Map Review of big-scientists-2017

by dunkelschwamm | February 19, 2023 | 5090 characters

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Big Scientists is a meta mod conversion, because it's an experimental mod about an experiment gone wrong gone wrong. There are 9 maps, yet combined they are barely as much gameplay as many single maps offer. However, for what is there, Big Scientists is an action walkthrough map with a couple cute ideas spread among an otherwise uninspired, unloved project.

The conceit is that you're at one of those fucky science bases where fucky scientists do fucky science, and this time their particular brand of fuckery is making the scientists gigantic. The military absolutely hates this and decides to intervene, unloading machineguns onto the utterly harmless gigantic scientists. Players make their way through the science complex while battling military, and after some twists and turns the maps stop rather than end.

You get airdropped into this situation with other scientists, which is confusing to me, and in the beginning the ospreys are upside down and you jump down into a sky with a gigantic scientist standing sideways in it. It's kind of a flabbergasting gag, and one I wouldn't hold against the map if not for how lazily constructed it is making the loltotallyrandom humor hard to discriminate from a terrible mapping error.

I'm just gonna get into it: the maps are pretty bad. There's exposed skybox voiding out sides of geometry, there's giant scientists blipping in and out of existence depending on where you view, there's zfighting, a half-functional elevator- it's a lot. On top of that, maps are flatly lit and mapped with the 90-degree geometry of a Wolfenstein 3D map, even in naturalistic desert areas. Access to the HEV suit is inconsistent, making the gameplay mostly a puzzle of guessing your ammo and equipment while blindly cycling through weapons. I got stuck behind a truck while trying to open a vent which looks accessible but is not from that angle. Most arenas are just big open cubes with soldiers standing in the middle of it. Despite the big scientists being harmless, and being targeted by the military as much as the player is, there is one (and only one) part of the map where the players must, for whatever reason, kill one of the giant scientists to proceed. There is an entire map that is a ~20 second tram ride with no obstacles to an elevator to the next map, whose only notable landmark is a bridge with two inoperable doors on either side of it. There's map backtracking, which you begin one map facing, which sends you to the beginning of the previous map.

I know it's not compelling to read a solid wall of mapping complaints, but there was a lot I needed to get through so you can understand the issues at hand. This is a barely functioning, slapped together map series. There are, however, some moments where it pulls off a bit more.

About halfway through, there's a fun cinematic bit where you find the machine that seems to be making scientists gigantic, and get the opportunity to use it. When you press the button to enlargen a scientist, however, military break in and put the kibosh on the whole operation. We get to walk into it later, and it's all busted up and nonoperational. I lamented to my teammate, "Aw, we won't get to get turned big ourselves in this map, because that would be too creative." Well, foot all the way in my mouth, because toward the end of the map we get exactly that. It's the best part of the map and almost nothing is done with it, but it's cute and it's a fun idea, and I think it's the type of creativity the rest of the map needed more of.

I'd comment more on the combat, but as I said most of the map makes just handling the inventory a huge problem. If you run past combatants you'll probably be fine- the map will likely be over before they can give chase, and they're probably too busy fighting scientists. Thoughtlessly thrown together.

Overall, I think Big Scientists is a bad conversion of a mod which I hope plays better in single player because if not then OOF. I would not recommend this for your server, as it is more annoying and busted up than anything.


  • There are, indeed, big scientists
  • Fighting apaches is always fun
  • Some real surreal imagery going on here and there
  • The bit where you turn into a big scientist is real good, and full of cute visions and gags


  • Most of this map is bland, sloppily designed, unloved
  • Most of this map is busted up, hard to look at, unoptimized leading to lag
  • What anybody is supposed to be doing at any moment is unclear and inconsistent to the point that my teammate thought a map was broken and unfinishable early in
  • Maps could really use a merging- some of these maps have nothing happening in them
  • Having HEV be an inconsistent was a huge problem that dragged down the whole experience
  • Map fritters out with a nothing ending
Score: 3.7 / 10
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