

If you have a bunch of people who want to fight a neverending war, this is the map for you. The map DOES eventually end on a timer, so it's safe to put on a server rotation if you want some momentary chaos in the mix.


  • It is certainly a map where the player can throw themselves at chaos
  • It's a very early example of a fun evocative environment, and looks pretty decent still
  • Lots of good weapons, and I appreciate the armor recharge station


  • Spawning in the chaos without armor is a drag, man
  • Not being able to jump around with the tau gun in this environment is a drag, man
  • The choice of enemies with so few options for cover is a drag, man
Score: 5.9 / 10
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