Map Review of central-assault

by dunkelschwamm | July 20, 2023 | 3487 characters

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Central Assault is on BOMS and I can see why. It's funny- looking back on it I just remember some really funny looking proportions, artifacts of mapping from two decades before I sit and write this now. But really, my sentiment throughout is that this is a really good looking map. Some gorgeous natural environments, some fun lab equipment, lots of varied environments- some goofy, but most of it very striking.

I think that a lot of Central Assault has that disarming quality. Players spawn in a teleporter station that teleports, thankfully, directly into the armory of the science research Black Mesa base you're assaulting. There's a lot of greatest hits of what you'd expect of the environment and encounters- corridor after corridor after desert courtyard after corridor of shooting grunts and/or aliens. But, really, I think there's never a truly dull moment- and there's never a part where the map actually blends together. I often complain in reviews about maps that are just Half-Life flavored locales boiled down into the most basic corridor shooting, but Central Assault is that done very well.

That's not to say there aren't some parts that shake things up. I wouldn't exactly call them THOUGHTFUL parts, but shifts in the formula as simple as: an arena you can attack from two distinct entry points; a button with a timed door; co-op boosting puzzles; occasional contextual environment shooting to proceed. It's not much, but I think the way these elements are woven into the corridor shooting keeps things from ever feeling too monotonous in any one place. There's also a checkpoint, but unfortunately it does place players a ways away from an important RPG pickup which makes a later battle harder (see below).

I do have a couple gripes. There's no crowbar or wrench or barnacle? No melee weapon at all? Lots of breakable crates I never experimented with because I was afraid they'd be a waste of ammo. There's also a gargantua fight toward the end that I felt just a little underequipped for. Maybe there were more weapons than we realized- there was revolver ammo but we never found any weapon to utilize it.

Overall, though, I think Central Assault offers a really solid successful example of what I think a lot of Sven Co-op maps try and fail to achieve. Definitely check it out. Very solid pacing, nothing too annoying, all very action-packed and fun.


  • Lots of varied, striking environments- some brushed more beautifully than I would expect from the era
  • Really well paced action through-and-through
  • Good weapon loadout full of assault weapons and ammo/equipment stashes throughout
  • Checkpoint to reduce backtracking


  • No crowbar or melee weapon to speak of
  • Using checkpoint = reduction of arsenal. Why reward players who spend longer separated from team-play action on the frontline? Why punish players who are trying to be useful?
  • Felt underequipped for final garg, in large part due to previous listed con
  • While some areas look very nice, some look very goofy. It is very charmingly goofy, so to some this may be a pro rather than a con.
  • Starting the map with friendly grunts, then enemy grunts, then ending on friendly grunts, was confusing.
Score: 8.6 / 10
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