Map Review of persia

Map review of Persia

by dunkelschwamm | January 23, 2022 | 5039 characters

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Persia has been a Sven Co-op staple going on almost 15 years as of writing this. Does it hold up?

The first thing that you'll notice about Persia is that it's a striking map. There's a very specific theme and atmosphere that is set up early in the map and really manages to maintain until the very end. Along the way there's lots of implied scale, subtle details which enrich the environment without drawing attention, seamless flow from indoor to outdoor scenes, shocking verticality, and some very fun set pieces which do unexpected things with the theme. The textures are all very evocative and the brushwork is superb. A+'s to the look of this map. It really is just very charming and atmospheric.

The second thing that you'll notice in this map is that you've been shot several times by several snipers. Persia's combat consists primarily of 4 enemy types: hgrunts, snipers, minigunners, and robogrunts. I think there's a tripod turret or two thrown in there for good measure. There are quite a few bits where snipers will be the bane of the players, though. Often they are placed high up in areas hard to see in the details- great for actual sniper tactics, not great for attempting to play a game where you find a sniper. Sometimes where they are placed is even obscured by thatch roof textures. Sometimes this is pulled off in a fun way, but sometimes it's incredibly obnoxious and confusing, as un-obfuscating a sniper is hard to do when you only have a moment before you have a hole in your head.

Perhaps the most important thing you'll notice is the trek through balcony platforming that occurs early on in the level. The level doesn't have a tremendous number of platforming segments, but this first one is placed strategically so that every tiny mistake that causes a death (most mistakes in this map), they will need to replay that platforming segment over again. Now, I didn't have a lot of trouble with this, but I found it annoying after the third or so time I had to repeat this platforming segment that I had already made my bitch because I had failed at a completely separate task. I can only imagine how much more frustrating it was for my comrade who was having quite a bit more trouble with the platforming bit. The walk of shame from spawn back to action took up probably 60% of my playthrough, I estimate. There's a shortcut you get to open later in the level, but by taking said shortcut the players miss out on crucial weaponry. Even then, the shortcut is AFTER the aforementioned platforming section.

There's also another platforming-ish section where you need to hang from one of the thatch roofs to get around. It works fine, I guess. It's cute given the theme. Even though there's a cutscene which explains this with imprecise language, it took my comrade and myself a moment to understand.

Overall, the map itself is a fairly simple order of events which take long to proceed through due mostly to the design choice in enemies and their placement. The hidden away snipers, the hgrunts lobbing grenades from highly defensible positions, and the hallways with scant cover you have to shrink behind to avoid minigunners- they all work to keep you hinged to a scenario for quite a while. It's a novel thing when this happens in Sven Co-op, because I feel most people just steamroll even the most fun and complex maps unless they're cheap and overbearing with bullet sponge enemies. That's not this- the enemies are mostly very mortal. They all just attack from very advantageous positions. It creates a dance with the enemy that I think maps really try to achieve when they design hgrunts and snipers where the player is thinking really, really hard about how to approach their situation optimally and then letting skill dictate the outcome of their plans. For as frustrating as snipers could be at times, and as annoyed as I was with each death because I knew a long trek was ahead of me, I think this map really shines when it does.

If you're looking for an action map to play with some friends in a hurry or add to a server roster, Persia's a go-to map. I think you'll really enjoy it if you decide to check it out. Just be wary of snipers and that early platforming segment.


  • Great atmosphere, brushwork, and textures
  • Very fun hgrunt combat
  • Some very fun sniper vs sniper combat at some points
  • Fun weapon variety vs enemy variety
  • Very fun brushwork set pieces, especially one near the end
  • Combat designed to make players strategize


  • Some of the snipers were annoying as shit
  • Needed more shortcuts/checkpoints. Needing to repeat that platforming bit every time is nonsense.
  • The roof ladder gimmick wasn't really well set up despite efforts made to, and just ends in a necessary damage bit
Score: 8.2 / 10
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