Poll Question 206 – How many times do you play a mod before reviewing it?

7th January 2011

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

This is the first in a shorts series of polls about how we review maps and mods.

Most of you know that I almost never replay maps and mods and I got to wondering about how that affected my reviews.

Would I review the mods better or differently if I played them twice or three times before reviewing them?

I’ve no doubt that I would notice more the second time around and would probably play differently the second time around too, but would it make my review more useful?

Would “seeing more” change how I thought about a mod? Possibly, but isn’t the first play through the one with the most influence on how I feel? Wouldn’t a second playthrough only re-enforce my initial feeling?

What do you think?

The Poll


  1. Shadowmancer471

    I personally feel that a map is only really meant to be played once
    You can easily play it multiple times, but once you know what happens, the effect is rubbed off a little

    If I do happen to play a map twice for whatever reason, I review it based on my first playthrough.

    Especially prevalent in puzzle based maps

  2. I voted for twice. In fact the real answer is at least twice.

    I play once in Easy and then again in Normal.
    I don’t think a fair and constructive review is possible with one play in Easy or Normal and unfair to the author.

    Gameplay is the thing for me and that is affected hugely by difficulty setting. Different tactics are required so the gameplay is different.
    This is probably why I’m sometimes at odds with other commenters and Phillip.

    Except for the really short maps and especially the Survival maps, I go back and play in Hard and maybe not review until I have.

  3. s.anchev

    Only play once in Normal before posting a review.
    Some exceptions are if the mod’s propose diffrent ways or endings.

  4. Hec

    For me depends entirely of the lenght of the mod and playing sessions, so I think I finish a mod like in an average of 6-10 playing sessions, so that’s it if the mod is long, if it’s short betwen 1-3 sessions, and I have my criteria ready, and also I never replay mods.

    And in general well I only play them once and that’s it, I keep on moving with another mod, also I don’t like to play 2 mods at the same period, I dedicate all eforts just to one and then another.

  5. Grey Acumen

    I just don’t have the time to spend multiple playthroughs on every mod I’m going to review. I’m usually pretty thorough about exploring all the alternate paths and such so I’ll just let my review reflect my standard playstyle and leave other people to fill in any gaps that might exist.

  6. I play once and then review. I also rarely re-play maps because I go back and fourth through separate routes in one play-though, even though it takes time (Minerva in the combine base is a good example for small routes that don’t lead to the ultimate goal. The only time I replay maps is if I like it very much and(or?) there are separate routes which I miss because you can only go one way or the other.. (which are pretty rare).

  7. Once, on normal (or higher), all the way through.

  8. I would say I review a map after the first play through about 90 % of the time. I never read the reviews prior to playing but will afterward to see if I had missed something. On maps/mods that I really enjoy I may play it many times but rarely if ever have I gone back and revised a first time review.

  9. Armageddon

    Twice, once as a stupid player, and once as a developer.

  10. Kyouryuu

    I generally play the maps once, though I don’t always write the review immediately afterward. Sometimes it has to sink in a bit. It doesn’t matter if it’s a fantastic map or not, I rarely play the same thing over again.

    In the rare case where a mod offers a clear branching path, as the ending of The Citizen 2 did, I’ll save there and reload from that point to try the other routes.

  11. Zekiran

    I try to finish a mod or map once through, first impressions for me are important.

    If I’m impressed enough with it at all, I’ll likely play it again anyway, though my opinion generally won’t change after a 2nd or even further play throughs.

  12. Anomen

    It depends what the map is for.. If its for left 4 dead you really should play the map multiple times. Enemies spawns and items are dynamic and the map never plays the same each time. A good left 4 dead map will be designed to take advantage of the game mechanics present in the special infected. you’ll never see all the mechanics in one playthrew.

    1 playthrew it could be boring and a cakewalk the next playthrew it could be interesting and difficult with your crawling your way into the the safehouse with 1 hitpoint seeing black and white while your other teammates drop off dead behind you as the hoard approaches. 😀

  13. Once, since I’m a layman regarding reviewing Mods.

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