Though Battlefield 3 has made serious attempts to show that the series has evolved with this third iteration, developer DICE also isn’t afraid to acknowledge Battlefield’s roots. One such way the developer is harkening back to previous entries is through Back to Karkand, the first expansion pack for Battlefield 3.
Initially touted as an inclusion with the limited edition of the game, Back to Karkand is now revealed as a bonus for anyone who pre-orders Battlefield 3. Featuring four classic maps from Battlefield’s past: Strike at Karkand, Wake Island, Gulf of Oman, and Sharqi Peninsula, this map pack is the perfect way for DICE to get those fans wary of the game’s new single player emphasis interested in pre-ordering the game.
Niklas Fegraeus, Lead Designer on Back to Karkand, has also revealed how the maps, especially the iconic Strike at Karkand, are taking advantage of the new tools at DICE’s disposal. Using the new Frostbite 2.0 engine — the very thing that made Battlefield 3 a reality — DICE is able to keep the maps’ core mechanics the same while adding the heightened intensity that comes with destructible environments.
“From a gameplay perspective, destruction is the biggest addition compared to the original map in Battlefield 2 back in 2005. I remember this particular building by the square in the original where players could defend very effectively. Now, with the destructive power of Frostbite 2, someone can just RPG that building and expose the defenders within. At the same time, we need to be careful not to add destruction that breaks the tried and tested game flow of the map.”
Fegraeus also revealed that classic Battlefield 2 weapons, vehicles, and unlocks will be included with the map pack, but he wouldn’t mention anything specific. By including items that fans of the maps will remember, but also tying in the new features of Battlefield 3, Back to Karkand is the perfect expansion pack for any gamer interested in what the game has to offer.
Though there is no official release date for Back to Karkand, we anticipate it will be sometime around the time the full retail game drops. Gamers who might not have the money to pre-order but plan to pick the game up at a later date needn’t worry as the map pack will also be available to purchase via each console’s digital marketplace.
Has the prospect of four maps from Battlefield’s past convinced you to pre-order Battlefield 3? Which map featured in the Back to Karkand map pack are you most interested in revisiting?
Battlefield 3 should release in Fall of 2011 on the PC, PS3, and Xbox 360.
Source: Battlefield Blog