EA was kind enough to make a map from their upcoming Battelfield 3 DLC playable at PAX East. Fortunately for me, there were very few people who wanted to play the DLC early as the PC area dedicated to Battlefield 3 also shared its space with Diablo 3. While most people stood on a ridiculously long line to try out Diablo, I was able to go hands on with the Battlefield 3: Close Quarters DLC. One of the new maps, Ziba Tower was made playable, although none of the new weapons were available. For the demo players started off at level 1, with only the game’s low level weapons available.
The demo showed off Ziba Tower in Team Deathmatch, which the small maps included in the pack will be geared towards. Ziba Tower was an interesting spin on Battlefield 3 multiplayer as it is the first time that DICE has created a small, multi-level map. The map takes place on a rooftop, with two three story buildings on either side of the main area. Connecting the two buildings via the top levels is a balcony that stretches across the map’s central area. Ziba makes great use of Battlefield 3′s destruction mechanics as just about every wall or form of cover can be destroyed. Despite the lack of vehicles, Engineers are extremely helpful as their launchers can make short work of walls that might stand between you and your enemy. Because of the close combat situations throughout the map, shotguns are also very helpful. When playing on Ziba tower you may want to watch your corners, as shotguns will take you out quickly if you’re not careful.
The Close Quarters DLC isn’t for everyone. There are players who want Battlefield to remain a long-range, massive-scale combat game. Still, there are players, such as myself who enjoyed the close range feel of certain areas of existing maps, and welcome the chance to play on smaller maps without vehicles. Battlefield 3: Close Quarters DLC releases June 2012 on Playstation 3, Xbox 360, and Origins.