Xen-Zone is a very un-usual map, and coming from me, that's saying something!!
It's based on an asteroid of "strategic importance" as the Author tells, where Terran forces (humans) are fighting the Xen aliens over asteroid territory. Sounds like a good idea to me, but does it play as good as it sounds? Well, yes. The layout is very nice, confusing at first, but as with any map, you learn it with time. The map is symmetrical in a rather strange fashion, it doesn't feel like there's a mirror side, but there is and neither team have an advantage.
If you haven't guessed by now, this is a command point system map (Ala cz2) with 6 command points, both teams must cap the command points (in any order) in order to score points for their team, once you have (or rather if you have) control of all 6 points the com points reset to no owner and your team get bonus points.
There are no doors on this map, so you can run effortlessly all over the map, except into the enemy base, where upon approach an alarm sounds, and should you be foolish enough to enter the enemy base, you will be gassed to death in a matter of seconds. Very nice touch there.
Unfortunately one of the coms is quite hard to cap. Com 3 has an alien platform (you will recognize it from the HL Single player mission) circling around it, that is the only way to get up there to com 3, you could (i suppose) grenade, or conc jump up, but it'd be tricky. Other than that com, the rest are very nice, com 1 in on a narrow ledge between the red and blue base, it's fun to conc jump from com 2 to com1 over the abyss of space and surprise the enemy, just make sure you don't over, or under jump ;o) Com 2 has a healing pool around it, lovely. Com 4 has them annoying alien trees around it that jab you in the head, we love them really. Coms 5 & 6 are large chambers with teleporters to the area between com 3 and 4.
All in all this is a nice looking, and nice feeling map. Unfortunately, like cz2, I can't see many people playing it, which is a real shame. The author obviously put a lot of effort into this map, and it really does deserve to be played. One things for sure, it'll be in the tfxmaps tf server map cycle, if we ever get a server :o)
Pros: Xen, what's not good about Xen?
Cons: Com 3, and maybe a little lower gravity would have given a nice feel
Audience: clans, public, anyone can play this map!
Final Verdict: Very, very good.
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