The fact Operation Hastings is updated version of a former map will probably have people on forums discarding the news and saying they're not actually getting 5 new maps, but they're probably missing the point: look up a YouTube video of the original Battlefield: Vietnam and you'll immediately appreciate how much effort DICE has put in to update Operation Hastings for the wonderful Frostbite engine.
On with the new, though: the four other maps are stunners. My personal favourite is Hill 137, which starts with some intense jungle battles before sweeping back into an ornate network of tunnels and scorched forestry - you can basically love the smell the napalm in the morning. Embers waft through the breeze, and thick plumes of smoke obfuscate vision and allow for raucous firefights.
As for how it all works, Vietnam nests itself within its own little sub-menu of Bad Company 2, and has its own separate progression trees: you won't just be able to sidestep your beefed-up profile into all of Vietnam's new gear.
While 15 weapons are provided across the game's four kits, some of them carry over - such as the M60 and 870MCS, albeit with the Vietnam equivalents looking grubbier and often wrapped up with cloth. Engineers get their lucky hands on the PPSh, the world's only submachine gun with onomatopoeic name. The Assault class gets an AK-47, a gun everybody who's even heard of video games already knows how to fire with deadly precision (watch out for the recoil) and the Medics get to murder everyone with an XM22.
But the most crucial new weapon is the flamethrower - it's expectedly devastating when used to clear out the many foxholes scattered around each map, but it's also quite funny to see somebody fire at you when miles away. The thing seriously knows how to throw flames, too, and combating somebody using one usually involves shooting wildly into the massive, all-engulfing fireball rather than popping off a tactical three-burst into their bonce.
It might startle you to find that red dot sights are out, too, which will certainly make my life harder. But it's Vietnam, so we'll have to make do. If it's any consolation, tanks will have radios tuned into Clearwater Credence Revival's Fortunate Son, along with dozens of other tracks.
All those Vietnam-era vehicles go down a treat, too. The iconic Hueys, patrol boats and M48 Pattons help make the 10-month-old game feel shiny and new and, alongside the meticulous briefing screens, add a palpable sense of atmosphere - Vietnam genuinely feels like more than Bad Company 2 with flamethrowers and foliage.
While I'm sure some people might lament the lack of UAV, the trade-off in other new features is totally worth it. DICE is producing one of the most lavish and generous DLC packs seen in years.
Battlefield: Bad Company 2 Vietnam will be available on Steam and the EA Download Store from December 18. Xbox 360 and PS3 owners will need to wait until December 21 to get the game from their respective online services.