Map Review of arena

Map review of Arena

by dunkelschwamm | June 17, 2022 | 3727 characters

Sorry, we couldn't find any images attached to this page.

Arena is an arena map. You ever see those gladiatorial battles where they just, like, let wolves or dogs or mountain lions or bears loose on a bunch of fighters and it's just nonsense and bloodshed and nothing makes sense? Arena is a lot like that. I think, in that way, it lives up to its name.

However, it's also one of those kinds of arena maps that's made with very little finesse. In fact, I'd say this is done with no finesse whatsoever. Reality falls apart at the seams, as players randomly find themselves swimming through midair, or at times you'll find cylinders of water. The structures are massive and fantastical, and the outdoor area as a tiny facade with as much effort put into conveying a real environment as a Walmart aquarium at half-price for your goldfish. It's hard to call it ugly- it's, like, surreal? At times it reminded me of Cruelty Squad, the grotesque brutalist structure standing out with nonsensical bodies of water floating about. Though, I suppose, this map predates cruelty squad by a decade and some change.

Amid this nonsense, monsters and soldiers spawn in. Vortigaunts, assassins, tripod turrets, gargantuas, gonarchs, gonomes, alien grunts, heavy weapons grunts, HECU soldiers, headcrabs, alien controllers, bullsquids- all respawning, and all of dubious allegiance. I saw a baby gargantua defend me against a momma gargantua. That's the kind of shit that changes a man.

To deal with this grinder of a scenario, players are given health and HEV both up to 200 and a bunch of powerful weapons. On top of that, the pockets of water all over this hellscape, while annoying to accidentally bump into, provide excellent mobility for players looking to get out of a sticky situation.

I'll level with you- I found the map mostly kind of boring, but that's because throwing myself at Half-Life monsters over and over again with powerful weapons is kinda old hat for me. At some point I got my hands on a minigun and quickly dispatched every threat as it spawned in. At a certain point, as happens in many ill-conceived Half-Life battle maps, the most challenging bits are actually just some enemies being annoying and hard to reach. That said, I'll concede that I'm just not really the target audience for a never-ending fight map like this with no sense of progression, so take this entire paragraph with a grain of salt.

Overall, I'd say the map is a bit ugly and does little to play up a battle beyond a massive crossfire between random monsters clumsily bashing against eachother and the buffed player's power fantasy within. If that sounds like your thing, try it out with some friends- not too many, or you'll be waiting a long time between enemy respawns. Don't put this on a server list though, as it has an infinite timer and, as far as we can tell, no map end. If we're wrong, drop a comment in the map comments if nobody else has and edit out the "no-end" tag and I'll amend this review.


  • A crossfire between almost all of the vanilla Half-Life enemies is pretty exciting
  • It was a good idea to buff the players with a bunch of weapons and constitution for the battle
  • Getting around using the magic water tears in reality was interesting


  • Using the magic water tears in reality comes across as really shoddy mapping
  • The rest of the map supports it feeling like shoddy mapping by looking pretty sloppy, bland, and non-evocative
  • It gets old fast for a neverending map
Score: 4.9 / 10
Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License