Right. It's a standard valve map, I'm not sure why I'm reviewing it, except maybe to set a baseline for other maps. [Izzy: Yep he's right there]
The basic premise. Capture 5 points in order, starting at your base and working towards the enemies. Subtlety is introduced by the 15 second rule - whereby a CP cannot be recaptured until 15 seconds have passed since it was captured. Also, you can only capture a CP next to one you already control. The map resets when all five points have been captured.
This is, in principle, a great map. It looks decent (though the 'desert' look is becoming cliché) it's basically well constructed, it has chokes that get progressively easier to defend, and it has two alternate routes past the centre CP.
Other additional points, it has a role for all the classes - scouts can beat that 15 second deadline to the next CP if they fly, HWG and snipers are actually valid defence for the second point, demons soldiers and medics to do the running, pyros for interference, and the spy is emphasised here.
Further complications. Each team has three areas they can respawn in - and you respawn in the one just behind the CP under contention - allowing the enemy to drive you back slowly.
There is a big siren warning for when the enemy is in your base, although sadly no 'all clear' signal - this gives spies a good time to find somewhere to feign while the enemy thinks it's clear before the wanring fires again.
There is room for some very advanced tactics, such as manipulating which room you respawn in, and trying not to kill enemies until the CP you are fighting over is owned by your team - to try and make the enemy spawn further away and give your team time to come forward and defend. Or you could choose to kill them straight away, so that they respawn *behind* your attack force, so hopefully they won't be able to stop them.
Now for the downsides.
I dislike the scoring. You ONLY get points for a full five point capture. This leads to a great many 0-0 draws, usually when one team is dug in defending their base and second point, no longer even trying to recapture point 3. It's clear which team will win eventually - but the score doesn't reflect this.
Secondly, the map was built when CJ was going to be removed completely - it wasn't going to be possible for one person to capture the final two points without a teammate stopping the recapture of one of them. But it is, and this feels slightly wrong.
The map is also too big, and can get pretty spammy at the choke points - leading to unnacceptable graphics performance. If you complain about betrayed, then don't go near this one.
There are also a couple of strange bugs. First of all the perennial prematch problem. Sometimes the home points don't activate, making it completely impossible for either team to captur any of the points.
Thirdly, sometimes people respawn in the wrong room - which can lead to someone capping during the fake prematch.
Fourthy - there is a really wierd bug which pushes you sideways as you run down one of the coridoors as a fast class.
And finally, there is the problem of pushing people back onto defence too hard.
However, when played well, with a roving attack force, a defence that tries to hold the points the attack takes, and a rear defence to be safe - with communication to retake three points in one go, leaving the enemy defence totally out of position - with people who don't complain about spam... it can be a great map.
Oh - and DO remember that the alternate route you detpack can be resealed in the same way.
Pros: Potential for a good strategy game.
Cons: Potential for a lockdown spam at point 2/4 - making for a very boring game for the 'attackers'.
Audience: Works a damn sight better for clans - but has potential on the server, once joe average works it out.
Final Verdict: This is a baseline map, a bit better than average. Maps worse than this pretty much don't deserve to exist. This doesn't mean it's not good :)
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