Map Review of central-assault

by GrandmasterJ | July 20, 2023 | 4319 characters

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This is a pretty old map, over two decades old at the time of this writing, and if the Best of Map Showcase tag means anything then people thought it was pretty good. I think so too, it's a good map and it is a really good example of a fairly straightforward walkthrough map.

The story is that we are clearing aliens out from an ordinance facility, the first enemies we fight are HECU so I don't get it but whatever. This is told to us via exposition dump game text in a briefing room, after which we go through a teleporter, press a button to go through a door, and finally pick up weapons and ammo before heading into combat. Later a teleporter shortcut opens up in the ammo room. It's not a long intro but it's a bit of a walk from spawn to the ammo room and we already go through a teleporter, whenever I see this design choice I can never understand why the author doesn't just put supplies and shortcuts next to the first teleporter. We didn't die often so it wasn't a big deal but still having to walk through a briefing room, through a teleporter, and then open a door that will shut and take time to reset if somebody goes through first before even getting to the shortcut. Why have that door there? Why a button that resets? It's so annoying!

The level beyond my pet peeve is some solid action, we fight against human grunts at first and then transition to aliens later. We build our arsenals slowly and we can find weapons earlier in side areas, I find the mp5 (players only start with medkits, mp5s are in the very first supply room), crossbow, grenades, shotgun, rprg, and satchel charges. There was revolver ammo but I never saw a revolver.

The action isn't too overwhelming and the map does supply us with plenty of health and armor so we last quite a while, at the end of it my teammate and I only had two deaths apiece from reckless behavior. However, when we first find aliens we fight a gargantua which is an odd alien to start with. Also weapons are all scattered across the level and only the mp5 and shotgun are available in the supply room, so on death players would have to collect all the weapons all over again. Later in the level when we fight gargs I only have the crossbow to damage it, killing it takes a long time.

The map is mostly walkthrough with some buttons that open doors. There is at least one door and button combo that will need two player cooperation and some vents that can only be reached via boosting. None of the buttons are really labelled so if we don't see the door open in front of us we have to spend some time searching for which door opened. There are also some vents that don't quite look breakable and with the very conspicuous absence of the crowbar we aren't inclined to waste ammo trying to break them.

The map itself looked beautiful, especially since it was made so long ago. At once point we were outside looking at some cliffs and there was some really good bumpy detail. Lots of the map was a bit too thick, right next to the nice cliff was an oddly proportioned water tower, but overall the map had some good looking details. Maybe some of the details were a bit haphazardly placed and I did see some texture issues, but the majority of the map looked pretty good. It did have a very standard Black Mesa look to it but it was competently done and didn't look bland.

Beyond the minor inconvenience I suffered twice going through respawn I had a great time with this map. It looked pretty good, had solid gameplay, good action, a nice amount of supplies, secret side areas, and even a shortcut. It can be a bit hard to navigate some times, have a few strange aesthetic quirks and flaws, and have an annoying door at spawn but these are all pretty minor.


  • Map looks pretty good
  • there is a teleporter
  • plenty of armor in the map
  • gameplay is solid


  • it was unclear what some of the buttons did
  • why is there a door that resets right in front of the supply room?
  • players have to collect the weapons from across the level on a respawn
Score: 7.5 / 10
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