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Huntington National Laboratory

   (1 review)
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Life in central Indiana is dull, but as you wind your way up the road to your job as night watchman at the nearby national lab you notice something seems different tonight. The gate, normally open, is closed, and when you pry open the door to the gatehouse you discover the guard on duty dead on the floor. Suspecting murder, you pull out your pistol and step inside. Strange things are afoot, and you’re going to get to the bottom of it…


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baja blast rd.

· Edited by rdwpa

  

HNL is like a decent '90s map that happens to require a Z-port. It recreates a fake real-life location, combat is chill, and the toughest battles dote on you with exorbitant resources. Tying it together is a clever layout: an expansive city on top, and a serpentine basement complex below, with faux 3D simulated by non-silent teleporters. You access the subterranean region, which is at first split in half, from two remote surface-layer spots, and both halves eventually fuse. Good so far. 

 

My big letdown was that the sector props, which are abundant, are lacking in creativity. The objects are only the expected ones, with designs that are basic and familiar. A table might be a straightforward wood-textured rectangle. The toilets are just silver, hollowed-out cylinders. Areas rarely push beyond basic identities or depict the vague mini-stories that can make representational detailing so amusing. I found all of that important not only because it's a key part of the subgenre, but also because most indoor areas are bland and unfeatured, reliant on props to provide interest.  

 

I still think more ardent fans of oldschool maps or easygoing gameplay might love this. Combat is ambient and peaceful, but once in a while it breaks out into a fiesty, devious trap. Also, to its great credit, HNL is rarely a pure grind, avoiding the pitfalls common to emulating real spaces. 
 

TL;DR: 3/5, toilets not interesting enough.

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