Shocking Introduction: A First Look at the Armored Kill DLC from Battlefield 3
The second expansion for Battlefield 3 is now available for a week of exclusivity on the Playstation Network, and it is called Armored Kill. As the name suggests, this expansion shows Battlefield going back to their roots with four new vehicle heavy maps, a few new vehicles and even a new tank-centric game mode called Tank Superiority. This week of exclusivity is pretty much the only reason I bought Battlefield 3 and Battlefield Premium for Playstation 3, as I primarily play on the Xbox 360. It hurts me to say, but the Close Quarters DLC was extremely disappointing to me and with so many other games coming out, I’ve slowly moved away from Battlefield 3. Will Armored Kill the shot in the arm I needed to bring me back? I sure hope so.
There are four new maps in Armored Kill: Armored Shield, Alborz Mountain, Death Valley and the biggest map in Battlefield history, Bandar Desert. Each map is huge and very distinctive from other maps already in rotation. There are a few new vehicles, including an AC-130, a quad bike and a few new variations of the LAV (M1128 for the Americans, the SPRUT-HD for the Russians). For mobile anti-air and heavier duty tank firepower, there is the BM23, the M142 and an LAV-AD (the Russians reuse the Tunguska for AA).
Armored Shield: This map is very big and open and reminds me of Heavy Metal from Battlefield: Bad Company 2, just a little more open and brighter. Heavy Metal sort of went in a straight line, whereas Armored Shield is more squared. As will be the theme with all four of these maps, this map will probably be much better on the PC, as it is very open with the opportunity for tons of inner city battles on Conquest. There are also a lot of great opportunities in Deathmatch with all of the buildings. I’m a Conquest guy, so five flags make for a good time. As is the case on all the maps, most of the battles take place over the flag with the dropship.
Bandar Desert: This is being called the biggest map in Battlefield history, and it definitely lives up to the name. It’s set up kind of strange, with the E flag all the way on it’s own and the A-D flags along one big strip. A lot of the battles take place at E, though, because whoever has control of E controls the AC-130. By the way, the AC-130 is pretty much a death trap. There’s no way to fix it and everyone is gunning for it. You are a sitting duck if you can even stay in it long enough. With that said, if you are like me and have zero kills with a jet, now may be the time to make it happen!
Alborz Mountain: This map is beautiful, but poorly designed. Going up and down the mountain is a burden and it is not fun. The ATV is the way to go, but once you get to the top of the mountain, you are in tight quarters following the road to the B and D flags on Conquest. Rush must be played in choke point mode, so I’ll pass. With all of that said, the most disappointing part about it is just how gorgeous the map is.
Death Valley: This map isn’t bad. I have never been a big fan of night time maps, so it’s not my favorite, but I can actually tolerate it.
Tank Superiority: I didn’t record Tank Superiority, because it is pretty much pointless. I was under the impression that it would end up being a lot like Air Superiority in Battlefield 1943, where you basically spawn as a jet and if you get out, you die. Nope. Smoke is a must on this map, because everyone pulls out their Javelins and you are constantly being locked on. Since there aren’t enough tanks for everyone and no one ever wants to be the repair guy, you are on your own on an island. There is one flag in the middle to capture, but the name of the game is to pretty much sit back and try and air mail a few shots into the side of the other team. If everyone had their own tank and it played like World Of Tanks, this would be great. As it is, it’s OK, but I find myself completely underwhelmed.
Overall, this DLC is a mixed bag. Armored Shield and Bandar Desert are definitely Battlefield classics, but I am really sad and disappointed in Alborz Mountain. This DLC is also way too big for consoles, but considering PC is the main format of Battlefield 3, it makes sense. 64 man maps should be killer on all maps. Armored Kill is available now on all formats.
Editors Note: This article was originally created September 12th. I just realized today, on October 24th, that it was never posted. So yeah, basically, I’m an idiot. Enjoy a month late, anyway!