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Aug
30
2013

Battlefield 4 Exclusive Beta for BF3 Premium owners coming October 1st

You can pre-load on September 27th, then play on October 1st. 

EA does have a resource surrounding other questions about the Battlefield 4 Beta: https://help.ea.com/article/battlefield-4-exclusive-beta-access-information

Jul
07
2013
Dec
28
2012

Battlefield 3 DLC: Aftermath Review

This DLC is available Standalone Purchase or included with Premium

The fourth of five Battlefield expansions, featuring a balanced mix of indoors and outdoors. The outdoor areas are vast and open allowing it to feel completely separate from the indoor areas. The building constructed that make up the indoor areas are tight, almost claustrophobic at times. This blends the feeling of the Close Quarters DLC with the Armored Kill DLC in interesting ways, making for more variety and versatility in attacking and defending objectives.

Markaz Monolith

My favorite map in the bunch. Does that matter much? No. But it will become your favorite too. There’s tall buildings, multi-levels of terror and destruction to be had. The earthquakes have knocked over buildings and revealed interiors as the exterior walls came down. It’s a densely packed urban area where danger lurks around every corner and on every rooftop. There’s stark contrasts of light and darkness, making it easy for your or someone to hide and capture a flag obscured in shadow that your team desperately needed.

Azadi Palace

There are many open areas that lead to the palace walls which have broken down and crumbled to the shakings of the ground beneath them. The palace becomes so open that you can take vans and even tanks up the stairs and into the main rooms to contest for flags and superiority with your massive vehicles dominating the area. It is absolutely frightening to see a Abrams tank come hulking your way as you face each other down one of the hallways. It’s also just as exhilarating to kill it where it stands. The palace is gorgeous with its fine and very detailed rugs and decor has exquisite design accents that, at one time must have been absolutely stunning to look at from afar and up close. It’s destruction is a great playground to fight in.

Epicenter

Another urban area, but this one has areas that is, or was under construction. There’s scaffolding and other ruins of what was to be something promising happening here. Now it’s been ravaged by earthquakes and war. Often times, there are aftershocks that disrupt the action and affect your aim dramatically. Epicenter takes the little details serious, the underground section has a car on fire is in a tunnel, and the smoke billows out from the center all the way to the open area. It’s the attention to details that make the map stand out and has tons of back alleys and navigating through ripped apart buildings.

Telah Market

Is where goods are meant to be sold. But instead, bullets and grenades are traded among enemies where flags are contested. Verticality plays a major role here, Telah Market has more outdoor areas than indoor here. Many walls and stands separate you from your enemy, which allows for more cover, and just as easily that cover to be blown apart as if it was never there. There’s nothing but chaos in this map as it is a bit smaller than the rest and you’re likely to have more close quarters encounters than anything at distance.

Another set of assignments to complete, ten in all. Though, most of these focus on the XBOW and the various bolt types and additional scopes for it. They aren’t very interesting, unless you really want every bolt type and extra dog tags to show off to friends and your nemeses.

Short-name for Crossbow. It’s ultra-quiet and is deadly from the waist up. It suffers a horrific drop far more drastic than any of the lead firing weapons found in the rest of the game. There are plenty of bolt types to acquire, and an additional scope to place onto it for greater range and accuracy. It’s a neat new addition and is not a primary or secondary weapon. It actually takes the place of a critical gadget for any class. Personally, I found it to be a better fit for the Recon class, but it’s entirely up to you if you want to swap out a Defibrillators for the XBOW. But then you’d be a jerk.

Building upon the atmosphere of the theme of the maps, earthquakes. Scavenger Mode is all about finding weapons on the battlefield (heh) and using them to the best of your ability. You will start out with the sidearm of your choice, but the weapons strewn about the ground are random and carry attachments you may or may not normally put on your weapons. The mode is basically Conquest, but with a unique spin that has people distracted to find more weapons rather than protecting or taking objectives as they normally would. And with scarce ammo for each weapon find, is fully understandable.

Aftermath has a yellow tint on everything might make you feel sickly or inside jar of honey, but it’s absolutely gorgeous and riveting to play across these locations that have been ruined by mother nature. Each area, while focusing on urban areas, are extremely detailed and a ton of fun to play. No other Battlefield 3 map outside of this DLC compares. The new Scavenger mode brings forth a new way to play Conquest and deal with only what you can find. The new XBOW is a valuable addition, but the trade-off in your gadget list is tricky. I wholeheartedly recommend this DLC as it is exactly what you need to play.

5
A code for Battlefield 3 Premium was provided by EA for review purposes

Nov
27
2012

Battlefield 3: Aftermath DLC Launch Trailer emerges

Rise from the ashes and fight for survival! In Battlefield 3: Aftermath, players fight for supremacy amongst shattered streets and buildings across four earthquake ravaged maps.

This launch trailer features footage from all four maps and features the new crossbow, vehicles, and the new Scavenger game mode where players armed only with a pistol must search the environment for more powerful weapons.

…continue reading » Battlefield 3: Aftermath DLC Launch Trailer emerges

Sep
16
2012

Battlefield 3 DLC: Armored Kill Review

– Scott Ellison

Our Score: 4 / 5 – Awesome

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

The third of five Battlefield expansions, features the largest maps Battlefield 3 has ever seen. The map design and feel complete the experience and feel reminiscent to Battlefield 1942 in some ways. The greater focus on tanks and air superiority make for an easy way to unlock items for vehicles but also make infantry a very fragile role to play in a larger battle.

The Maps

Alborz Mountains

A vast mountain range featuring a nearly frozen lake and blindingly white mountains. There’s unfortunately a lot of sniper positions but one area features an epcot-looking globe that can’t be destroyed and can suppress many enemies for Conquest or in Rush. In Conquest, this point is what controls who gets to use the AC130. It provides great moments from either side of the team.

Armored Shield

A open area similar to Harvest Day from BF Bad Company or even Caspian Border here in BF3, just rearranged. I don’t find it as beautiful as the other maps in the pack. Hills and secluded urban areas provide some cover if you’re on foot as infantry. Overall, you are very exposed and helicopters have the most advantage here. Tanks of course play a big role in dominating the flag positions, but a good helicopter pilot can also do massive damage.

Death Valley

The night returns, and this map is in splendid glory as fire and moon lighting effects look fantastic. Bridges and underdeveloped buildings lie next to a dry riverbed and are also up against a mountain providing stunning visuals and intense combat for any vehicle. Land vehicles here are preferred due to their firing distance and destruction that can have on the buildings. The helicopters and jets are available here but don’t have a big impact to the overall objectives as they do elsewhere.

Bandar Desert

Is set during sunset and has small hills up against a coast. It has many base setups to provide cover for each mode of play. There’s also some residential areas that provide some new looks to the game. Each area feels distinct from one another to feel distant. The vehicles are equally important on this map. A good combination of land and air vehicles can easily control all points on the map.

Assignments

Another set of assignments to complete, but not for weapons but vehicles. So these introduce fire extinguisher for the new vehicles that are available in the game now. These are also vehicle based and there are only 5 to complete.

New Vehicle: AC130

Quite the game changer. Each of the four tank superiority maps now have an AC130 encircling the battlefield. On Rush, whoever controls the point, controls the plane. On other modes it must be destroyed and then your team takes possession of it. You’ll have control of two sets of guns to rain down terror to enemies. Additionally, it is a spawn point where you and your team can deploy in from the air to attack a flag or MCOM. It’s an adrenaline rush and pure excitement dropping in. It almost reminds me of Titan Mode from Battlefield 2142 featuring the air base, but enemies can’t board the AC130 here.

New Mode: Tank Superiority

A mode to compliment the larger maps. Each team has a bunch of tanks that spawn and can tank control of to go to battle with. If you haven’t guessed by now, infantry units are not very important this time around. Engineers still prove their use of repair and anti-take weaponry but Recon, Assault, and Support rarely need to be out on the fields as they just won’t do the damage necessary.

Final Thoughts

Armored Kill is easily the best DLC yet. It is hard to fault it here, unless you’re simply not a fan of vehicles or can’t control them well. The new maps are huge and can be played in the other modes but are a lot more open and don’t have much cover to protect on-foot players. Using a vehicle to get from place to place is almost essential have a chance at surviving. This map pack also downplays the use of snipers if not for being able to take down helicopter pilots.

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

A download code was provided by EA for review purposes

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

Sep
14
2012

Battlefield 3 DLC: Back to Karkand Review

– Scott Ellison

Our Score: 5 / 5 – Incredible

[box_dark]This DLC is available Standalone Purchase, Free with the Limited Edition, or included with Premium[/box_dark]

The first expansion for Battlefield 3 is nostalgic trip, revisiting some classic maps from Battlefield 2 while updating them for a fresh experience using Frostbite 2.

The Maps

Strike at Karkand

A fantastic urban setting that has been able to fit other modes outside of Conquest works quite well. In BF2, the map was extremely dusty and had a short view distance. Now that the dust has settled, this map has room to shine. You’ll see all the details and for the first time, see the destruction this map offers. There’s even a Battlefield 2 music easter egg hidden on the level if you can get to the right area. The new mode, Conquest Assault allows for it to play just like Battlefield 2.

Gulf of Oman

Quite possibly the most memorable map from BF2. Here as the US Marines, you launch in F-35’s (new aircraft with vertical take off and landing – VTOL) or helicopters and make your way to the beach to take over positions. Rush maps reduce the map size and make it so you start on the beach rather than from the aircraft carrier. Either way the crane is one of the best sniping spots and provides good cover provided you don’t get harassed by pilots of the aircraft variety.

Wake Island

The most used map in all of Battlefield history. Recreated yet again, but almost nothing has changed in this map. The destructability and large landmass make for tons of strategic opportunities when using aircraft and even land vehicles to get where you’re needed. But water vehicles are also available and mostly get hidden by the ridges of the island for an assault that’ll go unnoticed almost every time. Rush maps are intense as you move up area by area or alternatively are pushed back defending small areas with little cover.

Sharqi Pennisula 

I somehow never really played this map. But the map feels much bigger than the original, due to a greater view distance and has better detail where it was lacking. There is tons of verticality and the most sought after control point, the TV station with top floor of a helicopter spawn and a fantastic sniping angle.

Assignments

Introduced via this first expansion, is the addition of assignments. 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.

This is the most rewarding way to tackle achievements, perform actions in-game and get an in-game item as your reward.

New Mode: Conquest Assault

Conquest Assault starts with one team commanding all flags on the map while the opposing team must assault and take the flags over in order to stop their tickets from reaching zero. It seems unfair and daunting, but over time, as a defender you’ll learn how to push back when the odds seem stacked against you. The maps provide the vehicles necessary to do so.

Final Thoughts

As an owner of the Limited Edition, this is quite a reward. As something you may have to purchase by itself, it is well worth the purchase even if you’ve never played Battlefield 2, new maps, modes, extra content including dog tags and assignments make it all worth it and extend the life of the online game. If you’re a BF3 Premium owner, this is a no-brainer, get all the content you can. I found myself more immersed into these maps over any of the standard maps just because of the familiarity and love for the maps in BF2. Newcomers will be right at home.

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

A download code was provided by EA for review purposes

Aug
14
2012

Battlefield 3 Premium Edition announced at Gamescom

The battle continues as DICE, an Electronic Arts Inc. studio, today announced the ultimate Battlefield 3 game pack: Battlefield 3 Premium Edition coming on September 11th for $69.99. This all-encompassing offer combines the original Battlefield 3 game, all Battlefield 3 Premium content including five themed digital expansion packs, and a Battlefield 3 Multiplayer Head-Start Kit that is custom-designed to help jump start players who are new to multiplayer by automatically unlocking 15 different weapons, gadgets and vehicle upgrades. Battlefield 3 Premium Edition delivers more than 25 maps, over 70 weapons and vehicles and dozens of unlocks and upgrades, making it the perfect entry point into one of the top shooter games of this generation.

…continue reading » Battlefield 3 Premium Edition announced at Gamescom

Jul
19
2012

Battlefield 3 DLC: Armored Kill gameplay trailer

Coming this September, Battlefield 3: Armored Kill is the next digital expansion pack in the Battlefield 3 series and introduces a host of exclusive in-game content, new vehicles, assignments and more.

Taking vehicular mayhem to the next level as only Battlefield can, Battlefield 3: Armored Kill features 5 new drivable vehicles including mobile artillery, tanks, ATV’s complete with over 20 vehicle specific unlocks. Players will also have the ability to spawn in the all-new gunship and rain death from above.  …continue reading » Battlefield 3 DLC: Armored Kill gameplay trailer

Mar
07
2012

Battlefield 3 to Get Three Themed Expansions This Year for All Platforms

The Battlefield army is over 12 Million strong and growing every day as Battlefield 3 and its first expansion, Battlefield 3: Back to Karkand continues to recruit gamers around the world with its dynamic sandbox gameplay and state-of-the-art technology. Today, DICE, an Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: EA) studio, demonstrates its ongoing commitment to fans by unveiling three new themed digital expansion packs* that will enhance the superior Battlefield experience with fresh and innovative gameplay, new modes, unique environments and more ways to wage all-out-war on the battlefield. Powered by the Frostbite 2 engine, the next expansion packs are: Battlefield 3: Close Quarters in June, Battlefield 3: Armored Kill in the fall, and Battlefield 3: End Game in the winter.

“Instead of delivering piecemeal map packs, we’re giving players a completely new experience with every themed expansion pack to keep the action fresh. Our expansions are designed to excite our large and active fan base while attracting new recruits with gameplay that is dynamic and unpredictable every time.”

 

Battlefield 3: Close Quarters – In Battlefield 3: Close Quarters, players are dropped into a frantic, infantry-only theatre of war. Frostbite 2 high definition destruction makes the environment come alive as everything from furniture to plaster gets shot to pieces. Players will feel the intensity of the world exploding around them as rubble and broken pieces pile up on the floor, while tight level design and vertical gameplay create a highly competitive environment. Battlefield 3: Close Quarters also introduces new weapons, assignments and unique dog tags to bring back to the base game.

Battlefield 3: Armored Kill – Following the tight infantry gameplay ofBattlefield 3:Close Quarters, DICE will release Battlefield 3:Armored Killthat ups the ante for vehicular mayhem as only Battlefield can do. Featuring new driveable tanks, ATVs, mobile artillery and more, Battlefield 3:Armored Kill also delivers huge battlefields for an all-out vehicle assault, including the biggest map in Battlefield history.

Battlefield 3: End Game – The fourth expansion pack will ship in the winter but details remain tightly guarded. …continue reading » Battlefield 3 to Get Three Themed Expansions This Year for All Platforms