Map Review of arctic-base

by dunkelschwamm | May 29, 2022 | 3928 characters

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Arctic Base is an interesting 3-map set which explores an arctic base, an arctic cave, and the first map again but with a couple enemies and an ending. You spend this map using shotgun shells to put down zombies and gonomes, in what is briefly touted as a mystery in the MOTD. I think that's a bit of a misnomer- there's not much mystery, as much as an open-style map where players can gain some atmosphere by looking at silly arctic base stuff before getting into the linear zombie shooting. There's no shame in that, but don't be fooled into thinking this'll be something it's not.

The map has a couple a couple good ideas, but slips up in just as many places. The first map allows players to sequence break if they're clever, but it doesn't really lead to anything but bland visuals that offer little interesting. There's a fun jet in a hangar that I really like, but it doesn't really amount to anything in the map. There's slippery ice that's used at one point to push players into a boss arena when they stand to fire from the entrance tunnel above that I think was well thought out in the second map, and I think it's clever how each gonome had a couple zombies in front of it in a map which primarily focuses on shotgun use so players who unwisely fire on the zombies first would not only create a clearer path for the gonome to harry the player, but would also leave themselves reloading as the gonome approaches. However, I didn't like that the second map only had an uzi as a pickup halfway, and without a short respawn so other players have to wait around to also equip it. I didn't like that the player spawns from too high in the second map and takes fall damage, or that in the third map spawns the players initially in the company of 3 gonomes basically ensuring at least one death before the MOTD is closed. There's even a random deathtrap pit in map 2 which was wholly not necessary, wasn't predictable, and added little to our experience.

For a three map set, it's also very short. The first map is full of mostly superfluous detail that you can just mosey around, and the third map is a repeat of that, but the second map is just a pretty short zombie map in a pretty plain environment which offers little variety or dynamic setting.

There's a bit on the map description that says that you need to kill all of the monsters in the third map to "contain the infection". The map ends normally if you rush to the exit and there is not indication of success or failure based on killing the monsters as far as we could tell.

I think Arctic Base shows some potential here and there, and I appreciate the icey aesthetics whenever they bleed through, but most of the map just rides the line of mediocrity so that the worst of it is made so much more prominent as it's all that grasps for attention. I think with some tender love and care, some interesting aesthetics injected, and the annoying spawnpoints fixed, there would be a pretty unassuming decent map in all of this. As it is, I'm not sure I'd really recommend it. Take that as you will.


  • Some of the gonome and zombie action is pretty tight
  • I kinda liked how the ice was implemented in the gonarch fight
  • I kinda liked the nonlinear base exploration bit
  • Fun brush jet thing


  • Most of the map is bland
  • The spawn points are designed to troll the player
  • Progression just kind of happens without explanation when the monsters are killed, which feels like it goes against this story-driven conceit that I feel the whole build-up map implied. It's very confusing to me.
  • The aesthetics are all just very sparce and smooth and not much to look at
Score: 4.9 / 10
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