OXCGN’s Battlefield 3: Close Quarters DLC Review
A Solid Start
©2012 Arthur Kotsopoulos
Battlefield Premium looks to reward players heavily invested in Battlefield 3 and is the start of a vigorous post-launch campaign, granting content to players that ranges from access to new weapons to character and weapon customization, and even assignments.
Not only do those who bite the Premium bullet gain the aforementioned content, but in addition, they earn early access to new maps and game types.
Close Quarters is the first of the scheduled DLC packs available to , changing up the gameplay of Battlefield 3 from large scale, open warfare to tight corridors, small rooms and a plethora of planted claymores and shotguns.
It introduces players to four new maps as well as two new game types, both of which offer players a fresh experience in this modern shooter.
An exact replica of Domination, Conquest Domination has been fitted for all four maps where both teams are required to capture all three flags and dwindle away their opponents tickets. Both teams start off with 150 tickets, and when you’ve captured all 3 flags, you’ll be surprised at how fast the match will come to an end.
Conquest Domination does its job; it’s as simple as that.
Each of the three flags on all four maps have been placed in spots where the action will be the most frantic, and regardless of any height advantages, you’ll need to be moving from flag to flag with your trigger finger ready.
In addition to Conquest Domination,, another new mode presents itself: Gun Master.
This game type has been done to death in plenty of other shooters, and some may say that this is the DLC’s weakest offering… to which I simply laugh. It’s still just as fun here as anywhere else, and DICE have done an excellent job handling it.
Players start off with a pistol and need two kills with each weapon before advancing to the next ‘tier’ of guns. Gun Master is a game of skill, luck, and a quick trigger finger.
I’ve had ample time to sit down and experience this game type on all four maps, and if you’re not familiar with the layout or guns in any of the sixteen levels, you’ll be at a serious disadvantage.
Gun Master definitely changes up the traditional frantic warfare we’ve come to know in Battlefield, and camping in the tiny rooms in these new maps simply is not an option. By the time you’ve advanced to assault rifles, I can guarantee that half the map has already had its walls blown to bits.
The pack lives up to its name, especially when you’ve reached level seventeen and require a kill with the knife to secure victory. Truly, close quarters combat.
My preferred map for both Gun Master and Conquest Domination is definitely Ziba Tower, on the basis that the map never feels too large or too enclosed. It embodies the overall theme of Close Quarters perfectly, and by the time you’re finished in either of the modes, the map seems to be completely obliterated.
It doesn’t suffer from the same fate as Operation 925, where the amount of content and complexity of the map tends to distract you.
Most rooms in both parts of the map have multiple entry points, so turning any corner without care could lead to a lovely shotgun blast to the face during a round of Gun Master, and lobbing grenades over the courtyard in Conquest Domination offers great satisfaction when you manage to eliminate enemies trying to recapture their flag.
It’s always a pleasant sight to see rooms, chairs, and walls torn to shreds by the surrounding gunfire and this map showcases the essence and power of Frostbite 2.0, especially when you walk alongside the balcony and see the dozens of buildings in the city below.
Gun Master shines on this map the way the sun shines on a blossoming flower in Spring; it’s beautiful. The sight of watching the bullets rip into the surrounding walls and seeing dust in the air is simply a sight to behold.
The combat gets tense when players have access to shotguns and assault rifles, and if you’re not careful, any player could emerge from the multiple entry points in this map. There are plenty of hallways and small rooms that you could get lost in, but because everything is so tightly connected, you’re never away from the battle and I always seemed to walk into the heat without losing sight of the fight.
Many players also fail to notice some of the inner balconies that connect with most of the map and at times I would easily pop around a corner to find a group of the opposing team with their backs facing me ready to be picked off one by one.
Conquest Domination on the other hand isn’t as fun here, since you’re more focused on navigating the tight spaces and multiple entry/exit points.
Operation 925 I feel suffers from having too much content crammed into it and regardless of if you have familiarized yourself with the map, you’ll find yourself running through the annoying parking area a lot more than shooting at the enemy.
It’s certainly not a bad map, but out of the four, it definitely is the one with the weakest offerings to the close quarters combat this DLC is trying to achieve. Conquest Domination fits 925 like a glove because the map is large enough to accommodate that game type, but Gun Master is just a waste.
The parking lot is an unnecessary addition to the map, and I found myself being spawned in there far too many times just to find myself spending time running towards the action rather than just being in it. The office portion of the map is its strongest point and offers extremely visceral combat, but by the time you’ve reached that area you’ve either died or the match is over.
Scrapmetal personally has to be the weakest map of the four as again, it suffers the same fate as Operation 925 and at the best of times you’ll find yourself walking around multiple metal objects away from the battle.
Gun Master is extremely difficult on this map especially if you have a TV that has rich blacks like mine does. I struggled to see anything when indoors and had to rely on my mini-map to find where players were.
Conquest Domination is my preferred game type here, on the basis that you can’t stand still for a second, as it may result in your death. You need to be on alert at all times and always on the move because things get absolutely crazy with this game type.
Due to the nature of this map and having multiple levels, you’ll often find yourself at the mercy of your enemy cowering on the stairs shooting you from down below and I find this to be a great disadvantage.
It’s easy to forget they are there especially when you’re focused on running around objects just to get to the next area. You get frustrated from time to time and end up just sitting in some random corner if you’re fed up with running around and always dying from impossible angles.
Close Quarters is a pleasant start to Battlefield 3‘s post-content launch where all four maps have been crafted to fit both of the new game types introduced. Whilst some excel more than others, it’s definitely a strong offering and one that consumers will be pleased with.
If you need more of a reason to continue playing Battlefield 3 beyond the achievements and satisfaction, then Close Quarters is a definite buy.
Close Quarters has definitely made me fall in love with Battlefield 3 all over again. I thought I was done with it once I had reached level 50, but once I was back in the action on some new maps and new game types, I couldn’t resist sprucing up my skills and showing everyone a thing or two.
©2012 Arthur Kotsopoulos
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