DICE has been really boosting Battlefield 3 with a lot of post-release content, and we’ve had a ton of excellent map packs for the game so far. Battlefield 3 came out last year and was critically and commercially successful but to keep players chugging on, a bunch of new maps at a specific period and other things like extra modes were vital.
It’s something that is a necessity when you think the game has sold 15 million copies worldwide. You need to hook these players with great content so that they keep buying new map packs and eventually the successor to the game.
Battlefield 3: Aftermath is the fourth DLC for Battlefield 3 and one that is the weakest of the bunch. I have loved all the DLCs released for the game so far, and I also consider DICE to be one of the best developers when it comes to post-release content, since they put so much emphasis on quality. While Aftermath is not bad in itself, it seems like DICE is losing a little motivation when it comes to creating these maps.
There are 4 new maps that are added to the game via this DLC and the common theme that is consistent here is apocalypse. OK, not really, but if you have played the single-player you would know of a mission where a building collapses due to an earthquake and chaos ensues. The first map Epicentre is based on that, and it’s quite good too.
The map has 4 capture points and is overall well designed and there are a bunch of ways to get to Capture point C. Either go the heroic route or the meek way under the tunnels, anything you choose is satisfying, and when you see the debris around you, along with frantic firefights, it’s a thrilling experience. This is one of the best maps DICE has made for Battlefield 3.
The second map is Talah Market, which as the name suggests is a market, where close quarters play an important role. You can either play for yourself or for the team, there really isn’t any emphasis on strongly following a specific type of gameplay. This map will remind many people of that other game where fast firefights are the norm.
The map is very well designed too but does not stand out when you compare it with some of the other maps DICE has made for the game. In fact I would say that this is the worst map they’ve done devoid of proper planning or level design. It’s just shoot, shoot and shoot, however, I kind of like it.
Azadi Palace is one of the visually proficient maps the studio has made, and features two towers, and a palace within along with debris everywhere. It provides a lot of cover opportunities obviously considering the nature of the level design, so attackers have to be wary here. I really loved how good this map looked but sometimes learning it can take a while since there are a lot of branching routes.
It also allows you to use a new vehicle called the Barsuk which has a grenade launcher to make quick work of anyone coming near the vehicle.
Markaz Monolith is set in a mall type area, where again, debris are found everywhere. There is a bridge that hovers above the main road and when you play on this map, you won’t really find it much different or unique compared to somersetting like Azadi Palace or Epicentre.
Some of the maps are designed fantastically, but the Markaz map is a bit undewhelming. I loved playing on these maps but the DLC is not that big in scope or grandeur compared to the other ones released by the studio. However, there’s a new mode called Scavenger mode, which requires you to pick up weapons–any weapons–lying on the ground and just moving to your objective.
You will not get a lot of time to play the game as you normally have come to because people will kill you easily, unless you do the same to them.
Premium owners will enjoy this DLC obviously but if you are trying to get this DLC as a standalone, I wouldn’t recommend it because it seems to lack longevity, and the maps aren’t really something that will make you coming back for more. I loved Epicentre, Azadi palace and Talah Market, but somewhere you get the feeling that a few of these maps aren’t really suited for Battlefield 3.
This game was reviewed on the PS3.