Sometimes the worse a map is designed, the more gratifying it feels to win. It makes it tolerable. Perhaps even fun despite the flaws. But this is not one of those maps. The only words I can think of to concisely explain my feelings for this map are: even when you win, you lose. I can be ahead by a mile on this map and I’m still scowling the entire time. Capture the flag is already irritating enough, but then you throw this in the mix and it becomes torture. I find everything in this map to feel so lackluster. The aesthetics, the layout of the map and the practical limitations and gameplay implications brought by said layout.
Yeah, you read that caption right. At least 2fort didn’t force you to walk out into the open forever while forcing you to announce which direction you were flanking in order to get the intel. On 2fort, you could take the waterways and avoid the eyes of people on the battlements, or rush across the top if you were a Scout or had explosive jumps. Everyone else could take the bridge (or waterways) while using the bridge itself or the two doorways of each base as cover in fights. You could use room corners as cover once inside. You could also safely jump overboard into the water if the fight on the bridge went south. The distance between the bases (and potential cover) is also MUCH shorter, so death didn’t mean a marathon between lives.
Meanwhile here, you have the option of a giant straight line (the bridge) where you can be seen and shot from miles away and you can only move forwards or backwards OR (if you’re really clever) you can take the railway track which is a giant straight line where you can be seen and shot from miles awa- HANG ON! That isn’t an alternative at all! Not only that, but jumping from the bridge obviously does a tonne of damage! Potentially lethal! So you can rule that off the list unless you’re Scout. You basically have to pray your enemies have awful aim as you zig-zag down the straight line but it’s pretty hard to miss when your target is running straight at you, both from the perspective of the tunnel and from the battlements.
If you manage to “dodge” your way past the firing squads, you then wind up at the grand labyrinth of corners. An infinite amount of angles await you from which defenders can and will ambush you, since defense is so damn easy on this map, even by CTF standards. This is just one route but they’re all rigged in this manner. You enter from under the stairs. This means you have to watch: directly ahead, to your top left if someone is next to the rails, behind and above you if on top of the stairs square platform, behind if half way up to the stairs, to your right if people are on the balcony, it’s ridiculous. I could have a smoke and two flashbangs with me from Counter-Strike and I’d still most likely be killed. Again, there’s nowhere to hide.
Of course, the cherry on the torture-sundae is a turtle engineer’s haven! A big empty room where the sentry(s) can see everywhere. You can deal with it like any normal sentry… Assuming no-one is chasing you or has jumped down from the spawn room literally mere metres away. Even if you do manage to grab the intel, your options are suicidal. You either run back the way you came and out the door, or jump down the ditch in the shed into the tunnels. Both of these walk you directly past the enemy spawn and previously avoided chokepoints. If you bribed death himself and still yet live, your reward is getting to run in a straight, easy to kill line either up the stairs and over the bridge or across the track. Absolutely wonderful.
Attackers are the ones who need verticality in order to be aggressive to their opponents so the match isn’t an eternal stalemate. Give it to the defenders and everyone just sits in their own base waiting for victims while the one or two attackers from each team try to actually accomplish the objective of the damn mode they’re playing. Usually fruitlessly. Like I said earlier, even if you are winning, it feels like you’re losing since the map trips you with every step you take. I also said earlier that CTF has a bad reputation as it is… But if there’s a glimmer of hope for the mode it’s Landfall. Every element of it is superior to the design of this monstrosity. Everything about this damn map is a mess…
…And that’s why I hate ctf_doublecross.
P.S. – I still wouldn’t say I “loved” ctf_landfall, I don’t love it like aabicus loves orange chicken, but it’s a far sight better than every other CTF map in my opinion. I definitely like it. *Technically Scout can make it provided you time your jump off the edge impeccably and hold crouch to slide across the rail after double jumping.