Over on NeoGAF, Lakitu posted images found on Battlelog of that appear to represent the ten maps included in vanilla Battlefield 4. These appear to me to be the map concept art images that will be displayed on the server pages. Because they are likely concept art, they may not be completely accurate regarding the actual map we will see, but they typically provide us a good sense of what we can expect, especially when combined with the internal map names, as they are in Lakitu’s post. So, let’s put on our trusty speculation caps and analyze these images, shall we?
[UPDATE: DICE has confirmed the names of the 10 vanilla maps on their official blog that will be released with the retail version of Battlefield 4.]
The first couple are maps with which we are quite familiar, so little elaboration is needed. The first is Siege of Shanghai, where the core Levolution event is the collapsing skyscraper.
The next image is Paracel Storm, in which the core Levolution is the weather changing from sunny to stormy, creating large waves that wash a destroyer onto the beach.
Next, we have a map shown to us in the This is Battlefield 4 Multiplayer trailer, Operation Locker. To many, Operation Locker appears to be some form of underground prison, a speculation based largely on the circular structure in the middle of the map seen collapsing in the most recent trailer. That structure is a room build in the center of circular prisons to allow guards to see all prisoners at any time. Continuing with that speculation, this prison is situated in a mountain, and appears to have some access to the snowy areas outside. It will be somewhat linear in terms of flag position, though it appears to have the potential for far more flanking routes than we saw in maps like Metro. It is not yet clear if the collapsing structure will be the core Levolution event. In this image, I see what appears to be a generator on the right side, which leads me to believe darkness will play a significant role on this map. I also speculate the central structure of the circular section of the map will be a key location for holding the enemy’s advances, so collapsing it will be important for the team being held. I also wonder if collapsing the structure allows light into the underground sections of the map, countering darkness brought on by disabling generators.
The next map is the second one named in the recent trailer, Golmud Railway. It appears to be a large map set in a mountain valley reminiscent of Heavy Metal from Bad Company 2. The trailer presented the map with a focus on the vehicular warfare, showing a number of tanks and jets possibly dropping dumb bombs. This image shows an expansive, open space, broken up by a raised train track. If we assume the images are meant to give a sense of the dynamics present on the map, then we are led to believe this one will involve some form of train derailing.
The next map carries the internal name “Damage” [UPDATE: The map name has been confirmed as Lancang Dam]. It appears to be the dam map leaked in some Commander Mode images that involved the infamous submarine tease. We have also seen some of this map in Levolution videos. This is a map a small town or research park set at the base of what seems to be a dry dam. From the glimpses seen in videos, our core Levolution on this map will likely be the destruction of the dam, unleashing destructive debris. Along with destroying parts of the map, it may be that destroying the dam will open up access to new points of view for players or otherwise change the face of the map in a tactical way.
“Flooded” is the internal name of the next map [UPDATE: The map name has been confirmed as Flood Zone]. This is a map also seen in Levolution videos, as well as verbally confirmed by DICE debs as an urban map on which players can destroy a levee, flooding the city. Vehicle battles start with tanks, but switch to boats after the levee breaks, and infantry battles will take to the rooftops.
The next map is internally named “Abandoned” [UPDATE: The map name has been confirmed as Zavod 311]. The image shows an abandoned industrial building with missiles outside. In the latest trailer, this was seen as the map involving a conifer forest, and speculated by some to be a tank graveyard. Based on these thoughts and the image, I would speculate this map is set at an abandoned arms factory hidden deep in the forest. I recall a DICE dev discussing that one Levolution event may involve players battling over arming and disarming a bomb. If that event is central to a particular map and not the Defuse game mode, as I previously speculated, I think this is the map for that. I believe the Levolution trailers may have also shown a falling smoke stack, which may fall on the building, changing the dynamics of any close quarters battles.
[UPDATE: DICE describes the map as: ‘Zavod 311 puts players in a Soviet tank factory that dates back to the Cold War era. Long abandoned, Mother Nature has completely taken over the facility and now overgrown trees and bushes cover the compound. Deep within the factory is an active warhead, which players can detonate to send a towering chimney crashing to the ground. Doing this opens up gameplay paths and routes previously not available while closing others, and making the use of ground vehicles extremely difficult in the area. Players will also find munitions depots filled with highly explosive materials spread across the map that they can use to their advantage.’]
The next map is referred to as “Resort” [UPDATE: The map name has been confirmed as Hainan Resort]. It appears to be a map shown very briefly in the latest trailer as a flag location named “Hotel” that had palm trees visible out the windows. This is a very telling image involving a large smoking structure on the right. When I first viewed this image on my phone, I thought that was a volcano. However, I have seen a lot of speculation since that it is an oil tanker on fire. Honestly, I can see either of those things in this image, and both would provide similar Levolution: fire and smoke. However, the oil tanker would more easily be player-initiated, as I understand Levolution to be. This appears to be another beach map – I wonder if it will entail the US side attacking from carriers in the sea, as we saw in many BF3 maps.
Next we have “Dish” [UPDATE: The map name has been confirmed as Rogue Transmission], a map involving a large radio telescope. The latest trailer exhibited a fair deal of game play from this map, which will involve battles both above and below the dish. Levolution trailers have shown the suspended metal structure of the telescope falling, as well as the panels of the dish being destroyed. There has been a bit of debate about the location of this map, as the first thought of many was the Arecibo telescope in Puerto Rico. Images from under the dish show was appears to be tropical plants. However, other images outside the dish show what is possible more deciduous trees, so it could possibly be the telescope being built in China.
Last on the list is the map “Tremors” [UPDATE: The map name has been confirmed as Dawnbreaker]. As the name implies, this will likely be a map involving earthquakes as we experiences on the map Epicenter. I really hoped they would re-use that idea and add to it with the new engine, and it appears I got my wish. This map appears to be set in an urban area, which means earthquakes in the new engine may result in falling buildings or pieces of buildings, so I expect the landscape of this map to change throughout a match. The image also appears to be set at night. Patrick Bach seemed to have indicated that they tried night maps and did not find them as fun, so I expect this may just be creative license on the concept art. It is also possible we will have a “blue” night map, like we got with BF3, or that they were trolling us so we would be happier and more surprised when we got what so many have asked for. If it is in fact set at night, this could be really good or really bad. An urban map at night with earthquakes certainly sounds exciting.
That is my analysis of what these maps will entail. What do you see in these images?