AT A GLANCE: I’m still not sure how the author thought this would work. Team Fortress is typically a contest between at least two teams to accompish some goal, such as capturing a flag or touching command points. At the very least there is some objective to work towards on the map besides just killing people. That is what supposedly elevates Team Fortress above less refined games that don’t feature even one giant fat guy with enough armor to protect most of the continental United States from a nuclear attack. The most basic element of TF map design is that the teams need a goal to try and achieve, otherwise the game quickly becomes repetitive.
But apparently that doesn’t matter to the creator of 2001 Spacebowl! He decided to be a rebel and go against the dogmatic beliefs held by the masses, kind of like when Vince McMahon decided to create an entire football league featuring players who had no idea how to play football. The only objective of this map is to kill everybody who isn’t the same color as you. Once you kill someone, the next step is to look for someone else who isn’t the same color as you, and kill them. This cycle repeats until you realize how hopeless life is and you lynch yourself with a printer cable.
DESCRIPTION: 2001 Spacebowl - Deathmatch
Objective: Kill All.
Scoring: 1 point for every frag.
You lose a point for falling off
the bowl or getting squished by
the block device.
To its credit, the text file is very concise. To its discredit, it’s hard not to be concise when you’re describing a map that has all the depth and complexity of tic-tac-toe.
THE MAP: Well, the map is called Spacebowl, so I would naturally assume there is space and at least one bowl. And I wasn’t disappointed! You spawn in a big eggshell-shaped structure covered in a big smeary texture that looks like it’s trying to be stone. “Ah,” I thought to myself, “This must be the bowl.” After extensive investigation of the surrounding area, I decided that the big empty mass of nothingness that enveloped me from all sides was the ‘space’. Enjoy these two priceless items, because they’re all you’re getting. The entire map consists of the bowl-like structure with a stupid booby trap, and a black pit of nothing for you to fall into.
GAMEPLAY: Those of you familiar with TFC should know why putting a bunch of players in a little bowl is like keeping six pet wolverines in the same picnic basket. For those of you who are not familiar with TF, here’s a quick lesson: Soldiers have special grenades that spit nails around in all directions. Pyros have napalm grenades that catch areas on fire. Hwguys and demomen have ‘mirv’ bombs that explode and turn into smaller bombs. Picture all of that flying around, along with pipebombs, grenades, rockets and bullets, in a bowl the size of a community club swimming pool. Does that give you some idea of what playing the map is like? Geez, if I wanted to recreate the experience of having everything around me exploding all the time I’d just fill my house with TNT or move to Israel.
There is a single lonely resupply bag in this map. It’s on a platform above the center of the bowl. You might think getting it is as simple as rocketjumping up onto the platform and grabbing the bag. Not so fast, bucko! It’s a boobytrapped platform! At any moment, an enemy player can shoot some bizarre glowy stuff floating above the platform, and a stone block will drop down and squish you. What a devious and cunning trap! What a testament to human ingenuity! Either this was a last-ditch effort by the author to add some strategy to the map, or he was eager to show off the mapmaking knowledge he gained from all the Worldcraft FAQ pages he found on Angelfire.
Everyone loves variety, so here's the map at a different angle!
FUN FACTOR: Here’s a rundown of what you can expect while playing this map. First you will appear at a random spot in the bowl; gamers call this ‘spawning’. Then you will immediately be launched off the side of the bowl by a bunch of random explosions; gamers call this ‘spam’. Then you will fall to your death while cursing the day you were born; gamers call this ‘cratering’. Then you will quit the game and beat your head against the computer until you go blind; gamers call this ‘being smart and cleansing the memory of a horrible map from your mind forever’. This map combines the deathmatch gameplay of the original Quake with the seizure-inducing franticness of Marvel vs Capcom 2 and the level design of Super Dodge Ball. And no, this isn’t a good thing.
THE BOTTOM LINE: If you like deathmatch games to follow the spawn-die-spawn-die pattern, without that unnecessary “run around and kill people” step, you should love 2001 Spacebowl. Fans of Team Fortress and fans of maps that take more than 40 minutes to make are advised to look elsewhere.
ratings go from 0 (bearable) to -10 (painfully terrible).
Total score goes from 0 (ok) to -50 (the worst piece of shit you'll ever play).