Map Review of black-hawk

Map review of Black Hawk

by GrandmasterJ | March 16, 2023 | 7657 characters

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I haven't played much Shadow Warrior and as a result I suck at it. This map is a lot like its source material, at least according to my teammate who saw the inspiration right away, it has challenging combat in some areas and a lot of annoying key hunt elements. There are three maps in total, the first and second are walkthrough maps that pick up right after the other and are built very similar to levels in Shadow Warrior. Then there was the bonus map that was a brutal platforming co-op journey.

We spawn in a street, for various reasons my teammate and I went afk for a bit and I came back to a zombie slapping him around. Don't wait around in the street. From here we have a variety of locked doors to consider. The first key was probably the most difficult one to find in the whole map pack, it was on top of a bookshelf. We were so thorough in looking for this first key that we actually found a secret and a half. I say 'and a half' because there are letters spelling out 'SECRET' hidden around the map and we found an 'S' and then we found some hidden grenades. Not all the keys were this hard to find, but hunting for keys is definitely the primary gameplay loop. At the very least we have big cartoon keys and keyholes along with color coded keycards and keycard readers. Keys announce that they've been found to the server, so the map does make it very clear which key we're expected to find.

There were a lot of zombies around of all three flavors, regular, barney, and military. There were soldiers named 'stalkers' with custom models I saw in some other Sven maps. Occasionally some alien controllers, vortigaunts, or houndeyes would appear as well each with their own custom models. The alien controllers were the hardest enemies in the game with their modified chaingun of seeker shots. We start with melee weapons, reskinned as well to be fists and a swift kick. Eventually we pick up the uzi and a pistol and these even appear in spawn when we fist picked them up, its great! Ammo was drip fed to us in single magazines placed around the level. It was enough to keep us armed but we had to rely on melee weapons for all the zombies.

We did manage to find all the secrets. I don't want to spoil it so I won't say too much, but at one point I randomly searched something and found a secret. My teammate saw it and also started using things. He used something right in front of me and walked away as the wall opened to reveal a secret letter. I thought that was hilarious. Once all the secrets are found a teleporter opens up to the secret level.

We went ahead and finished the map with the full intention of stopping before the map transition. But the map transition is a button (I think, I went back with noclip to confirm this was the case but I think there is some triggering I messed up in doing so and now I can't end the map) in the little conductor booth so be careful trying that. We used console commands to go to our hard earned secret level and my teammate crushed it. I tried to help but he did all the hard work.

The bonus level opens up on a room with platforms floating in the void. I jump on one and it immediately breaks, sending me to my doom. Yeah, it's one of those bonus maps. The next time I spawn I am in a dull looking hallway. Weird, but ok. Eventually my teammate does complete that jumping puzzle allowing him to grab a hive hand. The map cheerfully explains that was the whole point of that particular sequence and then a teleporter appears at the entrance, cutting off the platforms and hive hand altogether. My teammate dies with the hive hand and we never see it again.

The whole bonus map is hard as hell. Its not like we're going to platforms floating in a void like before, this is jumping over blocks that kill players on contact. There are some rooms with blue lightning on the floor with various tricks to get across with what is probably the hardest part of the bonus map with the second lighting room. A block slides around the perimeter of the room and players have to jump on it and then avoid hazards to get across.

Each chunk of jumping we get through updates out teleport so we can cut out previous parts, its real good. There was one part that slowed us down though. It was a puzzle where I had to boost my teammate over a hurt block so he could press a button that very very temporarily disabled the blocks, allowing me to run through. The next area was really hard and there was a really cheap hidden trap at the end of it, so we spent a lot of time coming through this area. But we needed each other to get through. Eventually I just ended up staying and letting my teammate through. The checkpoints are great, but I wish this particular gimmick was a one time thing or just absent altogether.

We beat the bonus map and find ourselves in the campaign portal. Weird, but ok.

The second map starts right after the first, both in setting and our initial confusion. This time we had to shoot a wall with a crack on it which bored a tunnel straight through. My teammate said "oh, it's the second level of Shadow Warrior" and it pretty much played a lot like the first map. Near the end we get a message that the floor looks weak and we have to blow it up, so I ran around throwing grenades. It took a lot of grenades and blew up a small portion of the floor, so when trying to blow the floor up it is easy to miss the exact spot and feel like you aren't doing anything. But yeah, blow the floor up.

The first and second map looked pretty good. There was a lot of interactivity and great details. At one point my teammate opened up an oven and there was a skull inside and he giggled like a little schoolgirl. I liked how the computers have disk trays that open. But there was also some bad stuff, like how I noticed a secret due to how the textures on a wall had a different scale to it. When I ran my flashlight over the differently scaled patch it would glow bright. I noticed quite a bit texture mismatching, weird distortions, and even a few areas where I could see into the void. The bonus map was pretty drab and boring looking.

As frustrating as the map set is as a whole, I did like it. The key hunting was mostly ok, I really can't get over how much time we spent looking for the very first key of the map. But the rest was fairly straightfoward and had a lot of visual cues to guide us. Combat was pretty fun, we got to shoot lots of weird looking enemies and we had a very nice looking lever action shotgun. The map looked good for the most part despite the various blemish. I sucked at the bonus map but a skilled player like my teammate can do it. The updating spawn points really helped big time.


  • weapons unlock at spawn
  • the bonus map had an updating teleport
  • combat was well balanced and the custom models made me feel badass
  • the keys were huge and they matched with huge keyholes, the map was clear on what we needed
  • really fun and well done secrets in the first map
  • great map details and fun interactive bits


  • the bonus map was difficult enough without the cheap trap
  • bonus map hurt block button that required two people to get around slowed the map down a lot.
  • the map has some strange looking spots and the visual quality was uneven throughout
  • the bonus map doesn't lead to the second map, why?
  • the key hunting can get a little tedious
Score: 7.5 / 10
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