Last week, DICE and Electronic Arts hosted a preview event to showcase Medal of Honor: Warfighter and to announce Battlefield 3‘s DLC plans, allowing attendees to get hands-on with the first content add-on ‘Close Quarters,’ which releases in June. The event, held at The Grand Nightclub in San Francisco, was decorated with plants to reflect the gameplay preview for Warfighter.
As much as the Frostbite 2-driven game, Medal of Honor: Warfighter, might pique some interest from everyone, it was Battlefield 3 and the the playable infantry-only expansion that we got to play with. Close Quarters will feature 10 new weapons and 4 new maps, each of which encourages tense and confined firefight scenarios that will appeal players who enjoy fast-paced combat situations and team deathmatch gameplay.
The map, called ‘Ziba Tower,’ takes place in a sort of penthouse/office building amalgam. The first thing I noticed when navigating the map was how much it reminded me of the Call of Duty: Black Ops map, ‘Hotel’. It’s a parallel map that looks a bit like a square from bird’s eye. In the center is a pool and a few smaller buildings for ambush opportunities. Perhaps one of the most enjoyable things to do was seeing some of the water effects of grenade explosions in the water, which happened to be a popular request from attendees playing the map.
The map is different, but very fun. It succeeds in offering fast-paced gameplay that some shooter fans might enjoy with other games, but still retains a very Battlefield 3 flavor. There are often moments where you are both hunter and prey at the same time, and the Battlefield 3 staple of teamwork still rings true. Individuals who work together as a unit will dominate the confined spaces by selecting areas of choke points, ambushing, or funneling. You know, general Art of War stuff.
Along with the 4 new maps, ‘Close Quarters’ will add 10 new weapons for players to utilize in their up close and personal battles with the enemy. Fans of shotguns will be very pleased at how effective those weapons will be in the maps. During my matches, I encountered more shotgun users than anything else. Opportunities for ranged precision shooting via carbine or rifles are few and far between, as players will be able to sprint away to cover after being fired upon.
Littered through the map are all highly destructable objects, including chairs, tables, windows, walls, and various other objects that can be found throughout the level. For an example of what players can do to the environment, watch the Battelfield 3: Close Quarters trailer depicting Ziba Tower gameplay and the mayhem that can be had.
DICE will also be releasing two more expansions for Battlefield 3 later this year. One is called ‘Armored Kill’, which, you guessed it, focuses on vehicular gameplay, adding new tanks and the franchise’s biggest map to date. The second expansion, ‘End Game’ is being kept very under wraps and will most likely be announced later in the year. However, following the expansion themes, ‘End Game’ conjures up imagery of using nuclear weapons.
‘Close Quarters’ will be a Battlefield 3 expansion that fans of the game or fans of CQC scenarios will be itchy to pick up and will be well worth the $15 price point.
Battlefield 3: Close Quarters releases in June 2012 for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC.