If there's anything telling of how much time it took between the last part of the series of reviews for Battlefield 3, and this one here, it would've been the blatant fact that Battlefield 4 was already released just well over a month ago. However, I still wanted to do this review of the final two expansion packs for BF3 that I've already played before, but haven't covered them yet. So without further ado, here are the reviews for the Aftermath
and End Game
At the E3 press conferences last year, DICE announced that this expansion pack in particular would be set in the events after the devastating 8.1-magnitude earthquake, somewhere southeast of Tehran. At the time of writing this review, I actually did realize how the name of this particular expansion pack would make a whole lot of sense, since all the maps in there are set in the aftermath of the earthquake. With that being said, there would be four new maps announced for the DLC expansion, and that there would also be new additions being included in this one.
Having played the four new maps of the Aftermath expansion pack, a couple of months after receiving it through the Premium subscription that I had, I was interested by how much the developers had done for this pack in particular.
Firstly, I welcomed the new additions of civilian and military vehicles, albeit heavily modified. Moreover, I welcomed the new weapon addition in the form of the X-BOW, which is actually an improvised crossbow that can actually kill enemies and disable vehicles with its varied types of ammunition. Furthermore, one new game mode was added as part of the Aftermath expansion, and that happens to be "Scavenger". I'm sure that there are other shooter games from before, that have included this game mode in a way, but I'm glad that there are more game modes to choose from with this addition. In Scavenger, players are started off with very limited weaponry, and must find other weapons that are scattered all over the whole map. Some weapons are of a higher level than others, and so they are used to a greater advantage over the opposing team. Although the game mode is based off of Conquest Domination, which was first introduced with the Close Quarters pack, I still think there's a lot of gameplay variability in Scavenger.
Other additions and features that I do welcome, are the dynamic elements in some of the maps, including Epicenter. Occasionally, the ground will shake from the aftershocks by the earthquake that had happened, and this will make aiming and shooting more difficult for some players. It just happens to feel like this is sort of the feature that happens to be the forerunner to the "Levolution" aspect of Battlefield 4. Also, the new character models are pretty much appropriate to what is happening in the maps.
The only downsides I could ever notice from these additions, are probably the spawn points. This is especially the case when playing Scavenger on any of the maps, where sometimes, some players on opposing teams are spawned too close to each other. There are also other times, it's wherever else they spawn on the map does not make any sense at all. Also, objectives are placed in certain maps that would give one team a large advantage over the other, making it a little bit imbalanced for anyone playing Conquest or other modes.
Otherwise, the Aftermath expansion pack was something that I enjoyed playing in Battlefield 3. Scavenger was something new that was included in the DLC, despite it being based on a previously-existing game mode. If I were to give a score out of 10 for the fourth expansion pack of BF3, it would be a 9.
At last, Battlefield 3 "concludes" with the fifth and final expansion DLC. With the main focus on high speed combat and action, DICE developed this expansion pack for those who desired these qualities in an expansion like this. Having played the whole End Game expansion pack a couple of months after it came out for Premium subscribers on the PS3, I can tell you that this DLC takes the cake out of all other expansions that came out previously. Battlefield 3: End Game features four new maps that were designed to have high-speed combat and frantic gameplay in mind, with the developers thinking that all this will force players to use a variety of tactics when approaching combat. And boy, did it show!
What I liked about this expansion pack, are the new additions such as the new maps. The unique factor for those four maps, are that they are inspired by each of the four seasons: Kiasar Railroad takes place in the spring, Nebandan Flats takes place in the summer, Operation Riverside takes place in the autumn, and Sabalan Pipeline takes place in the winter. Furthermore, three new vehicles were added in End Game, the most notable being the dirt bikes (the first to appear in a Battlefield game since the BF1942 expansion pack, Secret Weapons of World War II). A new added feature that I welcome, is the dropship that provides vehicle support for players on the ground. Moreover, two new game modes were added to the game from this expansion: "Air Superiority" and "Capture the Flag".
Air Superiority, first of all, was firstly introduced (and last featured) in Battlefield 1943. In this game mode, players on opposing teams must capture all control points while in the air, and cannot bail out from the jets they are in. The gameplay mechanics and controls have since been a whole lot different in Battlefield 3, and it will take some time to get over the learning curve in flying jets before taking control over the skies. Given the fact that I didn't use the fighter jets a lot, it was a rough time during those matches when being shot down several times by enemy jets.
Secondly, Capture the Flag is a game mode that I do certainly enjoy. Basically, players on one team have to defend their own flag from being taken by the opposing team, and try to capture that team's flag at the same time. Whichever team captures three flags in total, wins the match, and that also applies whichever team captures the most flags after the time limit runs out. Initially, I thought the game mode wouldn't practically work so much, what with the numerous weapons and gadgets that can be used to make the flag-capturing and retrieval process a whole lot difficult. However, when I did play the actual game, it was actually a lot more fun with other players on the team trying to help each other out on getting their flag back and taking the other team's flag with them.
Overall, the End Game DLC was definitely a way to "end" Battlefield 3 with a lot of action. There could be a few things to rework in terms of the content provided in this expansion, such as the game modes on the new maps. However, End Game was quite some fun in general. I would give this final DLC for BF3 a score of 9 out of 10, reflecting upon the strengths and weaknesses of this pack.
...Well, that's all it for my reviews on Battlefield 3 and all of its expansion packs! Of course, I should have written these reviews soon after the DLCs had came out, but it wasn't possible with everything else going on in my life. Even if Battlefield 4 has already come out, I will still be able to write a review for it, just like the last one. Stay tuned!