Operation Frustration

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by Shakir | February 16, 2016 | 2116 characters

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Operation Retribution (opr1a1 to opr1a8) is truly as ambitious as it claims to be, but its playability is among the most frustrating of all Sven Co-op maps.

This map uses existing Half-Life assets, so no additional wads are needed, thus making it easy to download, install and play within the Sven Co-op client. Surprisingly, despite the constant need to duck for cover from bullets and grenades every few seconds from a1 to a6, most players I've played with warm up to it fine. The lack of directions, however, make opr1a6, the map with the electric generator, difficult to navigate for first-timers.

All respect we players have for this map series is extinguished when we get to opr1a7, the alien world. Here, it is obvious there wasn't enough play-testing to ensure it does not become unwinnable. After fighting their way up to the surface of a floating rock, players must avoid falling into floor traps that causes players to fall back to earlier parts of the journey. If that wasn't frustrating enough, 2 Gargantuas will ambush players here, but the Gargantuas will often fall through the floor traps, causing them to block paths out of the level. To add salt to players' wounds, the only explosives available on the level are 3 laser tripmines hidden in shadows in areas that the Gargantuas can render inaccessible, thereby rendering the level unwinnable.

Nostalgia likes to apply comforting pleasure and yearning to my memories of playing this map with other players long ago, but the influx of new players in 2016 and a re-visit of this map series unravels those memories good. This map goes onto my personal blacklist of Sven Co-op maps best avoided forever.

Pros:

  • Focused map design from opr1a1 to opr1a6
  • Maddening shootouts challenge players to cooperate and delegate

Cons:

  • opr1a7, the bane of Sven Co-op players, potentially unwinnable
  • Repetitive shootouts and level design
Score: 2 / 10

Review originally from *

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