I just gave it a run during my lunch break and I think it was really good overall. I also think there is room for easy improvement. I tend to be more of a critic (read: douchebag) so you can take these comments as being strictly objective, because the map was fun, complex, long (for a single bsp), and obviously well-planned. By the way, these comments refer strictly to the gameplay. Aside from a few lighting gripes, I was pretty satisfied with the artwork involved in the map.
1. The first major battle on the rooftops was too easy due to lack of the soldiers' tactical diversity (btw, I play everything on Hard setting). I don't mind facing off against more than 6 Combine at once (in fact I love it) but when they all choose to rush at the player, things can get overly predictable. I died once, but then I realized they were all rushing...so I just stayed at the bottom of the first stairwell and they all ran into my guns blindly. I recommend having several aiscripted_sequences in place that will tell specific groups of soldiers when to rush at the player, and when to fall back to pre-determined locations (indicated by info_targets). That way, you can use math_counters to tell a squad of soldiers to fall back when they have lost 3 of their squad...alternatively, you can use that same method to force a shotgun squad to rush at the player. It makes the fight more dynamic instead of allowing me to funnel them into a stairwell and blast them all away as they run around the corner. I would have to venture out of the stairwells and go hunting for the Combine, which would put that large rooftop battlefield to good use. It could be a very fun, very challenging opening that would set the tone for the rest of the map.
2. Subesquent battles were a simply matter of "discovery". It seemed that none of the subsequent battles were challenging in the least. I was too well-armed and the soldiers were too few in number. Worse yet, I ran into what I call "discovery" battles a lot, where I round a corner and there are soldiers simply standing around waiting for any command. In my opinion, every single NPC should be given some kind of orders, whether those orders come from an arbitrary logic entity or from the enemy squads that the player just destroyed. NPC's should not be standing around waiting for the player unless you are designing an ambush. By the way, the perfect spot for a series of mini-ambushes would be right after the helicopter battle, behind the Combine door...I was expecting shotgun soldiers around the corners but there were none. Also, no Combine tech to fiddle with. Boring. Could have used a puzzle, at least.
3. The zombie sewers seemed short and uninspired. I was looking forward to a change of pace when I got the gravity gun but I zoomed by the zombie sewers in a matter of moments. In fact, I didn't even have to kill many zombies...I just walked right past them. This, combined with a lack of enemy diversity (I counted a single Zombine among all the regular zombies, and then a small clump of barnacles), made the area seem like an afterthought to me. You can solve this by adding in the other 2 types of zombies (even if there are only 1 or two of them) and numerous headcrabs (fast headcrabs and poison headcrabs tend to draw a player's attention, and tend to force an engagement instead of simple avoidance).
4. The hunter battle should have come prior to the helicopter battle. I had an RPG during the hunter battle, so I wiped them out very quickly. Not fun. And the 2 rebels would not even follow me after I saved them. If anything, I would enable friendly fire on the rebels so that they would die if you use the RPG so close to them. Even better, follow up the helicopter battle immediately with a hunter battle (with maybe 6 hunters total, experiment for the proper amount), so I can really let the RPG rip.
Well I hope you don't think I'm a douchebag after reading all this criticism. And of course, everybody thinks about a map differently so please don't think that this is the end-all and be-all of map advice. It's definitely not. It's just what I was thinking of during the play-through (maybe 15 minutes total).
"Day breaks, but decay soon follows."
- Ava WinonaCurrently developing in radio silence... 99 BoltsHere's another project of mine... Assault on OverwatchAre you new to Source SDK? VDC