Battlefield 3: Close Quarters — Donya Fortress Hands-on

 

One of things that has always appealed to me about the Battlefield series is the marked contrast it offers to other popular multiplayer shooters. The vanilla version of the game has a slightly different pace, and rewards slightly different tactics than competitors like Halo or Call of Duty.

Ufortunately, with their new gametype, Conquest Domination, DICE have decided to chip away at this difference. Conquest Domination has no “home base” spawns, and no spawning at control points — you can either spawn on a teammate, or at a random location. Couple these changes to the fact that capturing control points in Conquest Domination happens extremely fast, and you end up with a gametype that homogenizes Battlefield, making it feel uncomfortably like its more frenzied competitors.

That’s not to say that Donya Fortress isn’t a cool map. Set in what appears to be some sort of modern Middle Eastern palace (with some recent, “explosive” redecorating) the environs offer an exciting range of possibilities. Wide open, two-tiered courtyards are connected by narrow corridors, which open onto small bedrooms ripe for ambush. The control points offer an interesting study in contrast. One is perched on a balcony, overlooking a central, open area. Another is in a basement, accessible via stairs or by a modified bomb crater. The third is in a large room that should prove hard to defend — attackers can pour on fire from high ground, courtesy of a murderous mezzanine level.

Thankfully, after they get Close Quarters out of their system, DICE will release Armored Kill, a vehicle-focused map with huge levels that should play to the game;s strengths rather than trying to ape its competitors. If you’re into infantry combat, and don’t mind delving in what amounts to Battlefield: Black Ops, by all means, check out Close Quarters when it comes out in June. Personally, I think I’ll wait for the armored cav support.

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