Battlefield 3 Back to Karkand DLC hands-on preview
For those of you already tired of base jumping off of Damavand Peak, fret not, more Battlefield 3 multiplayer maps are on the way courtesy of the upcoming Back to Karkand DLC. We just got back from a multiplayer session exhibiting the maps, and seeing these classics all dressed up in the Frostbite 2 engine will bring a tear of joy to any BF fan’s eye.
The Back to Karkand DLC includes 4 classic maps, Strike at Karkand, Gulf of Oman, Sharqi Peninsula, and the excellent Wake Island. While the general layout of the maps is identical, the rubble, craters and deformable terrain all add new hiding spots and cover. EA is well aware of how volatile the real estate market is at the moment, so they’ve thrown in 3 new vehicles and 10 new weapons as well. The weapons earned will transfer to the non-Karkand multiplayer.
We played at least a dozen rounds of Conquest on Gulf of Oman and Strike at Karkand, and they both quickly reminded us why they’re classics. Gulf of Oman is divided by a large freeway and an overpass, separating the teams’ deployment areas. It’s a wide open spot facing a lot of sniper friendly tall buildings, so running across on foot isn’t recommended. That said, the flashing enemy sniper scopes will give alert players the extra second they need to get behind some cover. The Veteran’s Retreat capture point was pure chaos when we played as the point is near a large building that capturing players can easily hide in. Now that the building is destructable, don’t be surprised when you start seeing the walls blow up from enemy shells.
Strike at Karkand is a little tighter, situated deeply in a city. Because of all the super tall buildings, snipers had to do a lot of climbing to get good vantage points. Even then, the other tall buildings do a nice job preventing snipers from having too much visibility. The Hotel capture point is really one of the map’s strongest points, a super close quarters spot that sits beside a great sniper perch and a large road for tanks to roll in. Everyone we played with gravitated towards it for some guaranteed action, but also because it’s a part of the map where no single class or vehicle has the upper hand.
EA hasn’t announced the exact release date for the Back to Karkand release yet, only saying that it will be in December. Anyone that pre-ordered BF3 got the Limited Edition, which means they’ll be getting Back to Karkand for free while everyone else will be paying $14.99.