Battlefield 3: Close Quarters review
In comparison to its competitors, most notably Call of Duty, the Battlefield franchise has been synonymous for spacious, yet action-packed maps that allow for vehicular combat within large quarters. It would seem weird, then, that DICE would detract from that formula and release an add-on pack that focuses around “Close Quarters” combat. But instead, DICE has crafted an exhilarating experience that plays true to the Battlefield 3 game. Still, are the addition of maps, weapons, and hours of destruction in confined areas worth the price?
If you’re a regular player of Battlefield 3, your first thoughts of Close Quarters were probably along the lines of: “They are totally just tailoring this for COD fans, hoping to sway them over to Battlefield 3.” In reality, there may be some truth behind that, but after a few matches in the Close Quarters maps, we noticed how true the add-on was to the core multiplayer experience. First off, team play is still crucial to success (if not more) and actually becomes more of a necessity when the action is sped up in tight areas. If you run lone wolf, expect to get shot repeatedly from behind – run with your squad, though, and you’ll be taking out suckers in troves, keeping your deaths minimal thanks to medic support. Those worried about another gameplay feature, HD destruction, within these confined maps should not fear, as the Close Quarters maps cater especially to wreckage.
As we just teased, the Close Quarters maps are incredibly unique, not only to Battlefield 3 but to the entire series. Whereas all Battlefield maps have been mostly horizontal in design, the four Close Quarters maps are predominantly vertical. Whether you’re fighting in a scrap metal plant or a business tower, you’ll quickly notice that these new maps play with one focus in mind: constant movement. The verticalness of the four maps also compliments the game’s destruction mechanism as well. One instance we were covering a point in the new conquest domination matches and noticed debris falling from the ceiling above, which was shaking from constant RPG hits. As you’re a part of the action, you’ll quickly notice how you’re always in the action, which isn’t always something seen in the game’s regular multiplayer due to several factors.
Along with the intense gameplay, weapons, and new maps, Close Quarters also introduces new modes for players to try out. One of these, which we alluded to earlier, is conquest domination. Though it’s nearly a clone to conquest (hence the name), the domination aspect keeps it entirely fresh. For instance, points are capped much quicker and will be overtaken constantly, so you’ll always be on the move to take back your flags. Though you’ll still see some lopsided outcomes in conquest domination, for the most part you’ll be playing down to the wire, unsure on who may pull out a victory. Yes you’ll most likely die a lot in the new confined spaces, but the fun is present and in full force.
Map packs are interesting to judge on a “to buy” “don’t buy” basis, because it usually depends how often someone plays the game. Nevertheless, Close Quarters is for everyone and should be played by everyone. The add-on reveals another side to Battlefield 3 and it impresses on every level. Whether Close Quarters helps you fall in love with BF3 or recharges your love for it, you can bet your investment in the new maps will outweigh the cost that it comes with.
[Reviewed on Xbox 360]