The appropriately titled “End Game” signals the flame to the final DLC for the multiplayer for Battlefield 3. This is the end of the development cycle for the game. It’s been an incredible journey for this game that launched back at the end of 2011. End Game brings new modes, new vehicles, new maps, and even a secret, unlockable dev-only weapon to close out Battlefield 3.
An autumn location with a river separating the teams and massive jumps for the dirt bikes to easily traverse. The thick forests and orange leaves that cover the landscape among the brown grass give it a great look as there are natural barriers with rocks and hills that give some verticality to the level while making it easy to escape enemy fire. Major points of contention happen at the power plant where the big warehouse is located and provides cover as it has the main bridge connecting the landmasses.
Another desert, mostly flat and filled with grassy farms. Massive industrial complexes provide shelter in the otherwise open areas where your only sanctuary from gunfire is a hay bale. Neat effects of the sprinklers nearby get on your screen. The lack of cover works well for a sniper and a SOFLAM to occupy any pilot’s time to try to dodge incoming missles. Any mode, whether it’s Conquest or Capture the Flag really shine here as massive standoffs and battles will happen, forcing one team out.
A large forest with a railroad running down the center provides risk with reward. The reward is travelling down it for the easiest access to the enemy’s flag or capture point, the risk is that you will easily be picked off from a distance or drive over the railway laced with mines. The outer edges provide lush, green hills for cover and concealment. The sun glare is the biggest offender in this map, and other maps here too. It just completely obscures your vision if you have to look in that direction to take out enemies.
Introducing the second snow map into Battlefield 3, features beautiful white snow with a burning fire raging from a smoke stack. Huge hills prevent either base from seeing each other and a huge warehouse. Near the other base, conex boxes provide the best cover from helicopter fire. This is a huge arena, and most people will stick to the outsides to get around rather than go through the more populated and destructive centers. All modes are great here.
Of course it wouldn’t be a new DLC if there weren’t new assignments. However, these assignments unlock a very coveted gun, the S-TAC. Once a DICE employee-only weapon, can now be yours by completing these five taxing assignments. These are well thought out and will provide longevity to earn alone, or are quite easy with friends or on low population servers.
New Vehicle: Dirt Bike
This new transport vehicle is slim, nimble, and quite fast. As opposed to the ATV, the motorcycle places the second rider facing forwards and gives them about 270° of looking around. As a rather unfortunate side-effect, these vehicles can be targeted by javelins for new good reason, and have no way of detecting lock-ons. A bummer is that none of the new maps allow for dirt bikes and ATVs to cohabitate, they are simply replaced here. It’s a great addition and proves to be a tactical advantage in many ways.
New Mode: Air Superiority
It’s a perfectly fine mode, taking place thousands of feet above the ground, featuring blimps to be captured as an “Air Conquest” mode. Here, Air Superiority requires jet flying skills. It’s here you can get in good practice or will die trying. Air Superiority is the answer to Tank Superiority, and really caters to those who love jets or perhaps those who never get a chance to fly them. The mode alone is fine, but feels pretty hollow overall. You’re always outgunned by those who have better unlocks or skills.
New Mode: Capture the Flag
A return to form from DICE. Capture the Flag hasn’t been seen since Battlefield 2: Modern Combat on consoles, or Battlefield 1942 on PCs. It returns here with some interesting twists on the formula. Both teams have a flag, if your team takes the enemy flag, and the enemy tags your flag, you’re at a stalemate until one of the flags is returned so it can be captured. Immediate kills once the flag has been taken return it home, but the ones who have been gone long have a countdown timer on them similar to capturing a Conquest flag. Games often end in stalemates of boredom, or complete chaos with the entire team swarming your location to take their flag and capture yours at the same time, it creates these interesting tug-of-war scenarios that are highly intense.
- Final Thoughts -
End Game is Battlefield 3′s swan song. It goes out with honor and dignity, even with some issues with sun glare and javelins locking on to dirt bikes. That aside, the new maps and modes refresh Battlefield 3 all over again. All of them have a tinge of Bad Company 2 to them. If you have yet to buy Premium, now is the time. You now know everything this game has to offer and there’s exceptional gameplay to be found on the bountiful servers.
Retails for: $14.99, recommended purchase price: $14.99
A code for Battlefield 3 Premium was provided by EA for review purposes