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Battlefield 3: End Game DLC

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By NAG3LT28-03-2013
Bobfish (editor)
StuntmanLT (editor)
Battlefield 3: End Game DLC

The Defence

Developer:
DICE
Publisher:
Electronic Arts
Genre:
Shooter, Action
Release Date:
26-03-2013

The Prosecution

CPU:
Intel Quad Core
AMD equivalent
VGA:
Nvidia GeForce GTX 560
AMD Radeon HD 6950
RAM:
4 GB
HDD:
2 GB
DirectX:
10, 11

The Case

 

EA’s Battlefield 3 DLC conveyor has been running for over a year, and has finally come to a halt. Appropriately named, End Game is the last DLC for the game giving us 4 new maps with new vehicles and 2 new (for BF3) game modes. Let’s look if the swan song of Battlefield 3 deserves a playthrough and money from non-Premium players.

The Trial

 

There are some common themes in End Game maps, which aren’t directly related to the name of the DLC. The one obvious from the cover art is a focus on dirt bikes. All 4 maps are filled with strategically placed jumping ramps, allowing quicker movement between areas on the bikes. While most roads are wide enough for other vehicles, some narrow spots, like pipelines can be traversed only on foot or a bike. The main visual theme is 4 seasons – each map is set in a different one.

Prepare for the paradrop!

Prepare for the paradrop!

In conquest mode, one of the capture points provides a team with a dropship that appears at regular intervals and then flies over a map to disappear and repeat the cycle. If you spawn as a paratrooper in it, you can wait before jumping, while spawning in IFV means an immediate jump. There are no airfields for jets in conquest, all jets spawn already in the air. Finally, there are new AA jeeps that aren’t very durable, but have powerful explosive weapons, capable of disabling a tank or blowing up an aircraft.

Kiasar Railroad is a spring map dominated by a railroad with a bridge in the centre, splitting it into parts. It also serves as a midline between the mountains and the coast. Prevalence of hills provides the separation between capture points, offering a lot of opportunities for surprise attacks.

Nebandan Flats is a summer map, set in the flat desert area with few buildings near the capture points. The warehouse in the centre is the most prominent building on the map and its size provides a lot of space for close quarters combat inside. The fights usually get concentrated near the buildings with some cover, as plains are often covered by snipers and helicopters.

Fast bikers like jumping.

Fast bikers like jumping.

Operation Riverside is an autumn map, defined by its main river, bridges over it and the island in the centre. The central warehouse on the island is very similar to the one in the Nebandan Flats, but the capture point is placed near the warehouse doors. Such placement leads to more vehicle combat, as well as making the back of the building more infiltration focused. Most other locations on the map are also filled with cover, leading to long fights.

Sabalan Pipeline is a winter map with lots of hills and the oil refinery as its central location. Each point is surrounded by buildings, allowing a lot of infantry combat. Steep hills force most vehicles into narrower roads, so AT mines are very popular on this map.

Capture the Flag plays out on the slightly smaller versions of the maps, keeping action more focused. It uses usual CTF rules, allowing capture of the enemy flag only when your flag is in its original location. If a flag carrier is killed and drops the flag, it takes some time for it to return to base. There are no restrictions on carrying flags – you can use any vehicle you like while doing it and the flag will be shown on that vehicle. The main problem with End Game implementation of CTF are cryptic sound messages when something happens to the flag. There are different sounds for flag captures and returns, but it is very hard to discern and remember which is which.

Welcome to the dogfight.

Welcome to the dogfight.

Air Superiority in its essence is a jet-only conquest mode with 3 control points, with a 250 m capture zone around each point. Spawns happen only in jets, which don’t start on a runway, but spawn in the air. There is no place for ground infantry or AA and there is no working ejection seat. Such restrictions lead to a problem, as similarly to Tank Superiority, there are only 12 jets per team. While there are servers running AS with more players, lack of jets forces respawning players to button spam to get into a jet when somebody dies on their team. Thus, AS is effectively limited to 24 players or less even on PC, which is disappointing.

There is something in AS for both jet veterans and those who never flew them before. Instead of trying to get lucky with just the cannon, new players can capture points to get jet experience. For experienced pilots large dogfights will offer a lot of nice targets. On the flip side however – sometimes 3-4 enemy jets will attack the same target simultaneously, leaving almost no chance to evade even for the best of the best. The playable area of the maps is the largest in AS mode, with most terrain features still present, as well as some elements that are outside the map in other game types. Overall, Air Superiority is a nice specialised mode, offering a very different experience from other gameplay types.

The Verdict

 

All in all, DICE has managed to make End Game a very enjoyable DLC pack, that offers a good Battlefield experience. The size of the 4 new maps fits well with original BF3 maps, offering enough area for armoured and air combat in conquest, while providing a lot of opportunities for infantry action. The dropship provides additional strategic value for central points, while remaining less invasive than Gunship from Armored Kill. New game modes offer some additional variety, but the limited scalability is disappointing. For those who like the vanilla BF3. End Game can be worth it, but at this point Premium can often be found at a price (in other shops than Origin) that makes it a much better choice over buying a single DLC pack.

Case Review

  • Good maps: map features well suited for new vehicles
  • CTF: mechanics adapted very well for a Battlefield game
  • More of the same: Similar gameplay to vanilla BF3 maps
  • End of support: With BF4 already announced, EA won’t support BF3 for long
  • Broken promises: No new weapons
  • Bad design: Air Superiority is effectively limited to 24 players.
4
Score: 4/5
A good swan song for BF3
Comments (2)
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Posts: 27

These maps look okay from what I've seen on youtube, but alas, I play bustedfield 3 no longer.

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Posts: 585

End? End you say? Master Gamer, not end. The shroud of the EA side has fallen. Begun the DLC war has.