Remember when multiplayer games would relese with a dozen or so maps to play on, instead of just a couple? Sure, players would coalesce around just two or three maps anyway, but Battlefield 2042 has offered a handy reminder of the benefits of variety. After so many games, it has a dozen classic and beloved levels, and six of them are going to be playable in its new Portal mode.
Brendy explained Battlefield Portal in more detail after its announcement this evening during EA Play. I am here merely to celebrate that one of Portal’s six maps is Bad Company 2’s Valparaiso – aka, the best Battlefield map.
Portal also comes with Battlefield 1942’s Battle Of The Bulge and El Alamein, Battlefield 3’s Caspian Border and Noshahr Canals, and Arica Harbour, also from Bad Company 2. These are all great maps. There was also a suggestion that more maps would come after launch, and I hope we’ll also see 1942’s Wake Island, Battlefield 2’s Gulf Of Oman, and Battlefield 3’s Paris. The series really does have countless great locations to choose from.
But if none of that happens, I’ll be happy with Valparaiso. Set in the Chilean seaport, it’s best remembered for its lighthouse. After making their way through a fishing port, players would need to assault a lighthouse that was inevitably defended by three snipers who’d landed a helicopter on its roof and who could see every enemy coming towards them.
My favourite part of the map came after that, though. After successfully overwhelming defences at the lighthouse, attacking players could advance up through some trees and then down into a village. This dirt slope into the village is branded onto my brain.
Battlefield is traditionally good at two things. One is spectacle, and this modest incline had it. Moving down it left you exposed to the defenders in the village below, who would fire upon you from their entrenched positions. It was exhilirating to sprint towards cover, machinegun and sniper fire pinging around your feet, and mortar fire ringing in your ears.
The other thing Battlefield is good at it is asymettric skirmishes. The village itself is a warren of rickety, collapsible buildings, where as an attacker there are dozens of angles through which a defender might see you. The odds feel stacked against you, which only makes it all the sweeter when you could surprise those defenders with superior aim or a sneaky angle of approach.
I must have played Valparaiso for 30 hours and all of my memories involve counting up kills on this single part of the map, In fact, all of my memories of Bad Company 2 as a whole involve this single part of the map. I love it, I’m excited to revisit it, and all the more so because Portal will apparently let me do it in custom game modes that mash BF1942’s Spitfires together with armies of Battlefield 3’s defib-carrying medics. Seriously, go read Brendy’s preview, it sounds mad.
Naturally, I assume you have your own favourite Battlefield map. You can’t convince me I’m wrong, but explain why you love your own fave in the comments. Let us all bask in our old memories.