- 28 Apr 2012
- Reaction score
Aftermath is the fourth expansion for Battlefield 3 and is set in the devastation of an earthquake in Tehran. The maps are multilevel with lots of hiding places and multiple pathways to each destination. The multiple routes are rather refreshing and lead Rush to become an utter panic as the enemy closes in from all directions with the oft heard cry of "they're coming out of the god damn walls!" A thing of note is that some of the destroyed buildings have invisible barriers to stop unscrupulous campers hiding within the debris, a good thing I feel. Another feature of the maps is that aftershocks rumble on during gameplay disrupting the accuracy of shots and increasing the sound of falling debris which in turn masks the footsteps of those with a penchant for melee kills.
DiCE seem intent on pushing out new game modes no doubt to gauge their popularity before their inclusion within the next release. Whilst Gun Master and Tank Superiority were very faddy and not to everyone's taste so far I've not heard a negative comment about Scavenger.
Scavenger is a refined jump back in time to the days of Doom where you spawn only with your class' designated handgun and have to look out for weapon upgrades from pick up points around the map. Unlike the old days where a single weapon type spawned on a spot, this time it seems to be based on weapon class. Some points I've seen regularly spawn various sniper rifles of different classes and other points various shotguns, so if you're not happy with the weapon you picked up then hang about and you'll likely get another version shortly. A theory I put to test when I hoiked a bolt action sniper before grabbing a rather handy lasered SKS a few moments later from the same spot. Tactically if you've already got a "better" weapon equipped it's often best to let your team mate grab one and run the risk of yourself running out of ammo rather than sweeping up every weapon you find. Ammo brings us nicely onto the character class abilities which are completely absent in this mode. Assault can't revive, support can't supply and snipers have no vibe with a lack of motion sensing. All is not lost on the ammo front though, scattered throughout the maps are ammo crates much like those seen in the single player campaign enabling you to keep a favourite pickup well stocked together with grabbing extra grenades. Objective wise Scavenger is very similar to Conquest Domination in that you fight for control of points with a slow neutralise and fast capture.
The vehicles found in the Aftermath expansion are very much scavenged, consisting of vans equipped with a dashboard mounted gun for the driver or heavily modded jeeps with both a machine gun and GL point. There are also the usual tanks and light helicopters but in much reduced numbers. Tanks suffer massively in the debris, getting caught up and trapped on pieces of scenery leaving you vulnerable to an easy death by C4. The light helis are as always an utter joy to fly especially when you're having fun speeding between damaged buildings, giving them ample opportunity to lose missile locks.
Unlocks for the expansion favour the troop once more with fresh dog-tags and a new weapon - the crossbow. Why DiCE saw fit to call it the kiss-bow (xbow) is beyond me but the weapon fits well within the field of the game. OK the kiss-bow is a bit silly in that it can one shot kill to the body unlike most of the snipers in the game, although be warned it's not guaranteed and I'm yet to work out if it's heart shots or pure fluke that causes it. Whilst it could be considered overpowered it has an excruciatingly slow reload speed and has the further penalty of removing one of a class' gadgets, replacing either the MediPack, Rocket, Mortar or MAV. My thought was that the crossbow would work much like the GL in that its ammo type was fixed but this isn't the case. Ammo type once unlocked can be changed by using the fire rate button (down on the d-pad for PS3) allowing you to switch between explosive, motion sensor and normal rounds on the fly. Explosive bolt damage isn't fantastic but considering the sniper had no such ability prior to this weapon it's no bad thing. Current estimates for one explosive bolt are : helicopter 90%, transport chopper 60%, boat 60%, jeep 40%, tank 30% (rear)/10% (front), LAV 25%. Troop damage is minimal when using the explosive bolt and note that the bolt also has almost no splash damage.
Let me finish with a quick look at Premium membership. Karkand is a great expansion but is considered by many to be core content due to it being a pre-order bonus. Close Quarters, whilst enjoyable, couldn't be used in amongst other maps without suffering the penalty of 16 players. Armoured Kill was just too large to be fun for the 24 player limit of the consoles and had left many players somewhat despondent. Aftermath thankfully is another strong core style expansion like Karkand and brings action packed gameplay back to the title after the somewhat disappointing and often underused prior two expansions. Without seeing End Game I'd currently recommend new players only pick up Karkand and Aftermath, although the Close Quarters expansion did bring with it some great weapons (AUG A3, MTAR-21, L86A2 and the SPAS-12) and interesting game modes (Gun Master and Conquest Domination.) For the Senior Gamers I can see Aftermath's Scavenger mode making its way into our standard server loadout replacing Team Death Match. MWAH!