How’s it hangin’ in Aftermath?

Unfortunately I was unable to get hold of Battlefield 3 Premium since I no longer live in the country that I purchased the game and my credit card and PSN don’t link with the game anymore. Shame, but at least I get to play some Aftermath before all the other “normal” 360 and PC players. But today I finally got hold of it and my god is it good? It’s amazing! Read on for more 

As for how it’s hanging, it’s hanging together pretty well despite being the post-earthquake DLC! The maps are a blunder of awesome, it’s amazing how refreshing each DLC feels even after Battlefield 3 has been out for ages. I think it’s the prospect that DICE knows what they want and they know how to give it to you in a way that you want it as well, such as in the form of a crossbow.

Speaking of the crossbow, it’s not that piece of crap that you get in Call of Duty, this crossbow requires calibration and good aim. A long reload time means that you only have one, or if you’re lucky, two chances at killing whoever you’re targeting. What it lacks in speed it gives back twice fold in subtlety and power. With the ability to shoot straight through people just like snipers, anyone lined up with their buddies is easy prey. It also doesn’t give off that annoying sound signal that normal guns do so don’t expect anyone sneaking up on you because you lit up their HUD. Even better, they have modified version of the crossbow and its lovely bolts. Taking into account that any class can use the crossbow and that bolt modifications means that an assault player can use C4 or a repairman can now snipe with his or her crossbow means that cross-utilisation is at its best ever.

As for the gameplay it self, Aftermath introduces a new game-mode called Scavenger, which is exactly what it sounds like. Everybody starts off with their pistol of choice from their kits and then goes on to find weapons throughout the map. These weapons are littered everywhere and contain varying amounts of ammo (useful to keep in mind as I so often got that trigger happy feeling but no bullets went). As far as these weapons go, they are indicated in tiers from level 1 to 4. Obviously the higher the level the more scarce and perhaps hard to find the guns will be. It is interesting to note that you can find the crossbow here, but no other secondary guns are made available. This game mode taught me that assault rifles aren’t my only best friends but sub-machine guns and LMG’s too! Scavenger itself is a conquest domination based game with a host of bases that need capturing, you need to find the weapon best suited to ensure you and your teammates complete the job.

Aftermath also introduces four new maps, Epicenter, Markaz Monolith, Talah Market and Azadi Palace. All these maps are unique and cluttered with all kinds of debris, but not the bad kind of clutter, they’re easy to navigate and you won’t find yourself lost for long. Whilst they are primarily meant for Scavenger and Conquest, the classicaly TDM & co game modes are available as well. I especially love the Azadi Palace as there are two levels where the firefighting happens, but also because the distance between these to levels is so vast and the stairs leading down are just magnificent. Anyone running up those stairs has a death wish.

Within these maps comes devastation to ground troops in the form of three new vehicles. These vehicles are the Phoenix, Barsuk and Rhino, very safari DICE, very safari. The Pheonix and the Barsuk are kind of modified Humvees, it’s attached with a grenade launcher as well as the machine gun (that was already there) for murderous purposes. The Rhino is a different story, it’s a modified van with an attached (remote) machine gun on top. The driver drives through the remote gun’s camera. The middle of the vehicle is open allowing players to shoot out of the vehicle. Enemies can lob a grenade in there and that’ll be the end of the Rhino and his friends.

Though some may say they are disappointed with the DLC, I am far from it, it gave me everything I wanted and more. I think I’ll be sticking to Conquest on these maps though as the scavenger mode gets frustrating when you’re getting pummeled while finding a weapon, not fun. I love this DLC, and it’s definitely worth getting if you haven’t already!

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