Map Review of bbc-world-service

by GrandmasterJ | November 19, 2022 | 5629 characters

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Going off the map title and description I thought this map was going to be political or at least make a statement. Instead what I get is a weird mish mash of stuff with the thinnest veneer of politics over it. The map was made in 2017 and has references like a group of friendly soldiers named 'Rohingya Refugees' that get slaughtered by enemy soldiers, a pair of big mommas named 'Russian Hacker', an isolated group of firnedly soldiers named 'Starving Yemen Refugees', and at the end players find pieces of a submarine that went missing and was found wrecked that year. The map description says that the map was made to bring awareness to these issues but everything I learned was from googling the references made in-game. The bare minimum was done here.

If the map was done tastefully maybe that would have helped. Instead we get a random mish mash of stuff, right in spawn we see some very nice looking cliffs marred by big blocks sticking out of them. I noticed in a few areas that these nice cliff walls deformed and had different textures on the new faces, making very bad looking areas. The level that is not cliff walls are blocks and prefabs dumped in from across gamebanana. Look, I don't mind heavy prefab use, I am all for using prefabs. But these prefabs are just dumped in here along with everything else. Arcade by w00tguy is dumped in the map in its entirety, platforming segment and end game trigger and all. A series of impressive looking prefabbed tanks shoot at players with their many turrets, all different designs and kinda parked awkwardly around each other so the one in back can't fire until the one in front is dead. The textures are real bad too, right in spawn is this weird purple wall that looks like some scientific chart.

Weapons are plentiful at least, right in spawn we get lots of HEV and some decent weapons for the next area, and each new area has more and better weapons. This is the only thing making the map playable, we had strong arsenals to take down the haphazard wads of enemies. We never did manage to take down the tank in the back, but it was trapped behind so much junk that it was easy to dodge.

There was a tank that was clearly two different versions of a tank on top of each other, one with the hatches and doors open, and one with it closed. Something has clearly gone wrong with this prefab. There were also machinegun turrets that we could use scattered around except they were sunken into the ground and wouldn't move and so we couldn't actually aim them at anything. They were also in really inconvenient locations like the middle of a doorway. Broken prefabs and badly placed, for what reason?

There were these prefab Half-Life radios scattered around. Some of them play audio clips of various things, like clips of news segments I assume are from the BBC. These offer important insight into the events of 2017 represented in this map, but I couldn't really hear what they were saying and I had to resort to Google anyway. At least an effort was made to give context.

The map ends at a segment with big white boxes marked with the red cross and a sign that says "AID". There is a water segment with big mines that detonate on contact. It is here we find a spot with starving Yemeni refugees, tastefully reskinned to a variety of anthropomorphic animals (zebra and alligators if you must know), a bloody guy, some Team Fortress Classic guys, and some other stuff. Delivering the aid to them took some doing because if the boxes were to touch the nice looking cliff walls then the aid crates would immediately get stuck and start floating in the air until it hit the ceiling. This happened twice before we successfully deliver a box to the refugees, then nothing happened. Delivering aid is not an objective in the map apparently.

The real end goal here is to dive deep into the water, start taking freeze damage, and find the pieces of submarine helpfully illuminated for your convenience. Collecting all these pieces ends the map immediately and with no fanfare.

I don;t know what I expected from this map but I think right from the get go it was ambitious. The goal was to bring awareness to current events with a Sven Co-op map. The result is barely informative about anything, undercuts any serious discussion or analysis with crude reenactments of genocide (quote from map description: "I do not support killing in real life or any kind of genocide") where the victims are anthromophisized reptiles, zombie soldiers, and classic mercenaries. The map goals don't really deviate from killing everything, the final challenge isn't the obvious goal of helping people but instead swimming in murky water to press metal scrap shaped buttons to end the map. It's lame.

Pros:

  • Lots of weapons and ammo
  • lots of HEV
  • an effort was made to inform us about political events in 2017
  • The cliff walls look good in some places

Cons:

  • The level design is slap dash copy and pasted elements with really blocky architecture
  • It is incredibly obvious that many of the parts of this map were prefabs, nothing goes together
  • broken turrets, broken tank
  • any legitimacy of 'informing of current events' flies out the window when the refugees are furries
  • the final 'puzzle' of the map is a huge let down, boring, annoying, and abrupt
  • we didn't have to deliver aid packages, which is a disappointment in itself, but the crates flew up cliffs
Score: 2 / 10

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