|How can we drive when our bridges are falling... the time has come, to say fair's fair, to take care of the bridges, make sure their repaired...|
Well I finally got to play the new "Legacy Operations" map which is an old Battlefield 2 map called "Dragon Valley" but remastered (sort of). Despite it being based on an old BF2 map, the map is so large that it has the distinction of being the first Battlefield 4 map that cannot run on the Xbox 360 or PS3.
Size does matterTo me, the map being large is a good thing because it brings a concept that is kind of foreign to the most recent Battlefield games: the concept that you can't be expected to walk every where if you want to get into the battle. As was the case in Battlefield 2, there was often a long trek involved travelling between points meaning it made sense to find some transportation. This changes the gameplay somewhat in a few ways:
1. You get to use vehicles more which I think is a good thing because that's generally what Battlefield is about
2. You get to experience the weird dichotomy that is war - i.e. lulls in combat where you can admire the scenery and beauty of the valley you're in, interspersed with adrenaline-pumping battles where you're fighting for survival.
3. The long distance between the points means it basically opens up different fronts and zones all across the map. It's quite a bit different to a lot of newer Battlefield maps where there is effectively only one or maybe two fronts at most, as they tend to direct forces into a meat grinder in the middle.
Anyway, in total there are 8 points, so the most I've seen on a BF4 map.
Hands off that copy+pasteIronically, since DICE had to copy a pretty old map that hasn't been touched since BF2 days, the buildings on the map look unique and have their own distinct flavour when compared to other BF4 maps. The usual case with BF4 maps is that you'll notice certain buildings tend to have the same floor plan - you know, things like staircases in the same places, windows in the same places, doors in the same places, etc. The most likely reason is that the map designers decided to just copy+paste these buildings to save time. While it might save time it makes the maps seem less special or unique.
Brings out the team playersThis is a slightly controversial one, especially considering my sample size in making this theory is just one game but I've never had a game where I've been actually able to rely on PUGs to work as a squad and ultimately as a team. I don't know whether this was just a coincidence although I'd like to think it's because all the old BF2 players are coming out of the woodwork and realise that this is how you played BF2 so once placed in an environment looking similar to that old BF2 map, all the memories of knowing how to play a proper team game, flooded back.
Comments from other playersI think the reaction to the new map has been mostly positive according to players on my usual haunt of Whirlpool, but there are critics such as this chap here:
"yeah not a fan of the new map, it just feels so big yet so packed in small areas"
I kind of understand where he's coming from but not at the same time.
While there are many positive comments about the new map, there are caveats that usually mention the game is fun if played in well-coordinated squads or teams (which is what I thought Battlefield was all about, surely?)
"Dragon Valley is massive so you need to Squad up to make the best out of the game and use Team speak"
"Yeah Dragon Valley is epic! Requires team work to win though."
"I think that an effective commander would help too. I've not played as a commander so I don't know if it works."
ConclusionI really like Dragon Valley 2015 and am hoping DICE considers releasing more BF4 maps based on BF2 maps in the future. If they don't though, could they just make BF2 on the Frostbite 3 engine? kthxbai.
(I also couldn't help but feel nostalgic when the map loading music started as it was the same map loading music from BF2! Ah the good ol' days.)