What are your favorite levels or locations in games?

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L420: High Member
Jul 29, 2016
most of us make maps and levels, but what are some of your
favorites from different games or TF2 that inspire you or you just like.

here are some of mine from METRO: Last Light
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and here is one from portal 2 that is actually my wallpaper.

the dark beauty of the Metro and Russia and the unsettling yet mystifying depths of aperture laboratories are the kind of places i strive to one day make, but until then, these screen shots serve as inspiration.


20 crashes and counting
Jul 10, 2017
I can't think of that many inspiring video games right now, but there are some places in tf2 that I sometimes use.
For example, this corner on upward:

And this general Area:

And this place on 2fort that's so simplistic (there's literally a black wall no one notices), its cool.... kinda.


Aug 6, 2014
I'm not sure if you're referring to gameplay & environments or just environments, but I'm gonna go with both because that's more interesting.

===My favorite gameplay environments===
1- Okay, basically any area in the original Deus Ex could go here (except maybe the cathedral) but if I had to choose one, it would probably be the shipyard.
The main reason for this being is it felt like the logical peak of Deus Ex's nonlinearity. You enter the secret building containing the super-freighter through a small complex just in front of it, with its own array of routes to take. Then you get in the ship itself, and it's basically a sandbox. You can take down any of the hull reinforcements in any order, and it always feels like no matter which one you start with, one naturally leads you to another. Excellently designed segment, I love playing it every time. Even if the environment is one of the weaker ones in the game.

2- The hangar from Tony Hawk's pro skater 2
This is a bit of a weird one, but man I feel like it earned it. I don't think a skateboarding game could ever instill as much of a sense of wonder in me in quite the way this one did. It's a very good space to naturally learn the moveset, and it has a surprising amount of stuff to do for such a small area... and... again... in a skateboarding game. I don't think I'll ever forget that moment of grinding on a helicopter blade, followed by it suddenly powering on, and crashing through the ceiling.

You might argue that this could go under "environment" reasons, not gameplay, but I think it deserves the gameplay spot for how it gives an atmosphere through its gameplay, not its visuals.

3- Argent D'nur from DOOM 2016
I don't think I need to repeat the fact that Doom 2016 was surprisingly amazing. But it was... really quite amazing. And god damn did it have some good combat spaces. I went with this area because the arenas feature very tough waves of enemies, but enough height variation and route options to deal with the situation in a fair manner. Also it's immediately followed by the spectacular Spider Mastermind boss... so it's got that going for it.

There's actually probably some others that I could mention, but I'm drawing a blank right now, so you get those 3.

===My favorite environmental environments===
1- Cliffside area in Black Mesa Source
...It looks good.
Okay I have a bit more to say than that. The reason I value not skimping on your skybox when making a map is this area right here. This does such an amazing job of making me feel like I'm in an actual space that exists in the world, and it's all done in the god damn source engine.

Also, honorable mention to the cliffside section in the original Half-Life (Not Half-Life source, it looked ugly as sin in that game) because it did a really knockout job pulling off the effect without the aid of a 3D skybox.

2- The castle hub in Glover
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Unfortunately, I was unable to find a good screenshot to illustrate my point, so you're just going to have to take my word on this one. Basically, you start out the game, and the area around the castle is shrouded in a blood red fog and there's creepy laughter in the background. Pretty nasty. But as you progress through the game, things just keep getting better. The air lightens up, the laughter stops, and creatures come out to enjoy the fresh air. The place does a really bang-up job of getting you to feel like you're actually helping something.

Real quick I wanna talk about Glover's environments in general. I'm not usually a big fan of surrealist styles, but there is something about the way Glover does it that I find monumentally appealing. Sadly, I'm not sure how I'd go about describing it.

3- Just all of FarCry 2
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Simply put- FarCry 2 is one of the few games I've played that have given off a realistically oppressive atmosphere. A lot of the times when you here that a game has an oppressive atmosphere, it's usually exaggerated to a ridiculous degree and uses the most muted color palette possible. Not in this game. In this game, everything looks and feels exactly how you would expect- the world feels desolate, arid, and genuinely feels like it's out to get you. It is a far cry from the comfortable life we've come to know. But, the largely realistic color palette makes the areas pretty enough to enjoy on their own merit. I really like the atmosphere in this game. 'Tis good.


a survivor with too much paint
Feb 7, 2008

A very colorful swamp from The Witness. This area was frustrating to navigate at times, but it's my favorite area of the game to look at. I would love to visit this place in real life.


A moment in INSIDE where I stopped to look at the clouds. Possibly the most colorful part of the game, overshadowed by the facility you spend the rest of the game in.
Arguably the last "real" thing you see.


The industrial sector of FEZ's world is more vividly colored than its forest.


Portal 2 is always showing you how incredibly large Aperture's facility is. This is probably the only moment that actually makes you feel small. The drama doesn't come just from the scale of the scene, but the proportion.


A lonely moment in Machinarium that succeeds because of its music.


May 13, 2013
Some locations I like from Mario Kart Wii

I like this part because you can get a good drift boost around this statue.

This room just looks very appealing to me.

Gorgeous Treetop with Wigglers.

And I just love how this waterfall is part of the track later on that lets you down into an underwater tube.


Jul 31, 2009
A lot of my locations come from RPG's, places I've spent a lot of time in or have a combination of aesthetic and music that leaves a lasting impression on me.

Kugane from FFXIV


Ishgard from FFXIV


Azim Steppe from FFXIV (I really like this one, rolling mongolia-like grasslands are not seen in games much)


Mines of Moria from Lord of the Rings Online


Lothlorien from Lord of the Rings Online


Yamatai Castle in Tomb Raider reboot

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Stale air
Aug 31, 2014
The room for Xortex (from The Lab) is small, but is brilliantly detailed.


+1 for FEZ industrial sector.


Shoutouts to Scanner Sombre for making a bunch of dots feel like an actual cave.


All of the Portal 2 Ratman dens are wonderful. Here's a personal favorite.


TRI: Of Friendship and Madness. Constantly beautiful.


Driftwood, a VR environment by HTC, feels like a real place.



we've all had better times to die
Feb 10, 2017
Broforce's stunning lumbermill levels:

although every level in the game has absolutely stunning design


eternally tired
Nov 5, 2014
I've been playing a lot of Destiny 2 lately, and the Warmind facility on Mars has really caught my attention.
Nov 2, 2010
I know this is an old thread but I am interested to hear more people's suggestions and I wanted to share one of my own.

One of my favourite levels from a game I played for the first time recently is Site Omicron from SOMA. This game had a huge impact on me and I can't recommend it enough. The story and the atmosphere are great. I'd suggest avoiding reading or watching anything about the plot or the gameplay and just going in blind.

Here are some of my favourite views from the Site Omicron level...

These ominous marine life cages:


The entrance in the darkness:


Cool sense of scale


A crane that extends out into the black. There's an elevator on the end of it which goes all the way down to the very bottom of the Atlantic.



I really badly want to make an underwater game now lol


heath ledger with some dreads
Jan 8, 2015
E.Y.E Divine Cybermancy has some amazingly atmospheric environments.
Too bad it's so convoluted even I can't get into it.

This video shows off a bunch



Certified TF2 Cartographer
Feb 16, 2018
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My First choice would probably have to be the old gm_construct, not aesthetically, or functionally, but purely for nostalgia. I cranked up THOUSANDS of hours in Garry's Mod early 2009 - 2013, and every time I opened a new server with Construct, it was like a block of marble , waiting to be carved... That's enough sentimentality, moving on! (Note: NOT THE NEW GM_CONSTRUCT!! The original is where it's at, chief)


My next choice would probably have to be Fort Frolic, purely for the aesthetic, and some gameplay. I'm OBSESSED with art deco, and I really love the aesthetic Rapture presents. Gameplay wise, it was... ok. I think the gameplay is kind of overrated, especially since I've gotten lost like a million and half times, but i'm not very observant, lol.


The world: Autumn heights from Donkey kong country tropical freeze in possibly the best looking world in all the dk games. It's themed after the swiss alps. The world has everything from small villages with farms, Birch forests with orange leaves and giant mountains that reach the clouds