Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Game Review (Back to Karkand Map Pack for Battlefield 3)

For veterans of Battlefield 2, DICE and EA have finally released the Back to Karkand (B2K) map pack for the Xbox 360. Contained in this pack are four maps - Strike at Karkand, Gulf of Oman, Wake Island (2014), and Sharqi Peninsula, along with 10 weapons, and four new vehicles, for 1200 MSP ($15). If you're looking for an in-depth review, look elsewhere... I'm making this one brief.

Having never played Battlefield 2 before, these maps are all new to me, with the exception of Wake Island, which I played in Battlefield 1943 (Although that version looked quite different.) After a couple playthroughs on each map, I will say that all four maps are pretty good, and I'd assume most would agree. While the maps have very similar templates (I.E. Have similar colors), they are all laid out in quite different ways.

For the weapons, you don't have them available for use right away. Instead, you have to do Assignments for each gun. For instance, for the FAMAS, you need to get 10 revives, and 10 heals. As you look through the ten guns, you'll see that some will take much more time to unlock than others. While at first I thought it was pretty stupid to be forced to unlock guns in this fashion - I still think some of the things you have to do are a bit lame - it encourages you to play until you do unlock them all, and it will take the average player a decent bit of time to do so.

If that wasn't enough, there are a few new achievements added for you achievement whores, including one as simple as swimming in a pool on the Oman map, to getting a kill with a tank, a jet, and an assault rifle all in one life.

All-in-all, B2K is a pretty good map pack, and one that was much needed, as the 9 on-disc maps in Battlefield 3 were beginning to get a little stale. Although DICE/EA haven't put up DLC specific servers (which results in a lot of leaving matches when a disc map comes up following a DLC map), and while I'm mildly disappointed that the maps are colored similarly, they're fun to play, and the Assignments give reason to keep playing and unlocking the guns.


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