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Specifically, Chapter 5: The Bridge, which makes Modern Warfare 2 on Veteran mode seem like Mario Party! Nothing brings a group of friends together like dying together. This happens a lot in the finale of Left 4 Dead 2’s last campaign, The Parish. Whether you’re playing as the survivors in a campaign or versus match, this is the map that will test your teamwork skills to their fullest.
Above: Jockeys are especially deadly on this map
Sticking together will help your group push their way through a zombie infested bridge in order to reach a rescue helicopter. But as always, the horde is relentless. You’ll worm your way through the cluttered chaos of flaming wreckage, but it’s still ridiculously tough to keep moving with zombies charging at you from all sides. Enter the special infected…
Above: The horde never stops
There are tons of sneaky places for Smokers and Hunters to hide, and with so many large trucks gumming up your escape routes, there could be a Boomer ready to spawn around every corner. With so much constant harassment, it’s easy for Spitters to sit back and cover the survivors in goo every time they pause to catch their breath. And then, Jockeys and Chargers can kill you in one hit if they manage to knock you off the side of the bridge… Don’t even get us started on the Tank. Count on running into at least one during your short lived journey, and expect him to hurl lots of abandoned cars at your face.
Above: You have guns that shoot bullets. The Tank has arms that throw cars
But it’s this ridiculous difficulty that keeps us coming back. The Bridge shows us Left 4 Dead’s director at his most devious, revealing him to be the most cruel and spiteful AI system of all time. Thankfully, once you finally blast your way through all the final waves of infected and wipe the Boomer barf from your eyes, the rescue chopper awaiting your hard earned arrival will seem so sweet it may as well be made of chocolate.
Entry by Tyler Wilde, Features/Community Editor
The Longest Yard isn’t necessarily the best of the original Quake III DM maps, but it’s certainly the best remembered. The map was introduced on April 24th, 1999 (which I remember because it was my birthday – thanks for the present, id!) in the Quake III beta and became the flagship map for the game, representing how great a departure it was from the previous Quake iterations.
Above: Q3dm17 via Quake Live
The wide-open aerial map is hugely dissimilar to the claustrophobic environments of Quake II, and the boost-ey gravity jumps which propel players between platforms offered an exciting new bad-thing-to-do-if-someone-in-the-game-is-good-with-a-rail-gun. Though its design isn’t exactly calculated, and it lacks the timeless quality of Quake II’s Tokay’s Tower, it was the sort of map that we expected from the future of first person shooters, and that made it super exciting.
Above: This was the shit in 1999
A dull and dreary desert. A never-ending pile of sand, with a few unremarkable rocks poking through the mind-numbingly monotonous surface. A vast void of empty nothingness. Why choose this map, when Halo 3 offers so many other more colorful, more bizarre and more unique ones to wage war upon?
Above: Why Sandtrap rules: Reason #246
Because Sandtrap is more than a map… it’s a canvas. With such a generous swath of uncluttered land, and the editing power of Custom Games, you can transform Sandtrap into pretty much whatever you like. Make the ground deadly and throw two battleship-sized Elephants into the mix – bam, you’ve got a rousingly epic round of Pirate Ships. Equip each player with a rocket launcher and Mongoose – bam, you’re acting out a Mad Max version of Rocket Races. Use Forge to painstakingly place boxes, pipes and bridges at exactly the right angle – bam, you’ve recreated 2D platformer Super Mario Bros. inside a 3D Microsoft shooter.
This may not be the purest Halo map for hardcore Halo fans, but that’s precisely what makes it so special. Sandtrap enables me to escape that familiar formula and experience a different kind of Halo for once.
Above: Here is it in Gears 1
Whether playing against a group of your murderous cohorts in the original Gears of War, or wave after unending wave of Locusts in Gears 2’s resplendent Horde survival mode, there’s a reason this classic horseshow map has remained consistent in the series.
Above: And here it is again in Gears 2
For one, it keeps it simple by creating immediate “Spawn N’ Clash” collisions of mid-map mayhem, all the while demanding players fully utilize the cover system the series is known for, via a veritable buffet of objects to hide behind. Even players less quick on the draw can find strategic joy hidden along Gridlock’s periphery, from the numerous darkened snipe nests, as well as ample opportunities provided to learn the finer points of proper proximity grenade usage. Plus, it’s almost always assured that two or more of the more brazen players will make a mad dash for the Boomshot that spawns in the middle archway and these micro skirmishes tend to serve as kickass precursors for what’s to come.