Operation Hydra added a handful of community-made new maps to both competitive and casual play. With Valve announcing that they plan on permanently adding the two most popular maps to CS:GO’s map pool, let’s take a look at the two worst and best maps of Operation Hydra.
The Worst Operation Hydra Maps
This map is a great example of a map that’s too big for competitive play.
Now compare it to Mirage.
Mirage has logical and clearly defined chokepoints, and it feels large despite its relatively modest size. Lite, on the other hand, is spread out like a picnic blanket, and the different areas are far too large and exposed. This can make quick plays hard to execute, and rotations are awkward if you’re trying to get to a bombsite from an advanced position on the map. The CTs spawn right next to both bombsites, and by the time the Ts get there, the CTs have set up, drank a cup of coffee, and watched the entire Godfather trilogy.
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This map reminds me of Newke. There’s just too much going on for it to be any good.
The bright colors, confusing tunnel systems, and visually noisy rollercoasters are distracting. This cluttered and busy aesthetic doesn’t make the map’s strange layout any easier to wrap your head around.
Personally, I don’t like either of Thrill’s bombsites–there are too many things to hide behind, especially on A, and retakes are frustrating.
The Best Operation Hydra Maps
Agency is a hostage map, which means it will probably never be played on the professional circuit. But Agency is pretty gud. It’s open enough that you can execute a wide range of different strategies. But it’s not too open, so it avoids the “where the fuck am I being shot from” vibe that’s a common feature of many Operation maps.
I have two complaints about Agency. First, the map’s sterile, all-white color schemewears on your eyes after a bit, although it’s worth noting that this does improve visibility. Second, the AWPing spot after the metal detectors is a bit too T-sided for my liking. But all in all, Agency is a great map, and if you’re getting burnt out on Office, you should definitely give it a try.
This might be an unpopular opinion, but I like Austria. It’s a snowy “village” map, and the clean visuals are a nice change of pace from the drab deserts of Mirage and Dust and the factories and cityscapes of Overpass and Nuke.
The tight corners on Austria are mostly well-designed, and set the stage for some intense gunfights, but in some cases, they’re a bit too tight. Austria could benefit from some de-cluttering to streamline navigation. In its current state, you’re constantly running into boxes, corners, or doorways.
Which Operation Hydra maps are your favorite? Hit me up on Twitter at @H3nleYCSGO.