Map Review of geothermal

Map review of Geothermal

by dunkelschwamm | January 8, 2022 | 3949 characters

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Geothermal is a walkthrough map which takes players through an underground complex. Aliens attack, "Burned" Grunts are uncovered deep within, and the G-Man is up to no good. What could it all mean?

Most of this map is fairly straight forward: move through obstacles and enemies until you find a switch, then backtrack until you see where a new location opened up. Sometimes this involves climbing ladders, sometimes this involves perilous platforming, most of the times it involves shooting vortigaunts or, later, grunts. Players are very lightly equipped throughout to deal with this, picking up ammo sprinkled throughout the level for the handgun, and clinging to the 357 and the shotgun for dear life when they finally show up.

This map unfortunately features some long, empty hallways and platforming segments immediately followed by combat the players can easily find themselves unequipped to deal with, meaning obstacles and long treks must be repeated as players die and respawn. Really most of the map suffers most when the players must take convoluted and overly long paths to get from location to location, as it isn't terribly conducive to backtracking or dealing with the lack of respawns. Some locations do open up new doors that wrap things around, but this is often after you really need to quickly access the location because the action has already died down there.

One area where the map really shines is in the brushwork and texture detail. The whole map looks great, even if a few areas are a tad dark. There's some wonderfully moody lighting, especially in the beginning areas, that I think looks fantastic. The bits where you finally get to see the lava works really well too, I think.

The combat in this map definitely works better with more players. Players aren't terribly well equipped by the time aliens start getting thrown at you, so ammo often feels like an issue, and you spend most of the map with just the 9mm handgun. By the time you get the 357 or the shotgun they might as well be BFGs in comparison, but I will say that the map doesn't feel impossible for fewer players- just not optimized for their play. I had plenty of fun playing it with just one friend, and I think you could too.

There's a couple tiny things I can mention, like a bit where I climbed up some rocky slopes in the dark and ended up on the null-textured top of a vent, or the question of what a geothermal powerplant would need what appears to be a nuclear fuel rod for as its core- usually when somebody refers to a "geothermal core" I think they mean the central functional area of the generator where heat is transferred into energy. Housing a different type of fuel for a generator within lava caverns just seems like it would serve to make less stable or safe to handle. These are silly minor things, but they did strike me as a bit silly when I came across them in the map.

There are quite a few scenarios to face within the map, including jumping on crates in an acid runoff tunnel, navigating a malfunctioned elevator, some engineering stations, and some fun bits surrounded by lava. There's plenty of firefights and it overall feels like a lot of work was put into it. It's not totally consistent, but it's a fun map most of the way through.

The map ends on a cliffhanger. Just be ready for that.

If you're running an action walkthrough server I think this map would fit well alongside maps like Abandoned or HL Commando. It's also a decent map to play with friends.

Pros:

  • Looks great.
  • Some really fun setpieces.
  • I had fun jumping around and crawling all over the level.
  • Fun setting.

Cons:

  • Some long, boring treks made worse by backtracking/respawning
  • Not much in terms of weapons
Score: 6.3 / 10

Review originally from *

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