Battlefield 3 "Close Quarters" Hands-on Impressions -- Vehicles Need Not ApplyBy Miguel Concepion - Posted May 02, 2012
With a little over six months since Battlefield 3's initial release, it does feel like the right time for the property to go beyond the DLC map rollouts and instead focus on proper and robust expansions to DICE and EA's first-person shooter franchise.
As the name implies, Close Quarters places a huge emphasis on tight spaces, so much so that there aren't any vehicles present. Aiding your claustrophobic shootouts will be a set of ten new weapons. For the devoted Battlefield 3 player, that’s almost worth buying Close Quarters alone since you can enlarge your arsenal and take these weapons back to the base game and the previously released maps.
One of the selling points about DiCE’s Frostbite 2 has been the engine’s capabilities related to destructible environments. Close Quarters looks to highlight this, as indicated by our hands-on time with two of the four maps that comes with this expansion.
Ziba Tower is a high end, classy establishment thousands of feet off the ground, the type of place with a fancy restaurant and a courtyard by the pool. Another map we played was Donya Fortress, a sunlit compound with an Eastern European-sounding name, but its architecture and decor makes it look like it wouldn’t be out of place in the Middle East or North Africa.
I actually couldn’t spend time admiring the surroundings, because Close Quarters also includes a new mode to Battlefield 3: Conquest Domination. As the standout feature of this expansion, Conquest Domination is essentially a faster paced version of classic Conquest. With the tight spaces and the small maps, this mode unsurprisingly complements Close Quarters.
It works on an accelerated pace as it takes very little time to take any one of the three capture points. And you wouldn’t want to waste time guarding these spots anyway, as many of them are very much exposed, like the tiny balcony in Donya Fortress that makes any guard an instant sitting duck. It’s clearly a transient experience, aided by the fact that, unlike Conquest, you cannot spawn at any captured points; you are only allowed to spawn at a random spot or spawn near a squad member.
The focus on destruction in Close Quarters is on a micro level. While you’re going nuts with your melee button in short, narrow hallways, there are a few areas designed for ranged weapon shootouts. Expect the type of matches where you’re shooting at enemies across courtyards, chipping away at pillars that foes are using for cover.
While you’re shooting up pillows and sofas with feathers flying everywhere, you’re also shooting through dry wall with the hopes that you might hit someone on the other side. Yet most walls will have an impenetrable portion which you can’t shoot through. Like all other Battlefield 3 maps, you can’t flatten everything to the ground in Close Quarters.
You can test out the structural integrity for yourself when Battlefield 3: Close Quarters is out this June.