Map Review of black-haze

Map review of Black Haze

by dunkelschwamm | March 12, 2023 | 4089 characters

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Black Haze is a zombie horde survival map. Players must survive 3 rounds of seemingly endless 1000 hp "zoomies" zombies (as my teammate and I called them, on account of their zooming speed). To combat them, players can scavenge a veritable arsenal from the area we explore.

The area to explore is a "building in ruins". My teammate and I both had the initial impression of it being a shopping mall due to its layout and the beginning taking place in some sort of plaza, but there are strange autopsy tables in most of the rooms so maybe not a shopping mall. It's brushed decently enough, but frankly it's a bit nondescript and liminal even for all of the ruins and props. The textures are quite nice, though, and add a layer of grime to things.

The layout isn't great for evading zombies at first, but the map slowly opens up as the player finishes off hordes. I like the second area the most, as it has a lot of props to jump over to slow down zombies. The first area, though, is where the moneymaker is: there's a stack of crates with a wrench on it, that if the player stands on top of it they are invincible to all zombies. The ability to climb on most things in the beginning area is confusing due to the mapper's attempts to ensure the player can never climb out of reach of the zombies, but this wrench crate pile made me invincible.

I don't begrudge this oversight, as I think it made the map way more playable with just the two of us. The map is definitely not made for two people. The zombies are fast, hit hard, surround quickly, and have a ton of health so you'll have little luck forcing your way out of a corner. I wish the zombies weren't so nondescript looking. Sometimes they'd blend into the environment. My teammate and I were constantly pointing them out to eachother. You need to kill all of them, too, to proceed in a wave, and they each respawn a certain number of times from spawnpoints that become more plentiful with each wave. There's no counter, so you're just wading through these boring-looking bullet sponge enemies for seemingly forever until suddenly you move on. For two players, the boss was the best part of the map, being a single gonome with a bunch of health, which was fun to outmaneuver with the map's geometry. However, he was a pushover with two people, so if you played the map with enough people to make the zombie waves fun, the gonome is going to feel like a waste of time.

For whatever reason when you spawn you drop out of a helecopter onto the ground, which is water, and then teleport to someplace else in the map. A good number of the times that we respawned we took fall damage enough to reduce us to 12 health. Then we'd need to gather our health, while being attacked by zombies, from mostly slow-charging chargers. If we get surrounded, that's really too bad, because players need to arm themselves before they can push back, and the players don't really get weapons sufficient enough to push back until the third wave. It's a bit of an unbalanced mess of an experience that I imagine only works with a lot more people because chaos always feels fine with a ton of people. That said, that same ton of people will absolutely clown on the boss.

Overall, I think this map is a tedious experience that's decently made that gets better as it continues. Play it if you really want, but I think there's better horde maps than this.


  • Map looks pretty decent
  • There's a stack of crates that makes safety possible
  • Good arsenal (after a while)
  • Good use of sound effects


  • Hard to track progress
  • Zombie enemies are tedious to fight, and fighting them is all that the map is
  • The zombie enemies are boring and ugly to look at
  • The weapons are not balanced in terms of capability of taking out the zombies
  • Very little ammo
Score: 5.1 / 10
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