The big main statue

Some pretty erm.. things

Action shot - Breaking the artifact case

A piece of art by Laidlaw

The crates on the underwater route

One of the attackers bases, complete with cactus

First things first. This map is gorgeous. [WTF?]Genghis has put A LOT of effort into making this map loo good. As it is set in a museum where two rival gangs have to steal an artefact defended by the security he has had a chance to put pictures and models all over the place. And he has done this well. Throughout the entire museum there are pictures on the wall made of some of the odder textures in half life that you probably haven’t noticed before and in areas here and there, there are wonderful little models and similar that he has obviously taken a long time to do. This gives the map a good location and makes the objective and theme very apparent and real whilst providing lots of eye candy for me to praise it about.

Next comes playability. The idea of this map is different from your standard capture the flag in only one way. Rather then two teams trying to steal the flag from each other there are 2 teams trying to capture the one flag (ok it is supposed to be a crystal artefact thing) from the third team. The two attacking teams (red and yellow) both are after the same flag in the same place. The blue are only there to defend it although if the flag is taken and then dropped then they can go and retrieve it and score themselves some caps.

Now the map has been made nice and symmetrical so that neither team has an advantage. This means in essence both attacking teams are side by side at the start and are attacking form the same direction. This is the first criticism. A canny defence can hold both teams at the start while they break down their exit. Each team is sealed off at the start and has to shoot the grate repeatedly to be able to get through. Whilst they are trying to get out they can easily be shot. Also there is a grate over the water entrance and the artefact itself. This addition seems pretty pointless to me and makes no addition to the game. Okay it maybe adds a bit more realism in the form of breaking into the gallery but after I had got over the gimmick then I found it completely pointless and really rather wished it wasn’t there. Why not just have it in is broken form as if they have just blown the doors off? Also for the first time you play the map you may not realise this has to be done so that the map can get confusing if filled with people on their first time in the game.

The corridors in the gallery, as nice and realistic and pretty as they are also a hindrance for tactical play. There is virtually no room and I believe a HW could efficiently block off them. This makes the game pretty boring as everyone will be heavy classes in an effort to be able to make it to the flag.

Now comes some decisions… This map is entirely unsuitable for clan matches, as you require 3 teams to be able to play it. Also however it isn’t really very good for public servers as they simply are not filled with players you think would have the level heads to play this map and not just spam it out and such things. It is a good idea with gorgeous visuals but the execution whilst about as good as I expect it could be doesn’t seem to be right. This is a shame as I would love to award this map a good score but I don’t really see the suitability for it in either clan matches or public servers and similar and believe it generally wont work.

Pros: Beautiful architecture, good idea, very realistic feeling
Cons: Small corridors, no open areas for open battle, too realistic
Audience: LAN game or game with level headed friends
Final Verdict: A very good looking map but doesn’t quite manage to pull itself off even though it is done very well.


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