Battlefield 3 at its release was known for its large open maps, vehicle shenanigans and for very little involving corridors on a regular schedule. With the announcement of Battlefield Premium, a paid-for service, which would include DLC in the price, DICE also detailed the first piece of DLC to come out after the establishment of Premium, Close Quarters.
Close Quarters effectively took the BF3 standards and ignored them. As can be inferred by its title, the DLC pack is centred around four new maps: “Operation 925,” “Donya Fortress,” “Scrapmetal” and “Ziba Tower”, as well new game modes and weapons, which are unlocked via a new set of assignments.
While BF3 is somewhat known for being a game that enables you to play to whatever style suits you, whether that be holding back and sniping, charging in with C4, or providing cover from the skies, CQ takes that away from you to a certain extent. This is not however an entirely bad thing.
Due to the enclosed nature of the maps you have less time to think tactics, if so inclined, and generally have to rely on instinct, whether that is rushing to the next point to capture in the new faster paced Conquest game mode, where points are captures at an accelerated rate in the smaller maps, or in the new Gun Master mode. Speaking from experience this mode can be equal parts crazy fun and absolutely rage-inducing as you progress through 17 weapons, having to get a couple of kills on average to gain access to the next one, finally ending up with just your knife in your hand needed one kill to win the game. As I said, it can be harder than it looks; unless you’re uncommonly talented at the game, and more than a few times have I had teammates shoot at me out of reflex as we all tear around corners looking for the next enemy.
As already established, the CQ DLC includes new weapons as well as the new maps, and it is in Gun Master that you can easily get a few for the new weapons at your disposal, often unlocking attachments before you unlock the gun itself, the player can easily find which weapons work for them and which do not. Personally the further away I can get from a certain shotgun the better.
An element of gameplay the developers spoke of frequently with the new maps was the aspect of destruction. Some players have felt that the standard maps hold little destruction in comparison to other games in the series; the new maps meet all your destruction needs. The walls in “Operation 925” and “Ziba Tower” are thin, so thin that it is easy to just shoot through them at the enemy. “Donya Fortress” and “Scrapmetal”, for me anyway, seem to have less in the ways of the destruction elements to them, at least to the same degree as the other two maps. Does this mean they stay intact? Hardly.
The maps look good though, with an almost surprising amount of detail having gone into them. If you are able to find an empty server, or happen to rent one yourself, you can take a look outside on Ziba Tower to a rather beautiful cityscape, Donya Fortress is packed with tiny details that lend to the hand built ideal, as well as a little easter egg in the form of a model of the Normandy from Mass Effect, which can be found on a bookcase on the upper level.
Close Quarters is not going to be for every BF3 player, and comparisons with other FPS games are going to be made regardless, but if you fancy some faster gameplay, maybe some added challenge, or even just some new kit, give it a go. If you want nothing to do with it, then the next DLC pack, Armoured Kill, is set to DICE’s core with huge battles and plenty of vehicles, check back to WhatCulture for a review in the future.
Battlefield 3: Close Quarters is available to download now.