Just like a fucked-up, preemie baby, Contrivance 1.0 was quickly sent back to incubate, and now emerges as the bundle-of-joy Contrivance 1.1. Actually, something must have gone wrong with the incubator because Contrivance has somehow come out more fucked-up than when it went in… thanks Obamacare.
However, Contrivance is still a beautiful looking map, more beautiful than I could ever hope to be. Ok, so that’s not hard to do, but keep in mind that Contrivance is one of the best looking maps to be released in years now. Fortunately, the recent update did manage to make the map even prettier, as if to hide the underlying damage to the actual gameplay it brought with it. It’s like giving someone muscular dystrophy and then a facelift as a consolation prize: I mean, I appreciate the gesture, but it would have been nicer to be able to be walk.
This update did a few things. It replaced the WAW guns with BO2 ones, added an easter egg, and added a way to buy perk slots, plus some “rebalances.”
I feel like the mapper must’ve just broken up with a hot-but-crazy girlfriend, because the entire update follows a trend of superficial improvements hiding a worse overall experience. Case-in-point is the new BO2 guns. You pick them up and think: “Wow, these look nice! They even have proper reload anims and sounds!”
But, oh, wait -- the iron sights are MESSED the FUCK up. Why aren’t my bullets going where I send them? The hell? Oh ok, I’ll see if PaP fixes the spread or whatever.
Surprise! Your new PaP’d rifle has a god-awful reticle on its reflex that is somehow worse than the misaligned sights you thought you had escaped from.
Jesus Christ, you just can’t win. And to top it all off, the M8A1 has a recoil pattern so abhorrent and broken it renders the gun unusable. Better hope you didn’t spend 1200 buying it off the wall!
That’s because the M8A1 IS a good value if you get it from the mystery box… because then it’s free! Just like how the Israeli government gives its citizens free guns if they decide to live on Palestinian soil, the mystery box will give you guns for free too! All you have to do is cause it to move from its starting location once, and BAM!, free guns for life!
“Alright, alright, so the guns aren’t “all there” (like my retarded uncle) and the sweet young mystery box is a little bit too loose with herself. Don’t tell me you’re gonna rip the whole map apart for that!” you might be saying.
Don’t worry, I’m not. Contrivance is a fun map, and there’s plenty of unique areas to explore and doors to open. It’s well-paced, but not too difficult. Actually, it’s easy as fuck. The zones are pretty screwed, and this can lead to zombies spawning really far-out, which makes it a joke to run trains. Sometimes the zombies will even ignore you completely for a few seconds and just go down the zipline instead. Wheeee!
Ok, now I’m back to ripping on the map again, and I’ve already dragged on for too long. So, I leave you with this:
Contrivance is a good, nostalgic type of map that sticks to the established zombies formula pretty closely. It doesn’t take many risks, which leads it to be somewhat routine and almost boring, but still maintains a superb sense of flow and balance that makes it feel like 3arc’s own work. Unfortunately the map is hampered by glitches and poorly-done weapons. So, I’d recommend that you just play the more stable version 1.0, unless you really want to solve an easteregg (which I couldn’t be bothered with).
Wow, that’s about the most professional thing I ever wrote.
DETAIL: 10/10 CUSTOM CONTENT: 6/10 (good perks and FX, loses points for bad guns) FUN SCALE: 7/10 (good, classic-styled zombies experience) REPLAYABILITY: 7/10 (layout and setup time holds true to 3arc’s model)