by Sparks | November 25, 2014 | 3437 characters
This set is a real gem - including dramatic and detailed environmental designs, horribly convoluted (but rewarding) progression puzzles, 'talking' bullsquids and enormous and very challenging enemy spawns! (Well - if there's only one or two of you, anyway..)
Every aspect has been cleverly and well thought out, and then implemented with skill and precision - IMO the Xen type areas are better than those of vlavle! The whole map is nicely challenging, suiting careful and considered progression rather than run'n'gun - which will just get you dead fast, in most instances. There's also a puzzle with a novel and non-standard HL solution! It can be solved by "accident" if you have many players charging around, however as with all of these maps, it's far more satisfying to try and solve them by thinking them through. A lot of effort has gone into fabricating these maps - do the Author justice by making the effort to figure them out!
Everything works as it should - I encountered no bugs, and the whole set had a nicely tested and polished feel about them. The new mechanics functioned perfectly! It takes much testing and reworking to get it this smooth, but the results are well worth the effort.
Weapons and ammo have been cleverly secreted in various spots around the map, and unless you fancy taking on a substantial horde of angry massn snipers with a glock and a crowbar, it's well worth taking the time to explore all the nooks and crannies in each wonderfully detailed map, *before* you go charging off into the next hairy spawning..
It's very easy to get drawn in to the gorgeous detail of the environments, most notably the Xen areas.. You can spend much time just exploring and admiring - however, enemy spawns are fairly frequent and usually brutal, so pay attention and keep weapons loaded - and grab whatever is dropped; you'll need it!
There's a nice comic twist to the whole set, it's one of the few that give rise to a chuckle, and more than once! The single tiresome experience was the boss battle, where a total of *spoiler* 15,000 (yep!) HP has to be painstakingly whittled away, with only what you bring with you, plus two respawning AR grenades and .357 boxes.. oh, and of course, if you show your head for more than a couple of seconds it gets shredded! Fairly warned, so you were.. I guess this is the inevitable mapper's response to so many SCXPM servers.. :/
I'm very surprised not to see this great set appearing in the regular map cycles.. it's a hidden gem, and one that can be replayed without tedium. If you enjoyed OppFor and HL-Xen, this is a must-play!
Excellent work Mr LemonSoda!
(Addendum: The player-masher is in fact easy, if you find and operate the "pause" buttons.. d'oh..)
- Fantastic environmental design, gorgeous Xen scenery
- Cunning progression obstacles and clever tasks/puzzles
- Nice distribution of supplies and semi-concealed caches
- Map style switches regularly between exploration, puzzles and hefty combat
- Plenty of fighting!
- Amusing retasking of standard Sven NPC's
- That bloody player-mashing machine!!! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGGGHHHHH!!!!!!
- Sudden and heavy spawning
- Vastly over-powered Boss.
- Ended too soon!
Review originally from *