Pillars of Pain

for Half-Life

1st January 1998

Basic Details
  • Title: Pillars of Pain
  • File Name: hl1-sp-pillars-of-pain.7z
  • Original File Name: popbaks.zip
  • Size : 1.10Mb
  • Author: Brian Mayberry and Shaun Ross
  • Date Released: 04 November 1999
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Reader Recommendations
Avoid It!
Think Twice
Play It Later
Play It Now!

5 recommendations, average score: 2 (out of 5), standard deviation: 0.4 (what's that?)
Total Downloads

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Meta Review Data
Statistics based on 2 comment(s) with meta review data.

Using Gauge: Users
Manually: 2 Users

Time Taken:
Average: 0 Hours, 7 Mins
Shortest: 0 Hours, 4 Mins by monster_urby
Longest: 0 Hours, 10 Mins by reaction
Total Time Played: 0 Hours, 14 Mins
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Maybe?Think TwiceAvoid It!Think TwiceThink Twice


  1. If I remember right it was a map pack base on UT offical maps (4 map “converted” from DM to SP like grunt feast) but not from great quality.

  2. Mel

    ok/different/fun/no combat

  3. piledriver
    Think Twice

    4 basic early style maps with no link between them. Maps must be loaded manally. Each one is intense death match type fighting with respawning enemies and ammo. ‘stay alive as long as you can” it says in the readme. Ho hum. For deathmatch fans only who are really bored.

  4. Ade

    I’m confused, mel said no combat, then again, piledriver said intense fighting..?

  5. piledriver

    Ade, I think mel has his comment archive mixed up a little. Try it for yourself.

  6. Avoid It!

    A little mappack containing 3 maps with all the same style:
    Find yourself in a small area, grab weapons, ammo and health if needed and keep shooting spawning grunts and sometimes aliens – they keep respawning over and over again.
    So it’s just as the readme said: a mix of Deathmatch and SP map – unfortunately it gets boring in no time.

    -Some new textures
    -Lot of action

    -Less variation
    -Very short playtime until it starts to get boring
    -Basic leveldesign
    -No real story (c’mon readme, you kidding?), puzzles etc.
    -Just boring

  7. Ten Four Reviews

    Pillars of Pain contains four separate maps. There is no storyline connecting them. Instead they all share the same concept: wave after wave of grunts spawn into a small arena and you have to kill them. There is no end to any of the maps, the enemy just keeps appearing. The idea was that it would provide fast and furious, trigger-happy combat.

    2 of the maps are made by Brian Mayberry. One takes place on top of two tower blocks. You and some Barneys start on one tower, and grunts appear on top of the other. If you so wish you can cross over to the other tower and kill the grunts from close range. The whole arrangement is very bland and uninteresting; the towers are simply two cuboids with a few bits and pieces stuck on top (such as an air-conditioning vent). The author’s other map is some kind of uncompleted tower: there is a large flat, open area at the bottom and above is some kind of girder arrangement. The girders are very repetitive, difficult to navigate and are completely impractical to fight across, the flat area at the bottom is just as bad because there is practically no cover. On top of this there is the added difficulty of having an Apache to deal with. According to the author your supposed to play the maps by: “see how long you can live, then see how long you can keep your bodyguards alive.” The inclusion of the bodyguards/Barneys doesn’t added anything to the map. Their AI isn’t designed for this kind of layout, making them behave almost suicidal. Both of these office-style maps are very frustrating, I tried playing on Hard and got slaughtered as soon as I started. The only way to survive for any length of time is to play on Easy and stay behind what cover there is.

    The other 2 maps, made by Shaun Ross, are based on Xen. The architecture is visually pleasing if you like Xen. One map uses the excellent textures made by Christopher Buecheler, and architecture fits them well, but in practical terms, the map is far too small and completely unsuited to being a combat arena. There is no connectivity, and you’re forced to take cover almost permanently, completely unable move without being badly hurt by gunfire from the grunts that just never stop coming. I managed to have some fun using the crossbow to snipe the grunts and consider it the best map of the four but that isn’t saying much. The other map is a typical xen island floating in the void. Grunts are joined by a couple a bull-chickens, and quite often you are left alone while they fight each other. Strangely neither the grunts nor bull-chickens seem to move from their spawn positions. Because they don’t move the map becomes dull extremely quickly.

    The main gameplay flaw of the entire set is immediately obvious: its dull, it’s repetitive and it’s frustrating. None of the maps have any real scope for tactics; they don’t even give you a chance to really practice your skill. Combat is just completely chaotic. This sort of endless-wave gameplay went out of fashion with Space Invaders. It completely ignores the elements that make Half-Life fun to play: the sense of exploration, interaction with a realistic environment, and balanced, well-arranged combat. This is a grunt-fest with all other elements stripped away. The bad layouts will probably put off even the people who enjoy this kind of mindless, trigger-happy style. It just isn’t worth playing.

    This review is republished here by permission and was originally published Thursday, 23rd December, 1999 by Chris.

    This review was originally posted on the Ten Four Website, which is now offline. Permission has been granted to republish the full review and more details can be found on the About page.

  8. Think Twice

    Rooftop1 – I think all NPCs and Enemies respawn infinitely in this mapset. it’s basically a CS aim map with barneys vs hgrunts, They don’t fight each other enough, the map doesn’t really work. You only get one weapon too, boring.

    Koilt01 – Better, another aim map vs hgrunts but with more weapon variety and with respawning items. I like that headcrabs spawn in too. Better but still boring.

    Koilt02 – Aim map on Xen vs hgrunts and bullsquids. construct – Set in an under construction building, makes me think of UT99. Another boring map with Barneys vs Hgrunts.

    INTRO11 – Credits map with a flythrough of a subway.

  9. Think Twice

    If you want to enjoy, play it on easy. The spawning is infinite, you take the time to decide how much time you want to spend. But it gets all boring anyway. He could create bigger maps with more foes fighting each others and Gordon being participative in many battles across the map. No difficulty, nothing. Just mass fight and participation. These kind of mods are very entertaining too. The idea is good, but it’s not very well developed.

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