Map Review of diego-land-beta

Map review of Diego Land

by GrandmasterJ | June 19, 2022 | 6226 characters

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This map is abandoned, so it's unfinished and never will be finished. What is here is very clearly unfinished. The level design is incredibly simple and blocky, and combat encounters are wads of enemies in hallways. There are some cool fire effects that don't hurt and some custom models like stretched out scientists and weird cartoon pit drones. There were a lot of 3d models of bodies laying around which looked good but they were also solid and would constantly block me. It's an interesting map and it definitely would have been better if it were finished.

The map starts off in a lobby of sorts. It has some very nice looking models of soda machines, sofas, and water coolers. The exit door has a large Black Mesa symbol on it, I don't know if the map is deliberately set in Black Mesa or Diego Land but it is covered in Black Mesa iconography. There is a short square hallway, we will be seeing this kind of hallway a lot, and we enter an armory filled with Barneys and scientists along with three tables one with wrenches, grenades, shotguns, and mp5s; one with 9mm ammo and shotgun shells; and one with HEV and health. I take issue with mappers who slap down a pile of guns and ammo but don't set the respawn time much lower. A lot of space is taken up by multiple instances of the same guns that we definitely don't need, and even though there is a lot of ammo a single player can run over it and take it all. It looks like a lot but we ran low on shotgun shells because it just wasn't enough.

The door out has some fast zombies on the other side. They run in and kill a lot of scientists, we try our best to keep them alive but these idiots are suicidal and it was a chore to get them to stay away from the fighting. At the end of the map there was a Barney I had repeatedly put in a corner who would always run towards explosions. Don't bother trying to keep any of them alive, they suck and the enemies have high health and fast movement. Maybe it was the plentiful armor we had, but it also felt like the enemies didn't hit as hard.

The first real challenge of the map was the next room which was an open space with some crude shipping containers filled with rocket launchers (there is no rocket ammo in the entire map) and miniguns, a lot of fire sprites that don't hurt, and a wad of enemies. The enemies here are some alien controllers reskinned to be skrags from quake, zombies, and vortigaunts. They all have high health and the vortigaunts revive each other constantly. We hit the area with banana grenades repeatedly before shotgunning the rest of the way.

Another blocky hallway, a fork with a dead end on the left and the way forward on the right, some green chemicals that don't hurt, gonomes reskinned to be stretched out scientists, and we finally get to another resupply point. It is designed exactly the same as the first one, probably copy and pasted, and it has the SAW, M16, dual uzis, plus ammo and underbarrel grenades along with the usual health and HEV. I was happy because I thought we would get a checkpoint here, that was not the case. There are no shortcuts or checkpoints so we get to run through the entire level to get back here. The next area is a huge pain so prepare to run through the entire level a lot.

The next area is a three story outdoor area, the catwalks for the door we enter through are crumbled away, there are platforms directly below for the two lower floors. Players can land on the middle platform for massive damage but the door here does not open and there is nothing here to see. The lower platform dips into the water that fills the entire lower area. Debris is scattered in the water so if players jump from above they can hit some of that and splatter themselves. To the right is a wall, but to the left is an intact triple story bridge filled with flaming cars, enemies, and a mortar at the very top. The moment we set foot in that room we were beset by so many attacks, underbarrel grenades in particular will flood in through the door almost non-stop.

We spent the majority of the map on this area but I'm going to gloss over it, there are plenty of underbarrel grenades, rain those down on your enemies for however long it takes. The path of progression is on the other side of the chamber, on the lower floor door. The water is filled with ichthyosaurs reskinned to be Dopefish. There are a lot of them, they have a lot of health, and they will tear you up. It doesn't help that the debris in the water is all weirdly shaped and positioned so getting stuck on one is usually very bad.

Past the door are more zombies and gonomes, if they fall in the water they become a nightmare to deal. The last room is an elevator room, it has four elevators total and two shafts are open to reveal a crushed elevator car. The other two intact ones don't seem to work. I noclipped up and there is a room above that is supposed to be accessed some way but it also has a level transition to a map that doesn't exist, so I called the map here and didn't look very hard to see if there was a way up.

Overall I think it was a good attempt at a map. It's not something I really enjoyed or want to play again but I think it had some good intentions and ideas. The resupply areas were nice, I just feel like they fall into the easy and rookie mistake of having long respawn counters and putting equal amounts of guns to ammo when more ammo is needed. The level design was rudimentary at best and custom models of things like the dead bodies would get in the way a lot. An effort was made to beatify the map and it falls flat. The lack of a respawn point was also very sorely felt.


  • Decent resupply areas
  • fun custom models
  • I liked the fire effects


  • No shortcuts or updating checkpoints
  • the dead bodies on the floor block player movement
  • level design was plain and bland looking
  • no level end, elevators up don't work
  • the map is, of course, abandoned
Score: 4 / 10
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