Back on Track – Map Labs #9

for Half-Life 2: Episode Two

17th June 2020

The latest Map Labs challenge is Back on Track, where the challenge was to create an interesting way to have the player backtrack through an area or even the entire map – a classic map design pattern. Yep, somewhat in the vein of BackTrackVille but certainly its own challenge. (But the next full Map Labs challenge is a collaboration with us here at RTSL, so keep your eyes out for that!)

This time there were a whopping 19 entries (including bonus maps, and a fantastic background map). Enjoy!

As always, if you’re interested in learning more about Map Labs and maybe even participate in their upcoming challenges, visit the Map Labs Discord!

Basic Details
  • Title: Back on Track
  • Filename: sdk-2013-sp-mlc-backontrack.7z
  • Size : 548 MB
  • Author: TestPseudonym, MrShank, HighFire, krassell, Sarif, CertifiablyInsane, shoes, PercyVader, AG42, Matt71490 AKA Event Horizon, BeefBacon, Yaybe, Lassi, Strontvlieg, Ada G//Adakam, Jakob // Tea, Pookaball, Gravity Cat, Melomaniac
  • Date Released: 13 June 2020

Download Options

Download to your HD [548 MB]

Manual Installation Instructions
  • Make sure you have the Upcoming branch of the Source SDK Base 2013 Singleplayer installed in Steam and run at least once. (Properties – Betas – select upcoming from the dropdown list).
  • Copy the “backontrack” folder into your SourceMods folder.
  • Restart or start Steam.
  • Back on Track should now be listed in your Library tab.

Reviewing

If you decide to use the Per-Map Opinion Images, feel free to use the file below as a template:

BackOnTrack-Review-Template.txt

Entries

Listed as they are displayed in the mod itself:

Dihydrogen Monoxide by TestPseudonym
GHOST SHIP by MrShank
Retreat & Advance by HighFire
Extra Untilted by krassell
Scavenger by Sarif
Ruby Retriever by CertifiablyInsane
Combine Overwatch Dispatch City Seventeen by shoes
Amateur Labs by PercyVader
Raw Sewage by AG42
Lockdown by Matt71490 AKA Event Horizon
Cold Hard Steele by BeefBacon
Prisoner X by Yaybe
Sabotage by Lassi
Double-barreled Factor by Strontvlieg
Chairful by Ada G//Adakam (bonus map)
(in)stabilitea by Jakob // Tea (bonus map)
Gristleizer by Pookaball (bonus map)
Hurricane by Gravity Cat (bonus map)
Trespasser by Melomaniac (bonus map)
Main background map by Demo

Screenshots

WARNING: The screenshots contain spoilers.
Each map has 5 screenshots.

1600 x 900

Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3
Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3
Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3
Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3
Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3
Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3
Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3
Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3
Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3
Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3
Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3
Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3
Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3
Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3
Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3
Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3
Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3
Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3
Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3
Reader Recommendations
Avoid It!
Think Twice
Maybe
Play It Later
Play It Now!

6 recommendations, average score: 4.33 (out of 5), standard deviation: 0.22 (what's that?)
Total Downloads
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    Overall
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Meta Review Data
Statistics based on 19 comment(s) with meta review data.

Installed:
Using Gauge: Users
Manually: 19 Users

Time Taken:
Average: 2 Hours, 17 Mins
Shortest: 1 Hours by Captain Crap
Longest: 4 Hours, 45 Mins by Stef
Total Time Played: 43 Hours, 25 Mins
If you believe this release is missing important tags, please suggest them in a comment?
Jump to a review
Play It Now!Play It LaterPlay It Now!Play It LaterPlay It LaterPlay It Later

11 Comments

  1. I have no idea what to do in “Extra Untilted”. Every possible step I can see leads to death. Can anybody share a hint?

    1. Unq

      It’s a skill/parkour map. So mostly very difficult jumping with a sniper firing at you.

  2. Play It Now!

    Some maps are enjoyable, the double barreled factor is scary actually

  3. Play It Later

    A “PIL” with an explanation.

    I always have a quandary picking a recommendation for a Challenge. Is it a rating of the perceived average quality? That’s the way I usually view them. And besides, everything that appears on the site is a ‘Play It Now’ to me!

    I rate each map from 0 to 10 but don’t keep detailed notes on each. IMO, I can’t recall a Challenge with such a wide range of quality as this one.

    To explain the ‘wide range of quality’ comment, I rated two maps 0/10 and three more 2/10. Pretty grim, I never did anything close to that before this Challenge. On the far other side of that coin, I found a real gem in Sabotage, which to me is a clear 10/10 Personal Favorite. This map had it all, excellent graphics, interesting location challenges/puzzles, good combat varying widely from little to a lot, adding to suspense. Brilliant. Not far behind and either 9/10 or 8/10 were a number of really excellent maps, Dihydrogen, Retreat and Advance, Ruby Retriever, Lockdown and PrisonerX. Wow, that’s a ton of great gameplay.

    So its been a really good week escaping from reality, and thank you all for what you have created for us. 🙂

  4. Play It Now!

    Use of the theme varies wildly from entry to entry. Most maps were fun to play. Each mapper’s skill set range in detailing and atmosphere, but some less refined map were absolutely enjoyable.
    Somehow, a lot of maps use the theme of betrayal. For example the ladder in the elevator shaft that betrays me and let me fall into the pit…

    I appreciate people trying to include custom dialogue. I can improve the experience when use wisely. It is hard to achieve. Most custom audios could have use a bit more tweaking. You need a good microphone to begin with. The audio output needs compression to make sure it doesn’t peak but also audible at any time. A bit of EQ filtering helps a lot too.
    Also, I might be a case of “less is more”. Just a few good interventions is better than overstaying your welcome.
    In any case, I applaud those who tries to deepen the experience this way.

    Dihydrogen Monoxide by TestPseudonym
    It is okay

    Playtime: 12 minutes

    It’s nice enough. The map isn’t much detailed but the story carries the map well. The objectives are clear. Darkness is handle well. It’s not chaotic. You have time to look around and see the enemies.
    In the combat section, it seems the enemies don’t have scripts and are just standing there. That was a bummer.
    I enjoyed the little puzzle section and roaming in the dark basement.
    I liked the plot twist (gasp!) but the lack of enemy movement made it dull.

    GHOST SHIP by MrShank
    It is okay

    Playtime: 07 minutes

    It’s a good concept and a good use of the theme. The execution is a bit bland.
    You can bypass all the zombies if you want. It gets repetitive to stack crate to get over the next lane of containers.
    If you squandered all you ammunition, you can’t get the crowbar. I don’t quite get why the crowbar would be locked behind something.
    When you start the flooding section, I didn’t catch the text. It went fast and the purple might not have helped.
    Also, I generally dislike water parkour in HL. The interaction with floating object is unpredictable. Sometimes it blocks you and sometimes it throws you upward or below the water.
    It was cool that the ship was sinking. There is a very good idea for a level in there. A bit more variety in puzzle, enemies or layout would have made this a great map I think.

    Retreat & Advance by HighFire
    It is okay

    Playtime: 12 minutes
    It’s a combat map. A fairly small one. The theme is thinly presented. You don’t backtrack very far.
    The first area with the banquet table got me excited. I thought there was a theme going on but it didn’t follow through sadly.
    It feels like an arena map. The abundance of crate made me think I’ll have to come and go multiple time.
    Fighting two gunship is a nice challenge. They cover each other so you have to strategize a bit.

    Extra Untilted by krassell
    It is dire!

    Playtime: 6 minutes

    Never understood what you’re supposed to do. You can’t jump to any platform or in the water. Is there a hint of something?
    It tried something different but it doesn’t seem to work.

    Scavenger by Sarif
    It is good

    Playtime: 15 minutes

    Good idea to have to find resources for the later fights.
    You can also skip the scavenging part and go straight to the castle. It’s more challenging using only the gravity gun and the pistol. It’s fun to have alternative way to play.
    The map seems a bit too big and empty. You can argue that it creates atmosphere for the scavenging part and I agree. But the castle feels empty and anti climactic. Like there is something missing inside. There is a huge area that is just there. And it’s not detailed enough to provide atmosphere.
    The defense sequence at the heart of the castle lacks excitement. Enemies are tiny coming from far away in the darkness. Your turrets do most of the work.
    Maybe a tighter castle map would contrast better with the openness of the first part.
    Keep up the good work. It’s a good concept.

    Ruby Retriever by CertifiablyInsane
    It is bad

    Playtime: 15 minutes

    It could have been fun and quirky. But I didn’t have any fun. The music got old quick.
    Platforming on tiny pillar isn’t great in first person. It’s tedious and not clever gameplay.
    At the end you get a torch and barrels. The torch got blown off the map while I searched.
    It wasn’t much fun to jump around carrying the barrel then the torch to find the gem
    It could have been clever but it felt tedious.

    I liked the puzzle with the poison headcrab. I don’t think I saw this one before.

    Combine Overwatch Dispatch City Seventeen by shoes
    It is WOW!

    Playtime: 20 minutes

    The backtracking was nice. It’s more a groundhog day thing than “there and back again” and it’s great.
    It’s atmospheric and lived in.
    The second day was a bit hard for me. Not much health to go around. The rebel can really drain your health quickly. I’m not a fan of “SURPRISE SHOTGUN TO YOUR FACE” without much of a warning. A little sound effect just before makes the gameplay feels a bit more fair.
    The rebels also have a good aim at long distance and they drained my health before I can spot them, from far away, in the dark.
    I’m not sure I understood the ending…

    Great map. Great storytelling. The difficulty is up to taste I guess. Great work.

    Amateur Labs by PercyVader
    It is great!

    Playtime: 25 minutes
    It’s a portal style map with an off-screen overseer just like glados/weathley. It’s ok at first but gets annoying by the end. Some dialogues are overstaying their welcome by a few lines.
    The audio peaked a lot of times. Other times it’s a bit too soft or gets overpowered by combat, explosion, balls breaking from the ceiling. A lot of effort went into it and it’s almost there I feel. It probably needed a compressor / limiter to equalize the audio output.
    It works well when nothing else happens but you have to make sure that the dialog can carry the moment. It’s hard. It’s close.

    Gameplay wise it’s mostly fun! The first puzzles are nice.
    I loved the platforming section the first 2 times. The moving pillars and platforms gave me a laugh. It felt fair. I could see everything and time myself but still be on edge.
    But the 3rd and 4th with the toxic pool was not fun at all. Insta death if you miss, or if a headcrab is thrown at you. It’s quite dark so you cannot focus your light on the platform and the enemies in the distance. The poison zombie is not necessary I think.
    Also, the plank joining the pillars aren’t fixed so they can fall and prevent you from progressing.

    The few combat section are fun. You start with only the gravity gun and I like it. It’s a challenge. The acquisition of new weapons is rewarding.

    I had issues with the second ball room. I never figured what to do. I try things for 10 minutes before clipping through the door. Maybe the hint is too subtle or I might be legally blind…

    Overall, a daring project. Most sections are fun. It’s hard to balance puzzle, combat, platforming and storytelling. This map is very close. A bit more polish/restraint and it would be a wow.

    Raw Sewage by AG42
    It is bad

    Playtime: 4 minutes

    I feels rough to say it’s bad because it feels like an incomplete map. Why submit it if it’s not complete?
    You even say at the end “thanks for playing my garbage”. I don’t get it. If you think it’s bad, why submit?
    One thing I liked, is the couch blocking the way. You immediately think “oh! I need to get back here with the gravity gun”. It’s a nice way to make puzzle more intuitive.

    Lockdown by Matt71490 AKA Event Horizon
    It is great!

    Playtime: 10 minutes

    Great map. I like the setting and the storytelling. The audio quality could be better. For custom lines, you need a decent mic and a bit of audio editing. It’s not far off but just a bit lacking (compressor and filters would help). The dialogs themselves are good. I would have cut a few interventions like “that’s what they did to you” or along those lines. I don’t think it’s essential and there was a line not long before and not long after. It’s hard to find the perfect amount.
    The level design is good. The ladder is the single hardest enemy. Is it just me? I always have trouble getting out of them without jumping in a pit…

    It lagged quite a lot for me. I don’t have the greatest setup but I don’t experience that much lag in general. I don’t know if it’s about the optimization of my setup…

    I liked the inclusion of the monster from HL 1 but it’s presence was way too short and a bit pointless in the end.
    “Oh no a big monster! Oh the kill switch it right in front of me. Well that was quick.”

    I didn’t feel the theme at all in this entry. It was all linear.

    Cold Hard Steele by BeefBacon
    It is WOW!

    Playtime: 20 minutes
    OMG! THE INTRO! THE MUSIC! JACKSON STEEL! MUSTACHE TWIRLING VILLAIN!
    I was totally playing as 90’s Bruce Willis in my head.

    It’s over the top. It’s great. It’s fun. A bit of quake/doom (I guess) and a bit of slow motion Max Payne kill.
    Good use of the theme.
    It’s only combat but it rewards exploration with weapon and secrets.
    Nice work on the reskin of everything. It’s the same game and another game.

    I laugh and I had a blast. I played twice and found 4 of the secrets!

    Prisoner X by Yaybe
    It is good

    Playtime: 15 minutes
    Fun map. The only thing on the menu is combat but it’s fun to play. I was surprised by how fast the action began. You free yourself, look around for a sec and then boom 2 hunters and combines charging.
    The last fight was harder than the rest but reasonable after a few try. I die in seconds on my first try.

    The backtracking aspect is well executed. The map loops around on some part so even on your second pass it feels new.
    The ambiance works well. Exploration is well rewarded. The distribution of health and ammo was more than fair.

    I had fun!

    Sabotage by Lassi
    It is great!

    Playtime: 25 minutes
    Lots of good stuff. I liked the custom music, it was quite appropriate I think. The tone was well set, the objective was clear. I got sucked in the level right away and that’s such a pleasant feeling.
    I don’t think it used the theme that much. You go around the same building but you don’t technically backtrack real much.

    I enjoyed the first room very much. It was cramped but it had its purpose. Jostling your way beside the zombies while you’re unarmed was fun for me. Especially since you except to find a weapon for the ammo you have very soon.

    I enjoyed the map but it always felt too cluttered. I can understand for the part where you sneak your way through the wreckage of the buildings and vehicles. That is very justifiable.
    The combat after that was still confined to very small space. It would have been a nice contrast to have one or two open area (or open-ish).
    The defense section was less enjoyable for its small space. You just put the turret in a place to cover both entrance and that’s it. And you wait for a while. It felt very small to fight a hunter.

    I appreciate when exploration is rewarded with goodies! I felt some hidden cache were the right balance of not too obvious and not too subtle.

    My biggest complaint would be the helicopter fight. It takes a lot of shot and you just sit by the crate and shoot and reload and shoot… Maybe if it was on an open rooftop with a few vent to hide behind?
    Oh and on one try, the gunship got stuck behind the giant black walls…

    Overall I enjoyed the map.

    Double-barreled Factor by Strontvlieg
    It is great!

    Playtime: 8 minutes
    YES! I WANT MORE EVIL ALYX! I don’t even remember a map with evil Alyx! Ingenious use of the existing dialogues. The tone was set immediately and effectively. You see your objective, the exit sign, right at the beginning.

    It was pleasant to play. It was sadly too brief! I would have enjoyed one more puzzle or something. But alas!

    I was much surprised by the chase sequence! Splendid idea! Again, just a bit short… I was hoping for a battle against Alyx.

    Overall, a great atmospheric level which make good use of the theme.

    Chairful by Ada G//Adakam
    It is good

    Playtime: 99 minutes
    It exists

    (in)stabilitea by Jakob // Tea
    It is great!

    Playtime: 12 minutes
    Yep. It tastes like purple.

    It’s different. I enjoyed my play through. I was happy to reacquire my ability to jump.
    It’s all puzzle and works well that way. It’s coherent with its minimalist and trippy look.

    Gristleizer by Pookaball
    It is okay

    Playtime: 15 minutes
    I guess this one is incomplete? The setting is a big open area and it’s quite empty. The encounters are pretty standard but could make a very fine map.
    It plays well with the theme. A little polish would make this a great map.

    Hurricane by Gravity Cat
    It is okay

    Playtime: 10 minutes
    Oh wow, this would have been a great map. I can guess where there would be action, enemies and whatnot.
    The setting is very interesting. I like the concept of before/after.
    I really hope it gets finished.

    Trespasser by Melomaniac
    It is okay

    Playtime: 10 minutes
    Great use of the theme. Good escalation in action.
    It’s quite empty for the moment.
    If completed, this would be a great map.

    Summary

    Highlights:
    Evil Alyx, retro-futuristic 80’s Bruce Willis movie, time travel to the year 1 trillion, metrocop film noir and sinking boat.

    1. Pookaball

      Hey you’re correct in saying Gristleizer felt incomplete. I didn’t spend enough time on it and I started pretty late, working on it was a thrill though! I’ll certainly try to make a better map next time

  5. Play It Later

    Overall a good experience in my opinion, just a little too long… Like for most of the map labs a mix between classic gaming, challenging to frustrating experiences and lots of nice ideas.

    Most of the map were ok some disapointing or too challenging and also lot’s really took a really large approach of the ‘back on track’ theme .

    my top 5 in order

    + Cold hard steel
    + Combine overwatch dispatch
    + Prisoner X
    + Sabotage
    + Lockdown

    Special mention to (in) stabilitea that was something totally diferent with lots of nice idea and a smooth ‘zen’ layout

  6. Play It Later

    Almost all of the maps here were very enjoyable and I loved seeing how each mapper handled the theme in a different and creative way, some were heavily combat focused while others had no combat at all. The large variety of maps in these is why i love playing through them so much. 4/5 would play again.

  7. Play It Later
    Dihydrogen Monoxide
    It is good

    I actually enjoyed this.
    It was dull as dishwater to look at and rather basic throughout but it was really enjoyable. I loved the twist towards the end.

    Ghost Ship
    It is good

    My old Mac suffered big time with this one.
    The frame rates were terrible but it is an enjoyable map with the rush at the end parts being quite fun. Not bad this.

    Retreat And Advance
    It is okay

    Wasn’t too keen on this one.
    Mechanics were a bit dodgy and the gameplay that didn’t make much sense. It’s good but felt like something was missing.
    Two gunships? Nah…

    Extra Untitled
    It is bad

    I’m pretty sure this didn’t work properly for me?
    10 health and nowhere to go…

    Scavenger
    It is good

    This started of nicely if a little lame. The castle map was way too dark and the soldiers didn’t drop their weapons. So that was a struggle! :/
    The other map was gorgeous and gave a good feeling of an adventure. A journey. I liked that. However, I seemed to get so far (church) and couldn’t get any further. I loved the feeling of the journey through these parts though. Wanted more of that…

    Ruby Retriever
    It is bad

    I really didn’t like this at all.
    From that first zombie-hopping screen… ugh!
    It’s a no from me.

    Combine Overwatch Dispatch
    It is okay

    I don’t normally go for the role swapping maps but this was quite cool.
    Weird start and the terminals yapped on a bit. I’d have liked more energy packs from the second stage.
    Those humans are fast! Very hard map.

    Amateur Labs
    It is okay

    Hmm yeah this was kinda good. I like the humour but I wasn’t able to do anything on the puzzle with the Gravgun. Not sure I missed something obvious or whether it’s because I’m using a Mac?
    Anyhow, I noclipped out it goes a bit evil after that. It’s a silly map but has some freaky ideas I liked.
    The zombie stage was the best. Fun ending but something I don’t think I’ll wanna play again.

    Raw Sewage
    It is bad

    Perfect title.

    Lockdown
    It is great!

    I really really really loved this map!!!
    Creepy start and a bright, desert complex later. It’s a little wishy washy and could have been more polished but I still liked it. Sadly, the ladders didn’t work for me. Either in the shaft or later to electrify that beast. So I had to noclip, I guess it’s because I’m on Mac?

    Cold Hard Steele
    It is great!

    I loved the style of this.
    What a neat map!!
    Very different.
    Loved it.

    Prisoner X
    It is dire!

    This is pretty good, I enjoyed the structure of the map even though it felt too dark.
    Sadly, probably because I’m on Mac, the gravGun wouldn’t disable the first forcefield so I was stuck.
    I noclipped through and everything was then fine. That damn alert bell kept on going which was annoying! Pretty good this and I really enjoyed the adventure throughout.

    Sabotage
    It is WOW!

    I didn’t like this at first! Too dark!! So I quit it and that was that. One of few things that annoys me about HL2 is the stupid darkness which I find OTT so many times. Anyhow, enough moaning because I’m idiot. But, not a big enough idiot not to try again…

    That initial scene is way too dark but boy is it done well in other respects. What a rush hopping over zombies to get that pistol. Scary stuff. But afterwards, the journey itself takes over. For me.

    Such great design, I felt I was there. Even if it’s too gloomy and dark. I hate being in a place where I can see, yet there’s a corner which is pitch black. Never in real life will that happen. lol.

    Anyhow, trudging through the dirt and jumping high up into the ruins was awesome. Such a good design that puts emphasis on the journey, which I loved. That helicopter battle was well done with decent cover too. However, that battle afterwards was terrible for someone without Godlike skills. Lol not me! Too cramped and the soldiers leathered me. I just about managed to do it but then two elite soldiers came and that was that.

    Ahem, god mode to bypass that area. Sadly, nothing appeared to unlock or open so I had to noclip out of here. Perhaps because I’d cheated? Anyhow the gunship battles where ace and not too hard for a chicken like me.

    Got the car!!! Game over!!

    Arghhh door locked!! Now what… does this game ever end? Sadly, it’s a small area here but nicely done.

    Framerate often suffered but I’ve an OLD Mac so… Overall, a fantastic map which I loved because the atmosphere and feeling of adventure was spot-on. I was on a journey, which I loved. Top marks! (Forgiving the combine battle!!)

    Double-barreled Factor
    It is okay

    I umm didn’t really get this map! Seems like a strange idea but I thought it was done well enough. Feeling useless without weapons was good and then the relief when I got the crowbar. But it all goes a little Wong after that. Alice is fierce and killed me a lot! So I turned it around and went under those lasers. She follows and dies. That freed me to club the zombies and escape. Sadly, it was all over with. I was looking forward a zombie clubbing session outdoors in the snow.

    A different style of map. Not bad at all.

    Chairful
    It is bad

    Whaaaaat?

    Instabilities
    It is bad

    No, no, noooo!

    Gristleizer
    It is great!

    Wow this has an oldskool design and I loved it.
    It’s good to play something so big and open like this. Be nice if perhaps there was a sniper somewhere to avoid and later take out. Or some grenades earlier on.
    But otherwise I loved this!!

    Hurricane
    It is bad

    Yeah, that’s 10 mins of my life I’ll never get back!

    Trespasser
    It is good

    I quite like this idea but it could have looked a bit better. Gloomy! The path was straightforward through and action good. Not bad but the ending was weird though!
    That alarm!!!!!! 🙁

    This wasn’t one of my favourite “Ville” with some stinkers and some I just didn’t get. But there are some good maps here to play with a couple that really stood out and one I personally thought was wow!
    1. Oops 🙁
      I meant to give Prisoner X a 3 star rating. Dunno what happened there!

    2. Pookaball

      Thanks for playing Gristleizer! I made it, glad you liked it

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