DICE are getting awful generous this E3 season; first they give the gift of hope, announcing that they’re working on Mirror’s Edge 2 and Star Wars Battlefront 3, and now they give the gift of game by handing out free copies of Battlefield 3’s first DLC expansion, Close Quarters, to all and sundry.
While many criticised Close Quarters for pandering to corridor shooter fans, make no mistake, the levels in this DLC are excellent, if a little less like what you’d expect from a DICE shooter.
Dropping vehicles and reducing the scale of the four maps in this DLC is not to say that the developer didn’t deliver something special: with the smaller scale of the maps DICE were able to funnel all the engine’s power into creating some stunning looking levels, all of which had an extra level of destructibility added to them.
One map in particular stands out; Ziba tower starts as a building of Mirror’s Edge-like whites and hard edges – it’s an architect’s dream – but by the end of every match its clean walls are riddled with bullet holes, its floors covered in shards of glass, and its ceilings marred with scorch marks.
The increased level of destruction doesn’t seem like it would add much to a game but I still remember the first time I saw a shotgun blast punch a hole in the wall inches ahead of my face. It may not sound like much but it simply makes things more exciting.
You can claim the free DLC pack throughout E3 by entering “BF3E3” in Origin’s redeem code menu.
As well as the free DLC, DICE are also holding a double XP event all week. That’s only available to the game’s premium members, though.