Modservatory is a modded version of the HCE map, Observatory. While I am usually not a fan of modded maps, this one gets an exception for two reasons. One, the mod is by Mark Galesic, the same person who created Observatory. Two, the mod is much better than the original.
The map’s scenery is rugged and diverse. The constant twists and turns make traversing the map in any vehicle difficult, and it help balance out the power between foot soldiers and heavy attack vehicles. The expansive scenery is certainly fun for exploring, and it is fun to play, but from an artistic standpoint (The HCE community obsesses over perfection) it appears unfinished. The edges to hills are rough. The colors are plain. This is somewhat excusable as the map was made in 2008, but there still seems to be something lacking in the scenery. The clear standouts in the scenery are the awesome light bridge and dam structure.
The vehicles in this map, while creative and fun, do not fit the map. The Warthogs and Scorpions obviously work great, but the Stryker does not. Regardless of whether or not it’s a Halo vehicle, it does not function in this cliffed, mountainous map. The Wasps seem great, but as we learned from Immure, they are almost impossible to take out. This is offset slightly by the tunnels and ridges that give exceptional cover for snipers. Overall, the vehicles could have been much more than they were.
The weapons are interesting, but not in a good way. In addition to traditional rifles and pistols, there’s the classic flamethrower-type weapon from Arial Combat, there’s a hand-held Warthog turret, and there’s a shotgun. These weapons have weak animations and no coherency.
This map works best with traditional team games. CTF is the most interesting option. You can try individual gametypes, but it would most likely become Wasps vs. Everyone Else.
Total Rating: 8.0/10
If you have any questions, comments, or map suggestions, leave a comment below.