Map Review of secret-place

by dunkelschwamm | November 13, 2022 | 3224 characters

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Secret-Place is a Sven Co-op map by robootto, designed for God only knows what hideous machinations.

The map consists largely of white blocky areas of impractical scale and clownish colored lighting, illusory walls into unlit pitch-dark mazes which themselves contain more illusory walls and some breakable walls. Being that this is a robootto map, the sight of destructible walls makes my blood pressure spike. There's no telling how long you'll be stuck whacking away at a destructible until it gives. Thankfully, most destructibles are fairly brittle. However, thanks to the dev's track record I spent longer whacking away at some indestructible brushes than I should have.

The first areas supply players with enough weaponry to give the impression that this will be an action-packed map, but there's really only three actiony bits: an army base that players need to flush out; a headcrab-and-zombie infested dungeon hallway beneath that army base; and a zombie ambush in one of the strange secretish areas. If it weren't for Sven's hgrunts and their propensity for using underbarrel grenades, none of the combat would have provided much threat.

From there the map is really just a bunch of bullshit exploration. There's a lot to see, but not much of note to see. There's a great big block of water which leads to a green room with brush text spelling "GOD IS IN THE" which seems like some incredible freshman beatnik slam poetry if I've ever heard it. There's a facade of two balconies with a tightrope walk between them, and above one of the balconies is a single destructible window which reveals a xen spore sitting in a throne in front of a gauss rifle. There's opportunities to accidentally kill yourself, and some bullshit rooms that kill you with phantom hurt brushes. I have to give credit: the map is littered with longjump modules in many secrets, which greatly reduces pain usually associated with robootto's eccentric mapping style. That said, it can greatly reduce that pain while leaving a great deal of pain present, which is the case here. That is to say, this map has a few nice-ish looking areas and gives some concessions, but is overall a frustrating chore to get around in.

There's not much else to say beyond that. As far as I can tell there's no end to this map, just running endless circles in mostly mazes. Take that as a recommendation however you will.

Pros:

  • The longjump modules greatly help this map
  • It's nice that there's so much equipment offered, even if it turns out to be a bit of overkill
  • There's some visuals I like in this map, particularly the window into the spore on the throne

Cons:

  • The mazes and illusory walls are just a headache and offer nothing stimulating or interesting, only the challenge of learning which walls are real and which aren't by pressing yourself against them and hoping you didn't pass one up
  • Most of the secrets are boring deadends
  • The map is pretty ugly most of the time, and much of it feels very unfinished
Score: 2.8 / 10

Review originally from *

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