Map Review of between-two-worlds

by GrandmasterJ | February 16, 2023 | 4836 characters

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From what I can gather, this is an unfinished mod for Half-Life that got dropped into Sven Co-op wholesale with zero modification to adjust it for cooperative multiplayer. What we get off the map database is the first three maps of a mod that really isn't all that good.

We start off in a glass dome with a scientist walking over to a button. He presses the button and I guess that button just sets off resonance cascades because that's what happened. My teammate broke out of the glass and killed him. I had an idea. I restarted the map and we both broke out of the glass and mobbed the scientist before he could get anywhere near the button. He pushed us both aside, crushing my teammate into the wall, and pressed the button anyway before becoming vulnerable and gibbing near instantaneously. I actually did go back to the first level to test some theories and I managed to break out of the glass and explore most of the level before the button got pressed, the lab beyond the glass dome room is pre-wrecked and filled with aliens, no button press really required.

The first map is really indicative of the quality of the original mod, not great and with little though put into how players interact with the game. At one point we start getting a story, to be specific we triggered a singleplayer cutscene which meant one player had their camera showing something and both players get game text giving us dense exposition two lines at a time. The exposition is nonsense and pretty bad writing. We're supposed to be the new queen for Xen or whatever and the 'Government' Man is helping us? I don't know.

At one point after the third map started I walked backwards and the map changed to the second map again. I didn't want to play it again so I sprinted to the end and made it under a minute. Also all the weapons and ammo we collect are lost in the level transitions. This is what happens when somebody drops a simple Half-Life mod wholesale into Sven Co-op.

Out of curiosity I downloaded the rest of the mod, you can find it here: https://www.moddb.com/games/half-life/addons/between-two-worlds1

Then I dropped the maps directly into the maps folder while my game was still running and walked back into the level transition for map 4, which worked like a charm. The rest of the series was pretty much the same, incredibly short maps (map 5 is a hallway with a cutscene, that is it), cutscenes that only worked for one person, accidentally walking backwards and instantly changing level to the previous one, and the story gets messier and denser.

I should also mention that the map doesn't look great. There was one part that had a partially submerged building, it looked like the whole thing was shrunk down, it was cramped inside and had a narrow blocky staircase. There was a window where it looked like the author tried to do a forced perspective visual but didn't know how to pull it off mechanically and just made tiny cliffs on the other side of a window. A lot of the textures are flat, the brushwork is fairly blocky, and overall the mod just didn't look good.

Eventually we hit the end, which is not easy. The mod itself is very easy with two people, medkits, and infinite respawns, but there were a couple maps that dropped players right in the middle of a swarm of enemies. It first happened in a hallway between a turret and a door. I tried to run through the door and the other side was just lousy with soldiers. The worst instance was when I spawned mid-air to fall on top of sandbags in a dark room with soldiers shooting me from high vantage points. That's the last map, thankfully. After killing them the G-man congratulates us, tells us we are the queen now, and then awkwardly strides forward off a ledge and into a corner. The map doesn't end because Sven Co-op doesn't support game_end and this is a mod (well the first three maps anyway) with nothing done in regards to actually converting it.

It's not a great mod and it's just dumped here as if it fits. I hear you can stick a .45 cartridge into a .410 shotgun but that doesn't mean it's a good idea.

Pros:

  • its very short, it just flies right on by

Cons:

  • It's a mod dropped into Sven Co-op with zero conversion, it's not even the complete mod
  • map design and implementation is bad
  • no conversion means players can walk backwards and return to the last map
  • no conversion means one player gets cutscenes and the other hits a map transition and ruins it
  • no conversion means no balance for more than two players
  • story is nonsensical
Score: 1 / 10
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