I’ve been playing the Battlefield series since the original game, Battlefield 1942. Any long-time Battlefield player will tell you what makes the series great are the random moments where something happens that you didn’t know was possible. But in Battlefield 3, one map let you re-create that moment every match.
So you’re playing Battlefield 3. Your current goal is to capture a helipad, so you keep fighting your way down the mountain, getting sniped, planting bombs, over and over. Eventually you manage to take control of the helipad and run forward to your next objective, only to see it’s a tiny speck at the base of the mountain. Well this is Battlefield, so without hesitation, you and your team sprint off the edge of the cliff and parachute down, ready to keep fighting.
During the marketing of Battlefield 4, DICE spent a lot of time talking about their new “levolution” feature, which allows you to create those “Only in Battlefield” moments by doing things like destroying a dam and flooding the level. Now, I’m not saying those features aren’t fun, they definitely are. But those moments have always existed in the Battlefield series, long before levolution. Playing Rush mode on Damavand Peak in BF3 is not only a perfect example of these moments, it’s also been my go-to example of why this series is so much fun.
What makes Damavand Peak special (in Rush mode) is that the second pair of objectives are on top of a 500-meter-high cliffside helipad. When those objectives are taken, the attackers clean up the remaining defenders and move as far forward as possible — to the helipad. It takes a minute or two for the map boundaries to change, so the result is a large group of players all standing on the helipad waiting for the game to announce that they can continue to the next objectives. The moment those new objectives pop up, the entire team jumps off that helipad and a swarm of parachutes rain down on the waiting enemies. This video from Meatwagon22 shows it in action, and Shibby2142 takes it to the logical extreme, with all 64 players jumping off at the same time.
There are many moments during the course of playing Battlefieldthat can be far more exciting than this, but this map guaranteed an “only in Battlefield” moment every single match. The series has plenty of other big explosions, collapsing buildings, and the like, but nothing has ensured that feeling of being part of a huge team quite like this map.
Last-Gen Heroes is Kotaku’s look back at the seventh generation of console gaming. In the weeks leading up to the launch of the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One, we’ll be celebrating the Heroes — and the Zeroes — of the last eight years of console video gaming.