2013-03-20

Battlefield 3 – End Game Expansion Review

by Yo Snyder

So the end is finally here. The final map pack for Battlefield 3 is now available for
Premium members and will soon be available for all. The question is; Is End
Game a worthy send off for a this great shooter?

Personally, I’m very happy with the final map pack for
Battlefield 3; it has all the things I’d want. It has some great maps that
offer some interesting tactical challenges, new vehicles, only one new weapons
(kind of a bummer), and some new modes. The Air Superiority mode is pretty much
what it sounds like, but for fans of the jets and helicopters it should right
up your alley. There’s also a new Capture the Flag mode, and this one is a
great addition. It much more frantic than Conquest or even Rush; it has the
same chaotic speed as the maps from the Close Quarters maps. However, there’s
more strategy here as you decide how forces should either attack or defend
flags. In truth, it’s just a basic capture the flag mode, but the Battlefield
feel to it helps it feel unique and fresh. I’m surprised that here at the end I
may actually have a new favorite mode.

The four maps are all fairly distinct, although there are a
few times where some elements of them might feel a little familiar as I’m
pretty sure some assets from previous maps were recycled here. Operation
Riverside is a narrow map with some tough choke points, but it does have one
spectacular jump over the river. Nebandan Flats is a farm map, more or less,
but this one’s set in the dessert. There are some unique buildings scattered
throughout a sparse landscape; not a place to be caught out in the open. Kiasar
Railroad is my least favorite and perhaps the most generic feeling to me, but
still a fun one, especially in capture the flag mode. My favorite is Sabalan
Pipeline, a new snow map. It has almost a box layout for the capture points in
Conquest mode and, well, snow maps are just always a lot of fun in BF3.

The new vehicles this time out include Humvees and troop
transports outfitted as AA vehicles, and the new dirt bikes. The bikes are fast
and agile, but it doesn’t take much to destroy them. The new AA vehicles are
fun, and add an interesting element to the battlefield, especially on maps with
hotshot pilots. There’s also a new troop transport that allows you to jump out
over the battlefield to any position you want to aim for. And if you complete
all the optional challenges, you’ll unlock a new sidearm with both suppressor
and a tactical light attached.

It’s not the most content heavy expansion, really, but it
does have great maps and the return of the capture the flag mode is most
welcome. Unlike Close Quarters and Aftershock, this expansion pack really
captures the elements that make Battlefield so unique and so much fun.

Now that all five map packs are out, one must ask the
question whether or not being a Premium member was worth it. Well, if you
pre-ordered the game, you got the Back to Karkand pack anyway, so that makes
the Premium pack total only four, and if you jumped on early and paid the extra
sixty bucks, you really didn’t save any money on the map packs doing it that
way. However, one did get a chance to play them early, and there were extra
double-XP events which were always nice. However, the game was eventually
released with Premium included, which sort of defeated the purpose of being a
Premium member right away as one could have actually saved more money by
trading in the game for the Premium edition. So was it worth it? In the end, I’d
have to say no. Mostly because I hardly played the Aftershock maps, and the
Close Quarters maps just felt like playing Call of Duty with a slight
Battlefield flavor. The other three maps, however, were great and I really
enjoyed those. I also enjoyed playing maps early, but I still don’t think that
was quite worth the extra expense. Bonus things like stat resetting and
exclusive videos were nice, but didn’t really add over all value. Even the
strategy guides weren’t all the useful as the often came out long after I had
already familiarized myself with the new maps. So, if Premium once again costs
an extra sixty bucks with Battlefield 4,
unless there’s some new sort of added value to it, I don’t think I’d do it
right away. If anything, I’d probably wait for the BF4 Premium Edition. What
did you think of Premium? Was it worth the expense? Did you like what it had to
offer? How about End Game, or any of the expansions; did they deliver what you
were hoping for? Sound off in the comments below.

End Game Map Pack
Score – 6 of 7

Overall Premium Content
Score – 4 of 7