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Impressions: Battlefield 3 Close Quarters

A while back I commented that Metro map in conquest mode was fantastic for creating a positive KDR and unlocking loads of goodies while pwning n00bs. Close Quarters was released on the 11th June, 2012 and I think we have a new champion. Why? I'll get to that a little later. This is a more of a belated impressions as I've wanted the expansion to get bedded down.

Let's talk Close Quarters. EA promised a series of maps, enclosed, small in land coverage and chaotic. CQ is the 2nd DLC for BF3 and contains 3 new maps plus new in-game content including 10 new weapons, "HD Destruction" and 5 new dogtags.

 

The Maps

Ziba Tower  Multi-leveled, tight, complex and chaotic (you'll hear me state that alot through this article .. you'll begin to understand why). According to some, ZT is the smallest ever map created for a Battlefield game. However, during play it certainly doesn't feel that way. You've got several vertical aspects where you can lay down fire or a well-placed rocket - courtyards, pipe bridges and ledges - not to mention inside stairwells and grating. Ziba Tower is located in Tehran, Iran and is a fantastic way to introduce CQ and what you can expect in the series of infantry-based gameplay. 
Operation 925 The backdrop for 925 is a 3-floor commercial building in Tehran. Composing of an underground carpark, a ground level and mezzanine level with the flags spreadout in-between. 925 has some short stairwells which allows combat to be separated across floors. The lobby is where you'll find Flag C, Flag B is in the underground carpark and C Flag is in the cafe. 925 is good for Conquest Domination, Gun Master, Squad Deathmatch and Team Deathmatch.
Donya Fortress Do you like vertical combat? Good, because that's exactly what Donya Fortress was designed for. Located in Tehran, Iran, Donya Fortress plays out inside, well, a fortress with large couryard, intimate halls and rather cosy underground.
Scrap Metal Multi-tiered, multi-leveled and intimate sums up Scrap Metal. Inside a metal factory, you have multiple stories and skybridges (which are semi-exposed) and exposed rooftops to higher-elevated opposing balconies and stairwells. Loads of dark places to hide and features Conquest Domination, Gun Master, Squad Deathmatch and Team Deathmatch game modes. 

HD Destruction

"High Definition" Destruction is where its at with Close Quarters. I hear you say, isn't the game already in HD? Yup, it is from a graphics perspective - but DICE are referrig to the fact that you can blow more shit up in CQ. Lets me specific - fire an RPG at a wall and you'll see dust, debris and holes appear - within reason. You can't blow everything up but there's more bullet holes, more disintegration of concrete pillons - generally more fun. You'll start off in a pristine level, but after a few rounds you'll soon find the level be reduced to ruins - and that's thanks to the HD Destruction.

 

Impressions

I look forward to any close, tight and overpopulated game play. Some of my favorite maps in BF3 are in close confinement (Metro, Grand Bazaar, Tehran Highway) - and after playing CQ, I quickly fell in love with the incredibly fast and non-stop in-your-face action. I'm not going to compare CQ with what rival games have done so don't expect commentary on Modern Warfare or how others believe DICE have pinched ideas and even possible level layouts from other games.

Scrapmetal  Multi-tiered, lots of choke points - plenty of places to camp and its dark in most cases. One of the walk-bridges joining the two warehouses is C point - despite it being fairly exposed its easy to cap. B is up top of the building and has wide open spaces by which camping snipers or support agents can clear. Generally, the most annoying part about Scrapmetal is the shocking areas to random-spawn - you can spawn right in front of the enemy who proceeds, without hesitation, to blow your head off. I would like to see DICE fix the proximity of random spawns so you're not immediately wiped out.
Donya Fortress Probably one of my more favoring maps in CQ mainly because of the varying scenery - you can be position outside in the fortress grounds, inside in the varying meeting rooms or in the underground tunnels. What makes Donya Fortress more exciting is the balance between being ontop of each other and having a little room to move. You can actually stay alive for quite awhile with good squad backup and make your way around the map fairly easily. Of course, the shotgun is your best friend on this one and dare I say it, the M320!
Operation 925 Once again DICE have found a balance in size and with this office-based map you can explore a 3-tiered office complex. 925 offers interesting car-park battles where you can blow up cars for that extra little bit of fun. I enjoy 925 for the stairwell skirmishes and the Cafeteria where you can pop guys camping A from the balconey if you're sneaky.
Ziba Tower Ziba Tower is laggy, the layout is too restricted and too enclosed. This might come as a contradiction to my previous comments but there is a balance between size and layout; and due to the size of the map random spawning is a major problem to the point where you can random spawn multiple times and be in the same room as the enemy. Whilst this is obviously "random" - the probability of spawning then dying is too high. The open areas are too easily covered by elevated enemies and cap-point areas are too small to defend properly.

You'll quickly find you're either in two lands of KDR - one where your positive and the sun is shining and n00bs somehow walk in front your bullets - or you're in a world of hurt and you KDR is negative. Personally, mine is mostly positive or neutral without too much effort. I find I get higher scores quicker than I do in Metro and the games are more exciting because you're continually moving and there are less choke points to defend. Therefore, in my books, I have a new King of KDR.

Overall, the new maps, the two new game modes and the unlock goodies keep BF3 fresh and diverse. If you like open maps, and long sniping then CQ maps are not for you. If you like fast action with quick kills then give CQ a chance and I guaranteed you won't be disappointed. And for the price you can't go wrong.

Last modified onTuesday, 18 December 2012 21:20

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