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Sep
15
2012

Battlefield 3 DLC: Close Quarters Review

– Scott Ellison

Our Score: 3 / 5 – Okay

[box_dark]This DLC is available Standalone Purchase or included with Premium[/box_dark]

The second expansion is a more intimate experience than what you’d expect Battlefield to have. This is where it succeeds and fails. It does well in creating a highly explosive and a barrage of weaponry in close-knit spaces. The interiors have been changed and focus on deteriorating walls from bullets and grenades due to their thin material. Each map has a focused attention to detail in lighting that starkly contrasts the other maps in the game.

The Maps

Ziba Tower

A gorgeous tower set who knows where, but is similar in visuals to that of Mirror’s Edge (DICE being the same developer, not so surprising). Ziba Tower is the tallest building surrounded by a metropolis of other buildings. It features an open center area with tents. The sides fill the symmetry and are two floors. They then have corridors for navigation, making nearly everything a chokepoint and of high intensity.

Donya Fortress

Is a broken down castle of Persian decent and features floors of gorgeous furniture and open courtyards. The ravages of war has taken its toll on this abandoned place, and has lead to explosions that open to the next floor. There’s a dark, dank, cavernous underground that isn’t all too well lit and is older than what is built above it, providing some mystery but is a highly contested control point.

Operation 925

The best map in the pack. Operation 925 features a building interior where there are offices and an underground parking structure. The office area has shreds of papers flying everywhere and noises from still working copiers, etc. There are emergency stairwells that lead into the parking garages and feature the best combat and lighting I’ve seen. Cars can blow up and can be on fire through the entire match, messing with your view of the enemy and hopefully their view of you.

Scrapmetal

Is a half-working industrial area. It features a rooftop and multi-floor areas. The most vertical of the maps and two sides are present, one shut down and the other still having machinery on and working. The only way to transfer is through a narrow, but yet open bridge between the two, and can be done in or on. Again, another example of gorgeous lighting that can be distracting but wonderful to look at.

Assignments

Introduced via the first expansion, is the addition of assignments for the weapons. These assignments require you to perform a specific task in order to unlock a gun. Once done, you’ll have a secondary assignment for that tier to continue performing tasks to unlock the final weapon. There are 10 assignments (5×2 for each class) to obtain and add to the weapon list for you to get more service stars and unlock items with.

New Mode: Gunmaster

Gunmaster is Battlefield’s take on Gun Game from Counter-Strike (Arms Race in CS:GO) or Black Ops’ Gun Game. The twist here, is that two kills are needed before going up a rank. Ultimately this mode only takes place on the maps built for Close Quarters.  It obviously wouldn’t work elsewhere but is mostly a throwaway as it isn’t fun with friends and is good if you are playing the game alone.

Final Thoughts

Close Quarters is an intense DLC, providing moment-to-moment action with almost no downtime. The change of pace here is unrelenting and definitely enjoyable. Sadly, Gunmaster Mode fails to really capture much excitement as it focuses less on a team game and more on solo ability. The spawns for some of the maps are pretty bad as you’ll spawn into a firefight and meet certain death. If you want this experience, Battlefield 3 brings it hard.

Retails for: $14.99, recommended purchase price: $8.99

A download code was provided by EA for review purposes

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