Map Review of coldburn

Map review of Coldburn

by dunkelschwamm | August 14, 2023 | 3384 characters

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Coldburn is a total conversion style walkthrough map for Sven Co-op. Players are tasked with plunging the depths of a base atop a Neptunian moon, plunging ever deeper into hostile environments as their HEV is the only temporary barrier keeping players from rapidly deteriorating under cold and radiation threat. To make matters worse, bizarre monsters stalk the players through the facility.

First thing you'll notice about the map is that it nails the environment and atmosphere. Lighting is moody, the fog is effective, and the sprites of little clouds are really convincing. The bite of the cold can be felt, and that's really great. The world textures and models for the monsters are also really fun. Just overall a visual treat. Unfortunately, some weapons have busted models. Still, what's there is really nice.

The next thing you'll notice is that navigation is a bit unclear. Important areas are obscured in nooks behind important visuals, areas will take the shape of mazes, and at least one puzzle toward the end hid a key element of the puzzle almost behind the thick fog's total opacity distance within a hazardous environment with forcepush forcing players toward a hazard at the time. There are plenty of moments of the map where the way forward is very clear, and those moments are usually very intense and fun. The mazey parts can be tense and fun, but were often more of confusing. I lost at least two lives to just getting lost in random nonsense, which isn't thrilling or fun to recite or interesting to experience.

Where things work best with this map is when players fall into this frenzied scavenger mindset: cling to the walls to keep from getting lost; grab every crystal you can see, teammates be damned; passively slurp up ammo so you can just as passively shed shells at every enemy you see before they get close enough to drain your precious HEV. Finding each sanctuary is an oasis, and the map is really quite genius in how it puts the squeeze on players with the failing sanctuary stations that only dampen the HEV drain to how it was during the much more relaxed moments of the map.

At first I was annoyed that we were leaving weapons behind with checkpoints, but once I got the forward-momentum headspace going I stopped worrying about such things. The shotgun and frequently supplied explosives are the most important things anyway.

Overall, if you're looking for a very tense and pretty industrial sci-fi map set on a cold, distant moon, ColdBurn has you covered. It has elements of horror, sci-fi, and action wrapped up in a package that reminds of the tone of something like Event Horizon. I worry with too many players there won't be enough HEV crystals to go around, but I didn't play with lots of people to see if that was the case.


  • Really tense and creative use of the crystal mechanic
  • Great sci-fi atmosphere that really sells the harsh environment
  • Great checkpoints in the sanctuaries


  • Some clunky navigation at times
  • Kinda lame ending
  • Occasionally confusing NPC/monsters
  • Checkpoints leave useful weapons behind forever
Score: 9.1 / 10
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