Review: Battlefield 3 Close Quarters

EA hasn’t been too subtle about its obsession with Call of Duty, and now, it’s even taken a page out of Activision’s book by offering Battlefield players Premium content for Battlefield 3. For Rs 2,700, players can buy Battlefield 3 Premium, a service that will grant them in-game playable items, map packs and certain perks.

If you’re still quite serious about Battlefield 3, you’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for all its multiplayer map packs, and with Premium, you’re essentially paying for all of them up front. Besides the map packs, you’ll be given a few new weapons (that you can only unlock by completing assignments), videos from DICE employees to improve your game, and prioritized queue preference when it comes to joining servers. Newcomers or people at lower levels will also be able to level up faster with Double XP events exclusive to Premium members.

Close Quarters is the latest map pack that’s part of Battlefield 3 Premium, but at the same time, it can be purchased separately off Origin for Rs 600. Yes, it does play quite like a Call of Duty game, but that doesn’t mean you should simply dismiss it as a Call of Duty clone. In fact, with the absence of vehicles and the addition of wanton HD destruction, Close Quarters brings about a certain sense of chaos and catharsis that was promised with Battlefield 3.

Every level starts off looking real pretty, but within minutes, it gets ravaged by bullets and explosions. Furniture gets trashed, walls are reduced to rubble and grenades shake the very foundation you stand on. It’s not quite as intense as a Red Faction Guerilla, but it’s definitely impressive. Unfortunately it’s also a bit of a resource hog, and during larger games with more than 32 players (I’m talking about the PC version here), the frame rates tend to dip a bit.

When you get down to it, the four maps offered in Close Quarters are pretty nice. You have Ziba Tower, Donya Fortress, Operation 925 and Scrapmetal and all these maps feature a certain sense of verticality you’ve not seen a lot of in Battlefield 3. Of course, none of them are as big as older Battlefield 3 maps, so by default, you’ll have a lot of lone wolves running around the place. I know that’s a thought that makes most Battlefield players cringe, but that’s the cold hard fact you’ll just have to deal with.

Still, if you manage to squad up with some friends, Close Quarters can ruffle up a pretty intense experience. A lot of it has to do with the HD destruction DICE has been pimping since the promos first started, but a huge part of it comes from the tightly structured maps, where death is quite literally around every corner. The first few times I played either of the maps, I don’t think I had a life span that lasted more than 5 seconds. The more I played, the more I learnt its layout and the longer I survived.

Close Quarters also introduces two new game modes – Conquest Domination and Gun Master. Gun Master is similar to Gun Game from Call of Duty: Black Ops. I know most people will crucify me for not mentioning the fact that this mode was initially from Counter-Strike, but to be honest, I never really played this in CS. So like Gun Game from Black Ops (you probably want to stab me now right?), Gun Master in Battlefield 3 spawns every player with a rather weak weapon (in this case it’s a pistol). Net two kills and you’ll progress to the next tier of more powerful weaponry with the goal being to eventually reach Tier 17. And that’s the level where you have to gain a kill with a knife…while everyone’s running around with shotguns, assault rifles and grenade launchers.

To be honest, Gun Master was not all that entertaining simply because of the crappy weapons cycled at most tiers. Plus, even coming in second counts as a loss, and for hardcore players, that can blemish their win/loss ratio real fast. Conquest Domination is a mode that I found more up my alley, especially when I played with friends or had a cooperative squad. Conquest Domination is similar to the Conquest mode you’ve seen in most Battlefield games, only it takes far less time to capture flags. This really drives home the fast paced nature of this new map pack.

Close Quarters also introduces ten new weapons, one of which – the SPAS-12 – is already banned in many servers since it’s so freaking overpowered. Combine it with a tactical light and Flechette rounds and you’ll soon become an unstoppable force. Besides the SPAS-12, I also enjoyed most of the new arsenal that consists of new assault rifles, carbines, sniper rifles and light machine guns (LMGs).

Conclusion

At first glance, most players are sure to dismiss Close Quarters as DICE’s way of tapping into the Call of Duty crowd. And while that may be true, I strongly suggest you try this map pack out as it does offer players a different side of the Battlefield universe. Also, since most matches tend to get over real quick, Close Quarters is a good fix for players who don’t have hours to invest in lengthy Battlefield brawls. However, if infantry combat is just not your thing and you can’t fathom the concept of Battlefield without vehicles, this map pack is definitely not for you.

  • HD destruction is awesome
  • New maps are extremely chaotic
  • New weapons pack a punch
  • No vehicles
  • Some may find the new maps too hectic
  • Has more lone wolves than the base game
8

The more up, close and personal side of Battlefield 3.

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8 Responses to “Review: Battlefield 3 Close Quarters”

  1. Moahamad Suhaib says:

    Can you please mention what Internet speed you have and what ping you get.I suffer so much from lag that I’m almost about to quit playing online games.

  2. Avinash Bali says:

    Hey Moahamad, currently I have a 1.5 MB MTNL connection. I normally play on Asian servers (Singapore, Taiwan, Honk King etc) and get anything from 100 – 150 MS.

    What connection do you own? And what servers are you trying to connect to?

  3. piper says:

    Well reviewed.

  4. [...] case you aren’t enjoying the claustrophobic confines of the Close Quarter map pack, here’s some primo vehicular action courtesy Armored Kill, the next big map pack for [...]

  5. Mohamad Suhaib says:

    Thank you so much.I really appreciate it.I have a BSNL 1MB connection and the usual ping I get is around 270.I cant find many Asian servers in most of the games.So I’m forced to play on European or American servers.Bad Company 2 is really bad when it comes to lag.

  6. Avinash Bali says:

    Yeah, EA and American servers have really bad lag. If you’re playing Bad Company 2, look for Asian servers (Fragnetics are the best) although I’m pretty sure there are hardly any around. In Battlefield 3 however, there are still quite a few so you shouldn’t have a problem.

  7. [...] announced, DICE still plans on pushing out map packs for Battlefield 3 all through this year. Close Quarters is already out, Armored Kill is next, with an emphasis on vehicular combat, and now we’ve  [...]

  8. [...] regularity, I am still chugging my way towards my first Colonel in Battlefield 3. The launch of the Close Quarters mappack meant I now have an option to jump into a fairly fast-paced MP session when I get bored of [...]

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Game Info

Available On
PC, Xbox 360, PS3
Reviewed On
PC
Developer
DICE
Genre
First Person Shooter
Age Rating
16+
Release Date
June 26, 2012