Last year, we did a feature highlighting some of our favorite multiplayer maps of all time, in which we singled out Halo’s Blood Gulch, Mario 64’s Block Fort and Left 4 Dead’s No Mercy, among others. All of you answered with some great suggestions, and I promised I would return with another edition (and beyond) honoring some of those mentioned.
So, here we are. Remember, these aren’t intended to be definitive lists, but rather, a way for us to reminisce on some great games and some great maps that we enjoyed in our time with them. If you have more suggestions for awesome maps that deserve to be in the Multiplayer Hall of Fame, by all means, post them in the comments and we can continue to induct new members.
Da na – na naaaaa! If you spent any amount of time in the past mixed up in some epic Goldeneye multiplayer action with your buddies, you know that telltale sound all too well. While many of the multiplayer maps in Goldeneye really aren’t all that well balanced in terms of flow and player movement, Facility stands alone in many gamers’ minds because of the epic shootouts that happened in the central corridor as well as the bathroom stalls. Who didn’t imagine themselves as an action hero as they dodged in and out of bathroom stalls, unloading automatic shotguns shells at one another? And who didn’t experiment with a few proximity mine traps inside that lethal zone?
Unreal Tournament: Facing Worlds
As one of the games that defined online multiplayer in the PC realm, Unreal Tournament is famous for a handful of maps that set the trends for years to come. Facing Worlds is the map that all other symmetrical Capture the Flag maps wish they could be, and they do everything they can to come close to its designs. With two tall towers facing one another with rocky bridges in between, Facing Worlds dumped players into combat in no time flat, leading to some epic encounters on multiple tiers as they battled their way into the other team’s towers. The excellent setting of the planet hanging in the distance certainly heightened that special feeling.
Super Smash Brothers Melee: Hyrule Temple
Anyone that’s played Super Smash Brothers Melee can describe the glee that pops into hearts and minds when that classic Legend of Zelda music kicked in on Hyrule Temple. Featuring set pieces from the popular games, Hyrule Temple at once invoked nostalgia and the anticipation for a grueling match ahead. One of the most ridiculous parts of this map was the lower zone beneath the buildings, where players could get trapped while duking it out, leading to some crazy high damage bouts. At any second, the right hit could send a foe rocketing out into the stratosphere. Talk about suspense.
Team Fortress 2: 2Fort
If Facing Worlds is the retro standard for Capture the Flag, 2Fort is as close as you can get to the new standard. This map has so many perfect touches: the covered bridge that allows players to advance on each base without sniper fire, the underwater tunnels, the central squares in each base, and the sniper cubbies on the upper levels. Everything is set up to provide some hyper-classed base shooting carnage, and it delivers on nearly every match I’ve played there. And that’s not even mentioning Team Fortress 2’s awesome art style, which really adds something special to the map.
Long A! Long A! With the promise of a revamped Dust 2 in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Valve has poked at the fire of CS fanboys’ hearts around the globe. The thing that made Dust 2 so much fun is that there were any number of strategies that teams could employ to get to the bombsites, and any number of transition strategies that they could change to once the Counter-Terrorist trap was set. This map, in my mind, plays out like a chess match, with teams feinting, re-routing, adapting and pushing to their attack site of choice. There are places for long range skirmishes, close flash-bang riddled encounters and danger zones for awps that become prime places for smoke grenades. Just writing about this makes me want to hop back in and push the double doors.
And there you have it. Do you have any thoughts on these maps? Stories to share? What needs to be included in future editions of the Multiplayer Map Hall of Fame? Go!