Map Review of search-n-destroy

by dunkelschwamm | January 8, 2022 | 6589 characters

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Search n Destroy is an objective based control point map which takes place in a desert-y setting reminiscent of Counter Strike's Dust maps with Opposing Forces grunts as the main enemies. To complete the map the players must plant C4 on several enemy weapons caches, find weapons throughout the map and return them to the base, conquer and defend 4 control points, and finally defend the spawn base from an enemy attack. During the offense portion of this you must also contend with grunts being dropped off by respawning Ospreys and a respawning Apache helicopter.

At the spawn base the players can restock on health, ammo, and armor as well as pick a load-out for their primary set of weapons. The loadouts consist of a medic class, a shotgun class, an M16 class, and an MP5 class. On top of these, the players can also find weapons as items which can be brought back to the spawn base to create a weapon drop point for whatever weapon was found. The four weapons you can find through the level are an uzi, a revolver, a rocket launcher, and a sniper rifle. Each of these can be carried on top of your class loadout and really help flesh out the players' arsenals. Personally, due to the heavy numbers of grunts through the map I kept returning to the M16 loadout because the under barrel grenades were extremely effective in clearing groups in a way no other weapons offered could achieve.

It's important to clear enemies, as until you bomb all of the caches and capture all of the objectives they will continuously respawn from the respawning ospreys, and if any of them walks over a captured objective before the capturing segment is over it will be recaptured for the hostile NPC team. This can create stressful situations of keeping up on bases and ensuring they stay safe.

One interesting aspect of the map is using C4 to explode caches. Once we got into the objective-oriented mindset, this created an interesting dynamic of keeping track of how many C4 packages we have on us as players and whether one of us should head back to the spawn base for more C4 to keep clearing objectives or if we should stick together. It's a simple addition that I think adds a really dynamic aspect to the map and also gives reasons to keep moving quickly around the map and return to base for equipment.

The way my friend and I won the defense part of this map: we exterminated grunts as aggressively as we could, kept away from the osprey drop points as to avoid unnecessary conflict, and focused on finding weapons and blowing up caches before going hard on capturing each point as quickly as possible.

After capturing all of he points and destroying all of the caches all the players need to do is destroy the ospreys and apache one last time and kill the remaining soldiers. Then, upon returning to base, a defense portion will begin. We didn't know that the object of our defense was a small square in the middle of our base and that, much like with the control points, all an enemy must do to claim it is step one foot on it. We found where this square was after it was taken and the map promptly ended. A fart of an ending to a map which had fought such an uphill battle to win us over after being based around janky control points and respawning enemies as it was. It feels like the final defense portion could be done better- hopefully not as suddenly and severely because a tiny portion of the map is out of sight of players hoping to fight on the front lines before they realize it's there. We didn't want to replay it to retry the defense portion.

The map begins very difficult, but the nature of learning the layout of the map and unlocking new weapons very naturally makes the player feel more powerful with time. You begin very much feeling at the receiving end of the crushing boot of respawning enemy hordes, but soon you become a torrent of mass destruction roaming the streets.

It's worth mentioning that the map also contains multiple difficulties at the map's start to balance around how many players you have. Aside from the ending, I felt casual worked pretty well for two players. It felt a bit overwhelming at first, but once we got our footing we didn't let it slip. I can definitely see this map working far better with lots of players, especially the ending.

The map's brushwork is all very well done, though the streets and alleyways blend together from sameyness, and with how much they wrap into one another and occasionally go into dead-ends it can feel like a maze sometimes. If you can manage to think of the map as a square layout and try to remember locations based on region and keep an internal sense of direction, it's not hard to push in a direction and find your way to where you're headed.

I'm giving the map an 8, but the offense segment was so much fun that if the defense segment wasn't such an abrupt disappointment I'd probably give this map at least a 9. Disappointing endings aside, the journey is what's important, not the destination, and the journey was pretty great.

If you have a map rotation on a server with lots of action-heavy gameplay, throw this into your rotation. If you're playing with friends, I'd say it's great to play with a lot of friends or just one friend who has a lot of patience.

Pros:

  • Everything looks great
  • The weapon system is all around really interesting
  • There's a lot of really fun intersections in the locations for fighting lots of grunts and avoiding helicopter gunfire
  • Once we wrapped our heads around the tasks at hand it's very fun clearing the objectives one by one
  • The map had a great balance of making us feel like we were at the bottom of the attack segment, and felt satisfying when we eventually made it our bitch

Cons:

  • Until players start to get a handle on osprey dropoff locations and where a couple landmarks are the map is a confusing mess to navigate
  • Enemies retaking locations by just idly wandering atop it is bullshit, especially when it's a janky countdown timer for players that doesn't always work
  • The ending defense part isn't balanced or paced for two players to even get a handle on what's happening before a lose condition is met
  • The non-m16 classes for the weapon loadouts are sort of useless in comparison, with the possible exception of the medic
  • More easily accessible exotic ammo would have made the exotic weapons more viable
Score: 8 / 10

Review originally from *

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