Map Review of attack-defend

by dunkelschwamm | May 8, 2022 | 3976 characters

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Attack & Defend is a classic Sven Co-op map, going on almost 18 years old as of writing this. It was made by Nipper, an absolutely prolific mapper known for high quality, high quantity output.

This map is simple: you attack, and then you defend. Players start in a safe spawn cave with two exits into the battle. Players progress by destroying multiple red-light boxes on the fences which block progression. When each box is destroyed, the fence falls allowing forward movement. All the while, players must content with strategically entrenched and bunkered grunts, as well as horrifically efficient turrets. All of this is exacerbated by tall grass and foliage which obscures the enemies, but those enemies have no problem seeing the player. The result is a chaotic firefight that isn't too chaotic for players to win, but the blindness of the battle multiplies the chaos and make it seem a billion times crazier as a result.

After throwing countless bodies at securing the fortified position, it then belongs to the players. The trench atop the spin of the high hill, bunkers nestled within~ a sniper's tower at the back providing an eye over all of the frustrating grass (though not through any trees). The sniper turret is intelligently designed to not give any ammo, so players do not camp in it.

Having it all comes with a target on your back, though. Though you have many allies, you must also defend from an onslaught of grunts rushing from your original spawn position and melee blackops troops rappelling from above. The constant sources of competently aimed gunfight means players die often- which is great because every death means another 5 shots from the sniper rifle which is easily the most fun and empowering part of the map.

Speaking of the weapons, if I had to identify a weakspot of the map it would be this. Early on, as the players must use pistols and MP5s, progress feels like a bit of a grind. Things open up after players rush past all of the fences and pick up a shotgun, but before that point it feels like the weapons are a bit limp for the chaotic situation at hand. By the end, the players will have the pistol, MP5, shotgun, sniper rifle, and revolver. I think the map suffers a small amount from the lack of weapon variety, and I can easily think of how much fun the addition of literally any other Half-Life weapon would have been. That said, I think the map is balanced extremely well around the weapon selection anyway, and adding more weapons would require far more tweaking than simply throwing another gun into the mix to truly be an improvement.

I think Attack & Defend is a really fantastic, simple map. It doesn't overstay its welcome, it is intelligently designed down to the annoying flora which blocks eyesight, and the objective is intuitive and satisfying. The act of defending the fort that you just conquered is extremely satisfying indeed. It's one of those maps that inspires me to make a quick map, because it shows how simple a very complete execution of a very complete idea can be in Sven Co-op. Even after the terrible rebalancing choices made in Sven Co-op updates over time, Attack & Defend's design persists.

I recommend Attack & Defend up and down. For a server, for playing with a friend, with just about any player number. It's just really groovy, it works for all situations.


  • Satisfying, swarmy firefights
  • Clear objectives which lead to a cathartic final defense stage
  • Intelligent use of visuals
  • Proper, undiluted strategic fortressing and the attack prowess necessary to ascend
  • Breaking down each barrier feels great
  • Sniping feels great in this map


  • Weapon selection feels a bit bland
Score: 9 / 10
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