Battlefield 3: Armored Kill preview

If you're a hardcore Battlefield 3 player, chances are you've already picked up the map packs offered in the Premium subscription package, getting every dose of first-person shooting you possibly can out of them.  However, what if you're a vehicle person?  You're probably a little bit bummed that you can't motor around in a tank or dive bomb enemies from above in a zippy jet.  Not to worry, though.  Your turn will come next month when the next piece of Battlefield 3 downloadable content, Armored Kill, makes its debut.

The new pack will focus primarily on vehicular action, using tanks, jets and whatever other destructible rides you can get your hands on, across four maps, where you take part in skirmishes to take control of flags that are located in a central location of each area.  It's typical stuff, but the way you gain control – by blasting the living crud out of enemies that are in that area – is where the fun really comes into focus.  We recently gave one of the maps a test-drive at EA's Summer Showcase event in Redwood City, where the producers were daring us to bring our Sunday best into battle.  And boy, did we.


The map we got try out, along with several of our cohorts, was Armored Shield, which takes place in a near-deserted field in Sennoy, Russia.  Here, you'll find no shortage of tanks, as they're scattered throughout stations surrounding the open field area.  It's recommended you jump into one of these, as you aren't likely to do much damage on foot – that is, unless you're carrying around a bazooka, which can actually do a great deal when it comes to tearing apart tanks.

The controls for each vehicle are excellent, as the aiming feels quite natural when it comes to lining up an enemy in your sights.  Better still, mobility isn't second rate, as you can move around with ease and aim your cannon with barely any sort of functionality problems.  What's more, if you do hitch a ride in the tank, and can't ride in the front seat, you can still lean out the side and shoot down enemies through panels.  This is actually a good position to be in as well, as there are camouflaged bazooka soldiers that you'll need to pick off, in order to protect the integrity of your vehicle.  Otherwise, you'll become a smoldering wreck in seconds.


The online action runs smoothly with up to 12 players per team, especially when you get multiple tanks together for one big shooting smorgasbord, watching vehicles explore and poor saps stuck running around in the middle of everything get run over.  This new DLC doesn't let up on the excitement, as you can be on a kill streak one minute, and wreckage the next.

What's more, though we didn't get to play it all that much, the aerial combat looks right on par as well, giving you the opportunity to attack enemies on the ground and engage in dogfights in the air, which can lead to lots of explosions and surprising kills.  If you're a fan of vehicular combat, we can easily say that this map pack will seal the deal for you.

Armored Kill will be available first to Premium subscribers, but if you don't have that package yet, you'll also be given the option to download it separately down the road, too.  No matter which option you have, though, it's definitely looking like a great deal of fun, especially if you love the firepower that comes with a well-built machine.  Grab your Tanks this September and we'll see you in action.  (By the way, we'll be the ones killing you.  Don't take it personally.)