[gameinfo title=”Game Info” game_name=”” developers=”DICE” publishers=”Electronic Arts” platforms=”” genres=”” release_date=”June 26, 2012″]
Nothing beats rounding a corner in a hallway coming up on three enemies with their backs to you peeking out a doorway and proceeding to unload your Spas-12 blowing off parts of them and the wall. Before Close Quarters, this scenario was unlikely in a game of Battlefield 3 due to the wide open maps and vehicular combat. Close Quarters brings four new maps, two new modes, ten new weapons, one new gadget, ten new assignments, five new dogtags, and environmental damage to Battlefield 3 with the focus of just that style of close quarter combat.
Close Quarters brings us four new maps that can be played in most modes outside of the Rush modes. They are limited to 16 players due to the small nature of the maps. They all provide narrow areas that emphasize close quarter combat that is more in line with rival game Call Of Duty. Despite the combat style emphasis, these maps still feel very much Battlefield.
Ziba Tower is the smallest map created for any of the Battlefield brand games. It takes place on a couple floors within a high rise skyscraper. The vertical play area makes up for the lack of horizontal. Staircases, overlooks, and platforms create a lot of up and down combat mixed in with the tight hallways with lots of corners that open up to larger rooms and areas like conference rooms and bars. There are quite a few good duck and cover spots in the open but the hallways are a slaughterfest and a great place to sneak up on someone.
Operation 925 takes place in a commercial building with three floors. The bottom floor is a parking garage while the other two are typical commercial office styled. Transitions between floors are limited to stairwells at the edges of the map leaving any kind of vertical gunplay at those points. The parking garage has vehicles and debris for cover on the side areas while the middle is a bit open. The office areas have a lot of cover in the form of office equipment and low walls. There are a couple of open areas with hardly any cover and overlooking platforms that do allow some vertical gunplay outside of the stairwells. Due to the design of the floors, players will tend to spend more time looking for enemies than epic gunfights.
Donya Fortress is a military base turned middle eastern palace. There are several levels to the map creating a lot of vertical gunplay. The map contains inside and outside sections of the fortress with narrow underground sections, courtyards, and a second floor to overlook the courtyards. For those that might have played Quantum of Solace, this map looks very much like their palace map. Corners are tight and hallways are long creating good ambush spots.
Scrapmetal takes place on the top end of a factory containing several floors, the roof, and bridges between different upper sections. Areas are open but machinary, stairs, debris, pipes and other factory environmental objects create tight close quarter areas with lots of vertical gunplay due to walkways and sections overlooking the factory floor below them. It is real easy on this map to come out into an area and get surprised by enemies but it is just as easy to sneak up and ambush enemies.
Along with maps, Close Quarters also brings us two new game modes. Conquest Domination is similar to Conquest mode where teams fight over the ownership of three flags. The time to capture flags has been lowered and the capture area shrunk. These changes keep points constantly changing hands. Players are only allowed to spawn randomly or on their squadmates. It is a fun mode but still only a variation of the core Conquest mode.
Gun Master is entirely new beast closest to Team Deathmatch. 8v8 combat between teams but only one person can win. Each player works their way through fixed list of weapons requiring 2 kills per a weapon to move to the next weapon. The 17th weapon is the knife and requires one kill to win the game. The first player to kill with the knife is the winner. Variations of this mode has been seen in other games including originating in a Counter Strike mod and a deathmatch variation in Call of Duty Black Ops. Gun Master is incredibly addicting with many factors determining how well a player will do. One example being coming face to face with an enemy but them having a superior weapon.
Weapons, Gadget, and Assignments
Close Quarters brings us ten new weapons and ten new assignments for those weapons to unlock them. Each kit type gets two of the weapons exclusively while all kits get the Spas-12 shotgun and M5K machine pistol. These weapons allow more choice in how you want to deal death but nothing stands out as a must have weapon. Completing the ten new assignments will unlock these weapons for kit customization in multiplayer. The assignments are typical requiring kills with certain types, squad actions, wins in modes, or a combination. There is also a new gadget called 40mm LVG, which is a low velocity hand grenade on a 3 second timer fired from the 40mm. It has low impact damage and blast damage on par with the regular hand grenade. Kills from the LVG are categorized as hand grenade kills also.
The greatest thing in Close Quarters is Gun Master mode. The only way to make the mode better would have been to scrap teams all together though there is something to say about the added strategy of kill stealing from your teammates. The upped environmental damage can change some aspects of the game removing whole corners of walls in the hallways. The limitation to 16 players on these maps would make sense if the maps were smaller and structured differently but with their current design way too much time is spent looking for someone to kill in team modes. For those that like the type of gameplay Close Quarters promotes, this expansion adds a nice variety to Battlefield provides without them having to go buy the competitor’s game. Luckily those that don’t like the gameplay can just filter out the maps and modes.