Map Review of breakdown-heist

by dunkelschwamm | May 15, 2023 | 5738 characters

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Breakdown Heist is a walkthrough map for Sven Co-op that really encapsulates the feeling of a battle of attrition. Enemies with tons of health bottleneck players in co-op unfriendly hallways while respawning repeatedly after the entire squad is taken down. The end result is a map that looks semi-decent, occasionally has satisfying moments of hammering enemies together with players, but is otherwise overstuffed with the monotony of dumping ammo into evergreen supplies of enemy forces. They barely flinch as bullets wash over them like water. It's bad enough early on with swarms of 500 hp grunts, but then 1000 hp blackops become the norm. And for at least the first half of the map, every enemy you kill you can expect to need to kill three times before you can proceed unless you want them to surprise respawn behind you.

The combat, as described, is frustrating and monotonous. At about the halfway point enemies stop relentlessly respawning, leading to some chiller high-HP enemy hammering, but it's long after the fatigue has set in. This is compounded by the necessity of high HEV if the players are to survive long enough to do damage to the onslaught of enemies. However, the only HEV in the map is 100 HEV worth of battery pickups at the beginning of the map. When players respawn together, somebody's waiting around for the respawn.

The HEV is crucial. Also at around the half-way point explosive weapons are introduced, as well as a .357. One of the negative side-effects of the corridor-focus of this map that I haven't yet mentioned is how long any backtracking takes. The map is sectioned off into 3 long hallways that meet at a hub- the path to the hub from spawn, the path to the downstairs (which has a fairly extensive fork of its own), and the path to the elevator up. The HEV is at spawn, the explosive weapons are toward the end of the second path. By the time you're going to the third path, you have to backtrack to both spawn and the second path for ammo and HEV to proceed through the final areas. It takes minutes of backtracking to get the necessary weapons. Because of all of this, the map mostly plays like a slog. Perhaps with tons of players to throw at it this isn't such the case, but I think that's a bandaid over any frustrating design, and this is frustrating design. Even then, with the map mostly consisting of narrow bottlenecks that players can barely fit around eachother in, I can't imagine lots of bodies would make this suddenly much better.

The final area is a bunch of minigunners facing you when you come out of an elevator, each with ludicrous amounts of health. With heavy abuse of rockets we eventually beat them, but to have to travel the entire ammo/HEV backtrack and then go down the final long corridor to call a long elevator, ride the long elevator, and then get in as much damage to the HW guys as possible before they kill you. They are placed on all sides of cover and happily walk around cover as their buddies give suppressing fire. This is one of those situations that feel like they were designed around what would be the smartest thing for the enemy to plan- utterly at the player's expense. Of course it's a smart plan to put a bunch of minigunners with demigod constitution in front of the elevator exit; of course players stand no chance of surviving this and must waste their time repeatedly preparing for suicide runs until things thin enough to be manageable. It's fun the first couple times, but after making the trip half a dozen times and having any players who died alongside you wait for their necessary HEV recharge you really feel time passing. How can I call this fun when you can feel the time passing?

On the upside, there are plenty of moments that came from the monotonous combat where my teammate and I synchronized and had some fun finding ways to most efficiently and mechanically slaughter the high-HP enemies. Once explosives are introduced and enemies stop respawning, the combat gets much better even if the travel time becomes are larger issue. There's a setpiece with a kingpin that I thought was really interestingly played.

The map isn't ugly, though there's some errors around (null-textured faces that allow peeking through the hull into the void, in particular). Overall I kinda liked how it looked, and though it was dull corridors for the most part each area had personality and was distinct.

Overall, if you have quite a few people and really enjoy unloading guns into respawning enemies at the end of narrow corridors until a vague and hard-to-determine depletion, this is the map for you. It has some fun moments, and a couple twists and turns. The rest is as I described.


  • Utilizes a lot of variety of enemies in ways I don't usually see
  • Some genuinely fun moments in the chaotic combat
  • Things really open up in the combat when enemies stop respawning and players get some explosive weapons
  • There was HEV and ammo respawns present
  • The brush/texturework/lighting had character


  • Respawning enemies for half of the map makes progression frustrating and confusing
  • Bullet sponge enemies make progress tedious and unsatisfying
  • No ammo pickups for RPG :(
  • HEV is necessary and available, but requires waiting the ridiculous respawn time to equip
  • To be equipped players must endure minutes of retracing steps and waiting by the end
  • The final ambush's reveal almost made me chuckle until I actually had to play it
Score: 5.2 / 10
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