10
Sep
12

On this eve of Battlefield 3 Armored Kill…

Hello there Riskening true believers! We’re here today on the brink of a add-on release for a little game called Battlefield 3, for all you Xbox 360 premium subscribers out there (I see you…) waiting for Armored Kill. As I’m sure most of you know already (Battlefield 3 fans?), an add-on came out a couple months back that promised frantic and fast paced gunning that went by the title of Close Quarters. I’m going to take a moment to reflect on the previous expansion, which was the first true expansion to this game (the redux-fest Back to Karkand, while having some of the best maps IMO, doesn’t count because it came out VERY shortly after release and was included with copies of the game for quite some time). So without further adieu, my look back at Close Quarters…

First of all, there’s a reason why many were calling this add-on Call of Duty-ish at release because, for all intents and purposes, that’s basically what it all boils down to. I’m sure this is quite intentional too (and if it somehow wasn’t then you could have fooled me), trying to tap into some of that ravenous Call of Duty fanboy market *money, money, money*, right? I had my worries when details first surfaced for this add-on, after hearing about how the vehicles would be left out and the new maps would be a turn to more claustrophobic tendencies. Yes, the vehicles which I very much consider to be the bread and butter of Battlefield 3 and what ultimately sets it apart from Call of Duty games of late (and I’m sure I’m not alone in this sentiment…I know at least one other person that I regularly squad with that agrees) have been completely ripped out of these maps. This was the first red flag that popped in my mind. I was having alot of fun with Battlefield 3 multiplayer though so I said what the hell and bit the bullet with a premium subscription so I could dive into the first of 4 add-ons to come to BF 3.

One of the big (probably biggest) features of these new maps are highly destructible environments. I believe the lobby scene from the first Matrix movie was part of the inspiration for this destruction. It’s kinda neat sure, and they really played out this feature in the trailers leading up the release (big selling point), but ultimately doesn’t make up for all the frustrations I have with this add-on. I’ll be talking about the new “Conquest Domination” game mode that debuted with this add-on since that’s where I had the biggest beef. It’s certainly a beast with a very different nature from the Conquest game mode that I had spent most of my time with up until this point. Does it still have flags? Yes, only the range that you need to be near it to cap has been greatly diminished (I’ll get to this more later). Is it run and gun from one flag to the next? No doubt about that, it’ll keep you on your toes. Is it frustrating? You bet. I’ll cover this last one in much detail.

I remember in my first game playing this mode being simultaneously knifed while spawning in my second or so life and looking back now I think that about sums up how I feel about this add-on on the whole : like being stabbed in the back. The spawn system leaves a lot to be desired here. It seems they took the already awful random spawn of Team Deathmatch and ramped it up to the Nth degree for this add-on. If you like spawn-die-spawn-die as much possible though then by all means it doesn’t get much better here. You can still save grace with your kill to death ratio with a slew of cheap trips though, so don’t fret. How about this one : do you like planting C4 or claymores on objectives and waiting for some unsuspecting enemy? Well step right up to the plate! You’ll be right at home here since you need to be about 2 inches away from the flag to cap it. Or how about this one : do you like rocketing someone in the face point blank? Bust out that RPG, buckaroo! How about hiding in the corner of a room and waiting for someone to pass by or spawn? The fun never stops! The funny thing is that the new assignments that came with this add-on seemed to cater closely to this behavior too since they required kills with many of the aforementioned, such as C4, claymores and RPGs (how about that…).

Between the cheap tricks and endless shotguns never have I been more pissed off at the end of a match…even the ones that my team had won. I’ve played the newer Call of Duties online with their smaller maps and my playtime nowhere near compares to my time with Battlefield 3. The other new game mode, Gun Game, I really didn’t have too much complaints with. It’s pretty much just your typical gun game ala Counterstrike. The immediate switching of weapons between levels is a bit slow which can kind of fudge you in certain situations, but whatever. It does have one thing going for it though…it makes me feel much less like putting my controller through the TV by the time the match ends. The best part of this add-on are the new weapons, but not much else I’d voluntarily spend much time on.

So here’s to Armored Kill : a hopeful return to the Battlefield I know and love. More vehicles and bigger maps are a dish best served delightful. I’ll also pray everyday that as details of the last 2 add-ons (Aftermath and End Game) emerge that they don’t further tarnish the competitive multiplayer that I can truly call my favorite.

See you on the battlefield regardless, pardner…

– DGM-payne


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