Map Review of between-the-lines

by dunkelschwamm | February 4, 2023 | 3528 characters

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Between the Lines is an action walkthrough map for Sven Co-op.

The name of the game is move from hallway to mini arena to hallway to mini arena over and over again until you stumble upon the abrupt ending. All the way through, you battle dense placements of HECU and Xen military locked in combat. Namely, battle HECU grunts and vortigaunts, headcrabs, alien grunts, alien controllers, barnacles, and baby gargantuas. Enemies spawn so many at once it creates frantic fighting. You can tell the enemies are spawned the moment you approach them, as they begin their infighting the moment the player enters the room.

Along the way, players pick up weapons which eventually heavily arm them. You begin with a crowbar, which makes the beginning of this map a slog as you crowd-surf through HECU grunts meleeing impotently at them. It doesn't take long to get your hands on a handgun, and if you have better eyes than myself you'll see a shotgun in the first arena. Soon after, you'll get an MP5. At this point, the map starts to hit a stride, and there's nonstop gunning down enemies from that point. It was fairly easy, even, from here for two players to gun down rooms full of enemies.

Players get their hands on more weapons over time as they find them, which are then available conveniently from spawn. I wish the weapons just appeared in spawn after being found, because the glass cases they appear in at first was confusing whether we were supposed to break this with our crowbars which are the only thing we start with. We just get sent very mixed messages, and the only way to learn glass is unbreakable is to whack it for enough time to determine it would be unreasonable for the glass to be unbreakable- which takes longer and longer when you're on a quest to review every map on this site and have experienced plenty of troll maps with overly-fortified breakable brushes.

There is a puzzle in this map where the players flip a switch to turn off a laser wall. I appreciate the effort, though it overall added little to the map.

The environment is one of those abstract crate-filled concrete nothing places that the standard Half-Life textures are good at growing from nothing. It's very bland looking, and often important details (like gun pickups) blend into the mélange. Thankfully, the map is very straight forward, so as long as you're moving you're making progress. The architecture seems mostly built to create interesting ambush points and arenas with minimal consideration given to real world practicality.

Overall, my experience with Between the Lines was a sometimes passive, sometimes greatly engaged one. The action is quite juice throughout, despite the simple appearance and blunt approach. if that sounds good to you, throw this on a map rotation. It'll probably fit anywhere.


  • The action is fast and, when well equipped, a ton of fun
  • Lots of fun enemy infighting
  • Straight-forward level doesn't waste any time
  • Good arsenal of weapons
  • Great updating checkpoint


  • Bland, nothing atmosphere and visuals
  • Beginning with only the crowbar was a hassle
  • The glass cases setup with the weapons early on wasted our time
  • Sometimes important details blend into the environment, namely weapons.
Score: 6.4 / 10
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