Map Review of breakout-extended

by GrandmasterJ | May 13, 2023 | 4843 characters

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So this is the extended version of Breakout, which is also available for download on the Breakout Extended page but doesn't have it's own page. We didn't realize we could play the original until right before writing our reviews so we just noclipped through it to see the difference. The difference is a whole new section, almost half the map added after the dead end in the original. We didn't play for realsies but we did try to end the map to no avail, so I'm guessing this is more like a finished version rather than an extended version.

The level is comprised of a series of fairly small rooms. We start in a small room with health and HEV on the wall, this helps immensely fighting the heaps of enemies crammed into these rooms. In order to progress we have to open up locked doors with buttons, TV screens, or keyboards. Buttons that aren't button shaped and colored like keyboards and TV screens are a lot harder to recognize as buttons so sometimes it took a while for us to figure out which object to use. The only indication that a keyboard or TV screen does anything is the very frequent enemy dump that happens very often when we press buttons. Then we explore and find the open door. In the early game this isn't a problem because we were limited to a handful of small rooms but the map does open up slightly and things get farther apart which can cause a lot of wandering around and using random objects.

Near the end of the map we have to drive a tram but it kept hitting an invisible wall. I was ready to call it quits on the map but my teammate insisted on using every suspicious object in the map and some random button in some corner deleted the invisible tram-only barrier and dumped enemies on us. We beat the map shortly after, it was a close call on giving up right at the end.

There are a few puzzles, mostly involving pushables. I won't spoil anything but after the desert of pressing buttons to open doors these simple puzzles were a fresh glass of water.

The map has updating spawn points, rooms similar to the spawn room with a button to activate them. These kind of help, weapons are scattered around the level so on spawn we would go around and collect them all. We sort of skipped the second spawn and hit the third one, which was past a point of no return. We started spawning at the third spawn zone and bypassed all the good weapons we were gathering. The map is generous with HEV and weapons so we were able to armor up and restock most of our weapons, but it is stingy with ammo and we had access to a lot less now.

The overall level aesthetic is drab and bland stock Black Mesa stuff and the design is blocky, but with some details. I think a great example is a room early on with a grate in the floor covering some pipes and a door that has been knocked down. The pipes are a simple garnish and they look good. The door is really fat, an amateur mistake. The map author tried to pretty things up, but the heavy use of a small pool of stock textures really hurts the look.

I did really like how often shortcuts would open up. There was one part where we had to traverse an acid pit and when we opened the door on the other side a new path immediately opened up so we would never have to take the old path again. We would press buttons and open doors to previous areas frequently.

The map wasn't bad, but it was very simple. The combat is straightforward once you realize that every button dumps enemies on you and how to recognize buttons. We get some fairly nice weapons that we can use to clear rooms fairly easily. Because the map is clustered together in small rooms, we get shortcuts opening up, and the updating spawn point it doesn't take long for us to traverse the map. The biggest issue with getting around is recollecting the arsenal from before death. A task that can sometimes be impossible due to the updating spawn point. The map also looks like every amateur Half-Life map out there.


  • Gameplay was straightforward and easy to predict
  • the puzzles were unexpected and nice to have
  • lots of shortcuts
  • lots of HEV
  • updating spawn points
  • the map design itself cut down on a lot of travel time around the map


  • The map looks really bad
  • it was unclear which objects were buttons and what door they opened
  • the tram-stop button near the end was a very bad experience that almost ended the playthrough
  • the updating spawn, and the map itself, put us past valuable weapons forever
  • there was barely enough ammo in the map to support two people and this only gets worse later
Score: 6 / 10
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