Map Review of beach-experience

by dunkelschwamm | January 14, 2023 | 4966 characters

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Beach Experience is a map with a lot of bunkers and trenches, but only one beach. Storm a beach, steal war documents, and explode turrets! Is it any good?

The map is broken into a few recurring elements: combat with HECU helmed by an heavy weapons grunt, taking down over-HPed grunts standing beside mounted machineguns they are ostensibly firing, combatting giant "anti-air" (and yet unable to aim up or down) turrets, and stealing war documents. To approach this, the players are equipped with weapons according to one of four classes: soldier (RPG and M16 grenades), sniper (crossbow and 357), demoman (satchel charges and trip mines), and medic (medic lol). This was kinda superfluous, as the boons of each class are finite and would run out if we weren't frequently dying. In that sense, it's probably for the best that none of us chose to main medic.

The pattern begins with the eponymous beach experience- players must take down over-HPed grunts standing beside mounted machineguns they are ostensibly firing, down onto a beach. The turrets are certainly firing, but you can knock the enemies away from the guns using explosives and the guns continue to fire. Killing the enemies does disable the guns, and the door opens, ending the beach experience. This area is pretty annoying because there's little cover from the machineguns and mortar fire drops randomly from the sky. I'd also reckon that the beach is the ugliest part of the map, with practically full-lit massive wedges of brushes barely resembling natural formations. There are some much appreciated ruins, though, which look nice and offer a pittance of cover. My teammate chose to hammer the machinegunners with RPGs, while I used the "sniper"'s explosive crossbow bolts to smash them in the head over and over.

The way the pattern continues from here is a bit strange. Doors open without announcement as non-connected milestones are met throughout them ap, from hallways from trench hub. At this trench, you get your first fight with one of the "anti-air" guns, which is a huge turret with a ton of health that it is unclear if you are damaging it until it finally falls. It's really easy to cheese these huge turrets because they can aim neither up nor down (despite being anti-air turrets) so even crouching right in front of one is enough to best it while you fire on it. Destroying this first anti-air turret unlocks a checkpoint, and from that point onward you might as never see the beach again. It's perhaps for the best, as the corridors and trenches look a bit better in comparison.

The map shines best, I think, in the corridor fighting. Jumping around, finding places to take cover, and juking around heavy weapons guys feels great through most of the corridor battles, and finding a piece of furniture to take advantage of as cover was always thrilling.

There's an element of the map where you're looking for war documents. Just spam use whenever you walk into a room with documents in it until you found the right war documents. A message should show up. Sometimes this makes the difference between a door opening or not. There's no reason why it would, but it does- doors open based on your progress and it doesn't really need to make sense. The ultimate downfall of this is that often a trail of progression leads to a dead end, and we must scour the map in backtracking to find what door randomly decided to open. If there were a reason the door opened, perhaps that could clue us into where to look next.

This map does employ some custom models. The weapons look fun, and I like those a lot. The enemies are big goofy blue-camo men with swastikas on their chests, which I think is supposed to be a WW2 D-Day callback, but it's really goofy and sloppy in execution. I have nothing much to say about this- I think the custom visuals add little and it's mostly an ugly map regardless.

Overall, Beach Experience offers some fun simple action, some clunky set pieces, and some half-baked ideas and execution. If you're looking for something to pad out an action maplist, this would do well in there.


  • Fighting HECU in corridors is a lot of fun, especially when you choose the right loadout for a situation
  • I liked cheesing the big turrets by crouching next to them
  • It's nice the way this sets up recognizable set pieces and reintroduces them later in the level
  • I liked the weapon models


  • Class system bad, unbalanced, clunky
  • Map was ugly
  • All of the set pieces were pretty poorly conceived or poorly executed- easy to cheese
  • Map progression is a crapshoot- find a note here, a door opened seven rooms ago down another branch
  • Unspectacular ending
Score: 6.6 / 10
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