Crossbow Platformer

for Half-Life 2: Episode Two

9th February 2010

Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3

You find yourself on a ship heading towards a small dock.

A Combine Gunship is shadowing your every move and the only thing to do is enter the barrel facility and escape using whatever means you can (conveniently) find.

A simple puzzle mod, with a little action and a brand new gameplay mechanic.

Basic Details
  • Title: Crossbow Platformer
  • File Name: hl2-ep2-sp-crossbow-platformer.7z
  • Size : 21.32Mb
  • Author: William Tyler Buser
  • Date Released: 07 February 2010
PlanetPhillip Download Servers
Installation Instructions
  • Copy SP_CrossbowPlatformer.bsp into your Half-Life 2: Episode Two Maps folder.
  • Launch Half-Life 2: Episode Two
  • Open the console and type map SP_CrossbowPlatformer.
  • Press enter/return or click the Submit button.
  • Play and Enjoy.

If you need help install and playing this mod, please visit the How To.. page.


Click on the thumbnails below to open a 800 pixel wide image.
WARNING: The screenshots may contain spoilers.

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
Mod Of The Year 2010 Award Nominations
Reader Recommendations
Avoid It!
Think Twice
Play It Later
Play It Now!

16 recommendations, average score: 4.13 (out of 5), standard deviation: 1.23 (what's that?)
Total Downloads

Please note: These statistics are valid from December 2010

  • 1,710
  • 1
  • 2
    Last 7 days
  • 3
    Last 30 days
  • 88
    365 days
Meta Review Data
Statistics based on 1 comment(s) with meta review data.

Using Gauge: Users
Manually: 1 Users

Time Taken:
Average: 0 Hours, 20 Mins
Shortest: 0 Hours, 20 Mins by Daken50
Longest: 0 Hours, 20 Mins by Daken50
Total Time Played: 0 Hours, 20 Mins
If you believe this release is missing important tags, please suggest them in a comment?
Jump to a review
Phillip says Play It!Maybe?Play It Now!Play It Now!Personal FavouritePlay It LaterPlay It Now!Play It Now!Play It Now!Play It LaterPlay It Now!Maybe?Play It Now!Think TwiceThink TwiceMaybe?


  1. Phillip says Play It!

    Regular readers will know I tend to enjoy smaller maps, with simple objectives and details environments.

    This map is exactly that and I really enjoyed it. I need to warn you that it suffers from some framerate issues and the author won’t be able to fix them for a while, if at all, but it’s still a lot of fun to play.

    The internal areas seems to be well lit and nicely designed, if not totally realistic.

    The new gameplay mechanic uses the crossbow bolts as “steps” to climb walls. The key is to place them correctly and use your bolts wisely.

    The actual mechanic of jumping is easy, so don’t be put off thinking that jumping onto a bolt will be hard. I didn’t fall once because of it.

    Encounters with the Combine are fun but not overwhelming and often you can use “other means” to kill them.

    Definitely worth the time to download and play and would be nice to see the mechanic used in other mods. 99 bolts or Crossbow Catastrophe perhaps.

    5 Words Or Less Review
    Nice to see something new

  2. Maybe?

    puzzle mod + PiN rating from phil = download and try immediately for me.

    Honestly, this would be great, except for a few minor details:

    1) It creates a gameplay mechanic instead of capitalizing on a pre-existing one. This wouldn’t bother me that much except for the three other issues I have with it.

    2) The gameplay mechanic is nothing new. Effectively it’s a replacement for tripmine climbing. I’ve even used tripmines to block doors open (akin to blocking the barrels), so while the gameplay mechanic was added to HL2, it’s nothing new in itself.

    3) It wasn’t done properly. I had at least half to 75% of my shots either create climbing posts in a COMPLETELY different spot than where I had actually hit, or the climbing posts didn’t even show up at all. I was stuck on the very last puzzle of the game because I couldn’t get the climbing posts to block the barrel’s path even though I had actually hit that spot numerous times. AFter that, I decided to jump into the large room opposite the doors that led to teh end of the game and I would up getting stuck in there because the climbing posts weren’t working at all (which I didn’t even factor into my original failure percentage)

    4) Not nearly enough done with it. I know there’s a limit to how this game mechanic can be used, but there were effectively only 2 puzzles in this map: climb the posts, and use the posts to block explosive barrels so they explode.

    If they got everything working PROPERLY I’d be able to give this introduced mechanic my approval, even if I still wouldn’t be terribly impressed, but as it stands I just can’t get behind it.

    Still, it’s worth a play just to try out the game mechanic. I was a little dissatisfied with the abrupt ending, but at the same time if the map had gone on much longer I probably would have gotten bored with it.

    In some ways I think the very start of the level puts the entire rest of the map on entirely the wrong foot. I felt really amped at the start and was getting ready for a rather intense level, but found that other than a few combine that occasionally popped up (who were subsequently made quick work of with the crossbow) there really wasn’t much to keep my adrenaline pumping on this one.

  3. Hmm! I tried to do this in HL2 (Ravenholm) with the circular saw blades but it didn’t work, so I suspect the author may have got the idea from there. Even if he didn’t, it makes sense that embedding a solid object into a stable wall is a legitimate way to climb. After all mountain climbers use things like ice picks for a long time.

    As it’s something I’ve thought about in the past I’ll try this as soon as I get some time.

  4. Play It Now!

    Very nice map indeed. Very well put together, planned and executed.
    What a great idea!
    I was gravely disappointed to reach the end because I wanted it to carry on. Please add to this William Tyler Buser.
    A marvellous exploration of a new game play mechanic with just enough action to keep things interesting.

  5. Play It Now!

    This has nice mapping and lighting. It is fun to play. But the crossbow mechanic seems to be a little bugged up right now. I had a few problems making the crossbow bolts stick to where I wanted them to stick. I have been watching this guy create this mechanic over at Interlopers. It’s an impressive addition to the crossbow’s abilities, if unrealistic.

    I would like to see more maps based on this mechanic, and I know the mechanic can be improved (perhaps replace the bright projectile with the dark projectile, or a less bright one) (improve hit detection / standing block generation) to be something truly great.

  6. Hey guys,

    Thanks for all the nice comments. Grey Acumen, I understand your complaints. I have them too, the problem with this type of thing is that the mechanic being entirely done within a level via scripting is severely limiting. I tried to fine tune the placement of bolts and the like so many times, this really is the best I could ever get it.

    Essentially there is a trigger volume just in front of the player and tied to him, which catches the fired “bolt” and then that spawns an invisible brush that is shot in the same direction, and on impact with a wall spawns one of two bolts (0 degrees or 90 degrees). Perhaps there is a better way to do it, I just haven’t found it. I was thinking about writing up a tutorial on it though, in case others wanted to expand on it… would anyone be interested in that?

    Anyways, enjoy. Cheers!

    1. Anon_217566

      this gameplay mechanic has a lot of potential.
      I greatly enjoyed the map, but what really made things unbearable was the glitches.
      Perhaps it would be best to change some of the scripting, and turn it into a full mod?

      Like someone already said, it contains only two gameplay mechanics:
      1. jumping on rods
      2. blocking the barrels
      But I see more potential ones, such as trying to get the right angle to a wall so that the bolts won’t deflect off that wall.
      Or even better: Having walls that don’t catch the bolts would create new challenges.
      Another possibility is to use the crossbow to trigger buttons.
      I’ve only listed a few, but the list can go on…

      1. But I see more potential ones, such as trying to get the right angle to a wall so that the bolts won’t deflect off that wall.

        I was thinking exactly the same thing. It would be similar to Portal in that regard. Now that you mention it, I think it would be cool to group together a few new gameplay mechanics and offer some variations, like you suggested, and package them into a Portal style mod.

        Some other Guildhall maps have new mechanics that perhaps could be sued with the author’s permission.

        1. That would be totally cool! My friend David has a really cool magnetic mechanic, Toby’s too, that would be cool to combine with other mechanics for some uber mod. The problem here at the Guildhall is that, the assignment this level comes from, requires the modifications/mechanics arise only from scripting within the level (ie Hammer I/O) only. The goal is to push the “box”, basically do something cool and nudge right up to the limitations of HL2. In all honesty though, its a really great exercise to see just how far you can take things. Its one reason I really enjoy HL2 over a lot of the limitations of games like Gears of War. Before, I never really considered such things and was off just trying to make the next de_dust.

  7. Personal Favourite

    This is a challenging level with beautifully detailed environments. The gameplay Tyler achieved via scripting alone is amazing. If you haven’t seen his other work, check out

  8. Play It Later

    The level design was well done. The shaking barrel conveyor was a work of art. Good job. The crossbow mechanic did not work well enough to be more than a curiosity, however, it got the job done. Climbing on the posts was forgiving enough that the lack of placement accuracy didn’t matter that much (I should have fallen but I didn’t).

    If you could attach a grapple swing line to the post, now that would be one crazy mechanic. Just dreaming.

  9. Play It Now!

    I had a ton of fun with this map and I can totally see this idea developing into a full mod someday.

    I just wish it wasn’t so short. It could be at least twice the length without adding anything new and still be fun.

    There were some serious frame rate issues. There was one part where I couldn’t look at one of the walls in a room or else the frame rate was so low anding jumps was almost impossible.

  10. Play It Now!

    Short, but quite enjoyable… more of the same please!!

  11. Pingback: Episode #70 » Podcast17

  12. Play It Now!

    A neat concept. I like these puzzle mods. More please.

  13. Play It Later

    layout was well balanced with good use of texture, moving element and forklift but at the same time this all well put together structure just let behind some squared room put together

    all puzzle weren’t that obvious for the crossbow I didn’t directly understand what exactly to do, but after I taught well not that bad or frustrating until the last collapsing scene took me arround 15″ to understand what next…and it end abruptly why not an acccess to some heavy weapons to bring down that gunship

    I left this one with an unfinished feeling

  14. Play It Now!

    Loved the creativity, the fresh ideas. much appreciated. Of course I had the same problems as already stated in the above posts, however overall (unlike with other maps), those problems weren’t “rating killers”.

    I couldn’t figure out what to do until coming back here and reading what Phillip and others said, which to me is not good. There needs to be lots of hints, as in an introduction to the mechanic. Perhaps a visible example of it being used, or some text, or a mini “tutorial” right after picking up the crossbow. Just the word “Platformer” didn’t give me a clue.

    However I admit, if such an explanation was given, the map would then be really short!

  15. Mel

    Use the Crossbow for every thing, novel at first but fast becomes boring and pointless. Found the concept unrealistic but sure some will get fun from it.

  16. Hec
    Play It Now!

    Really great map, so clever pulzzes, and that use of the old crosbow was delightful and I loved it, because the goal was clear escape out from there, so there are no big deal fights but u can kill the guys if u use ur crosbow so well, and not only throw them those hot sticks, but using in an intelligent manner the environment. And I loved it the concept of the barrel factory just perfect, i’d like to see more maps of this author.

  17. Think Twice

    It’s ok for puzzel lovers. But beware…the bows will only stick, into the walls the author wants them to stick in. Another example of controlled gameplay. This is why I love HL2. A player can go where they shouldnt…if they can figure it out. Only a few mods allow this kind of freedom…but this mod aint one of them. It is equivilant to invisible walls. Think twice.

  18. Think Twice

    A novelty idea that is interesting the first time but that gets boring pretty quickly. The combat parts were very stagnant, you just had to shoot the inflammable barrels.

  19. Maybe?

    I didn’t enjoy the new game play mechanic. Interesting but, not for me.

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