Last week at an off-site event at GDC, I was able to get in a scant 10 minutes with the Ziba Tower map that will be included with the upcoming Battlefield 3: Close Quarters DLC, which is set to come out sometime this spring. Since my time with the map was pretty limited (attendees at the event were cycled out after each round), it’s hard for me to give you a detailed breakdown on the intricacies of the map design (I thought it was good). Instead, I’d like to pinpoint the three features that stood out the most in Close Quarters.
BF 3′s Bullets Are Accurate, Seriously
Before Battlefield 3, the series was regarded for its large maps, vehicles, and generous hit-detection system. While we still have our large maps and vehicles, some have made the claim that bullet and hit-detection system issues have been addressed for Battlefield 3. But it wasn’t until I was thrown into the close confines of the Ziba Tower office building before I realized just how accurate the weapons, bullets, and hit-detection system have become.
Granted, this claim may not be much of a revelation to most of you out there, but when I was zipping around corners, running up and down stairwells, or racing through the hallways, that’s when I needed that fraction of a second to get my shots in — and they hit. It was finally proof in action for myself that the weapons have become much better at tracking hit-points per body, and it showed with my kill count — I came in second place at a 17 and 7. Not bad for my first time on the map.
BF 3 Can be CoD Any Day of the Week
As soon as the name of the map pack debuted along with an action packed trailer showcasing a lot of exploding hallways, I immediately started to think, “They’re really going after Modern Warfare 3 this time, huh?” I mean, the PR teams have had a blast adding fuel to this rivalry, and I believe after this map pack comes out we’ll be hearing a lot more apples to apples comparisons between the two Goliaths.
I’ve never enjoyed the majority of CoD’s map designs; they always struck me as being claustrophobic. As such I always enjoyed the vehicular and wide-open expanse of the Battlefield series, or even Quake Wars for that matter. Granted, I’ve only played one map for a short period of time, but the overall message is clear from DICE: We can create a Call of Duty multiplayer experience any day of the week.
By having the entire firefight confined to this multi-level office building I was worried I’d run into the same issues that I don’t like about CoD maps, or that I’d run into a series of chokepoints. But I didn’t find this to be the case. In fact, the map was fairly large and in many areas quite spacious with a lot of verticality. Throw in the fact there were multiple levels to explore and hunt out the enemy team, and it became just as tense and exciting as some of the Karkand maps. Limiting the number of players per map to 16 keeps the action moving, but it’s unclear if we’ll have the option to tweak the number of players per map on PC.
Frostbite 2 Makes All the Difference
I’m thinking about putting together a petition that all developers must henceforth use Frostbite 2 for their games. The conversation about shooter engines now begins and ends with Frostbite 2.
When the match began, both teams were placed in a pristine office complex. In the waning seconds there was shattered glass everywhere, walls were torn to pieces, and cover positions that I used earlier in the match were in shambles. It’s the Frostbite 2 tech that will help make Close Quarters a ton of fun to play and will surely stoke the flames of fandom between the two major shooter franchises once again when it comes out this spring.