OXCGN’s Battlefield 3: Armored Kill DLC Review
Battlefield the way it should be
by Daniel Geikowski
©2012 Daniel Geikowski
Let me say this straight out of the gate: this is what Battlefield 3 should have been from the beginning.
Whereas the previous DLC, Close Quarters, focused on tight infantry-based fighting, Armored Kill goes in the opposite direction, focusing on vehicular warfare in large environments.
Here’s a couple of acres
Compared to the standard Battlefield 3 maps, the four new maps in Armored Kill are absolutely massive.
Each of the new maps provides an enjoyable area for the player to traverse whilst also shooting people in the face.
Armored Shield consists of farmland and countryside much similar to Caspian Border, with well-spaced points, consisting of various buildings in which infantry can battle it out. Hills and random foliage allow infantry to move from point to point with reduced exposure to vehicles.
Death Valley is a night-time based map set surprisingly in a valley. Situated between ravines and mountains, Death Valley acts somewhat like a funnel, forcing teams to do battle back and forth.
Being set at night, it allows both infantry in jeeps and ATVs to slip past armoured targets with greater ease, allowing for flanking and surprise attacks on both enemies and captured points. The map also features a large construction building which is ideal for snipers.
Bandar Desert, as DICE have repeatedly said, is the largest map in Battlefield history. They’re not wrong; however, in my opinion it is probably the least appealing.
The map is situated along a coastline, featuring a residential complex along the coast and a couple of artillery bases situated inland. These areas are separated by a vast desert. The desert area is pretty barren, with no points to capture.
Therefore the majority of the action tends to take place on the outer regions of the map.
Finally, the last (and my personal favourite) map is Alborz Mountains. This snow-based map features well-spaced points separated by a hefty amount of terrain elevation.
Half of the points are situated around the base of the mountains along a semi-frozen lake, with the other half situated up atop the mountain range. There’s even a T-Rex skull hidden around the mountains.
All the better to shoot you with
One of the most exciting new additions in this department is the ATV. These babies can actually pick up a bit of speed, making it hard for armour to target you once the player has been spotted. ATVs allow players to get in and out of the action quickly, and seem to pass unnoticed when focus is on heavy armour.
In my experience, the best addition to an ATV is not simply another player riding passenger, but instead being lethally covered with C4. The range you can launch ATVs into the fray is amazing, and getting multi-kills with them make them even more enjoyable.
Armored Kill also introduces the Tank Destroyer. These vehicles pack similar punch to MBTs, but sacrifice some armour in favour of speed. Destroyers are best suited in packs, making light work of enemy vehicles. Destroyers can also carry up to four passengers, making it an effective troop carrier.
Each team also has access to Mobile Artillery vehicles. Effective for long-range engagements, the mobile artillery allows for one person, who drives and shoots. Players must be stationary to fire, which leaves them susceptible to sneaky support troops or enemy air vehicles.
Finally, Armored Kill introduces the AC-130. This bad boy is available to the team that captures and holds a specific point on the map, and is usually the most contested point as a result. [Ed.: Not unlike the artillery gun in Battlefield: Bad Company!]
The AC-130 gunship allows for two primary gunners, one additional gunner, and one other manning the heavy cannon. Both gunners have flares to deploy to ward of incoming missiles. The gunship also acts as a mobile spawn point, allowing players to drop into the map from the location of the AC-130.
Before AK was released, I was sure that the AC-130 was going to be a major factor in the gameplay. The truth is, however, it’s a bit hit and miss.
Play the objective
Conquest on AK is the same as ever on BF3. Playing on PC, the larger maps allow for more capture points. As I stated before, one specific point controls who gains access to the AC-130. This point is well situated on each map, usually in the center of the map, or the furthest from the team’s spawn area.
This is a great design decision, as the point is usually the most highly contested, and the AC-130 brings about greater firepower. However, on Conquest, the AC-130 is pretty rubbish.
With proper teamwork, the AC-130 usually survives between 30-60 seconds before getting blown up. Enemy air vehicles, AA and stingers make light work of the gunship unless it has friendly air support. The gunship also has no ability to repair.
On the contrary, in Rush, the AC-130 is overpowered.
The attacking side are able to quickly plant the bomb, and defend using the gunship. This pretty much turns the defending team into attackers. Add to that the fact that the gunship can fire into the defending spawn, and you’ve got an uphill battle to fight.
The defending team does have a plane, but so does the attacker, which easily shoots down the defender trying to take out the AC-130. Thankfully DICE are patching the respawn time on the gunship in order to give defenders more of a chance.
However, it’s not impossible to win as a defender. Teamwork is vital on Rush in AK in order for defenders to take out both air and ground targets, while defending M-Com stations.
AK also introduces Tank Superiority mode. If you love your tanks, this is the mode for you.
Tank Superiority is much like King of the Hill, which involves opposing teams doing battle over a single point situated in the centre of the map. MBTs and Tank Destroyers are the only vehicles available in this mode.
I know a lot of players don’t know what teamwork is, but this mode not only emphasizes it, but forces it onto players.
This new addition requires teamwork in order to win. Players can’t head off into battle on their own and hope to succeed, or they’ll get put in their place by enemy tanks.. The key to winning is to travel in tank packs, with fellow Engineers repairing you along the way.
Tank Superiority provides some intense battles that you won’t forget anytime soon. Rolling over a hill to see a fleet of enemy tanks in battle is one hell of a sight.
Jets are in their element here. The terrain allows for some great dogfights as well as cover from ground targets. It’s also nice to not be targeted as soon as you take off from your base.
However, the main negative points of the DLC are the unbalanced AC-130, and the simple fact that if you’ve wrecked your vehicle in the middle of nowhere, you’ll be facing a long walk if a buddy doesn’t pick you up.
All of that aside, if you’re a fan of Battlefield 3 who might have lost a bit of interest since Close Quarters, do yourself a favour and grab Armored Kill.
This is how Battlefield should be played.
©2012 Daniel Geikowski
Filed under: Console gaming, PC Reviews, PS3 Reviews, Xbox 360, Xbox 360 Game Reviews Tagged: | Battlefield, Battlefield 3, battlefield 3 close quarters, Battlefield 3 DLC, battlefield 3 dlc review, Battlefield 3: Armored Kill, Battlefield: Premium, DICE, DLC, EA, Electronic Arts, Electronic Arts DICE, games, OXCGN, Video game