Battlefield 3: Back to Karkand DLC Review (Xbox 360)

Adding to my growing Battlefield 3 addiction is the Back to Karkand DLC, recently released across all platforms. Featuring four remastered maps from Battlefield 2, three new vehicles (including a STOVL fighter jet that I successfully managed to noob dive straight into the ‘drink’ immediately after take-off) and a slew of weaponry available by completing Assignments.

The latest maps offer players plenty of opportunity for building to building and close quarter combat as well as some epic vehicle encounters:

Strike at Karkand’ is a brilliant map and almost worth the price of admission alone. The attackers approaching from their starter zone will be met with three parallel streets that opens up somewhat at the end and onto wider areas. Now while you certainly have a tank available at your disposal, the buildings have plenty of hiding spots for anti-tank enemy to disable and take you down right from the get go. On the other hand it also offers some fantastic destruction for your building-killer.

Gulf of Oman‘ features a nice open area for vehicles to cross before reaching the urban areas and going building to building. There is a brilliant sniper position in the construction zone that will give you a great view of the entire zone. Although everyone else will soon know this and will do their level best to rain gun fire upon you once you’ve been spotted.

Wake Island‘ places your objectives on a mostly narrow U-shaped stretch of land. This map keeps most of the action nice and tight, not allowing you to spread wide too far. It also keeps you alert as it’s difficult to know who or what may approach your peripherals as the island typically declines on either side of the road. There is, however, an air-strip in the map which does open up somewhat and give you a better view of the objective in that area. Of course you will need to watch out for a plane taking off over your back.

Sharqi Peninsula‘ gives you more building-to-building combat and has another construction zone that gives you plenty of places to dig in and combat the enemy. There is also a tall building to one side of the map that offers an eagle-view of the map. Parachuting from the top of that building to sneak behind an intruder was a favourite moment. Tanks have a little more room to move in this map, but the enemy still has plenty of areas to mount an anti-tank assault.

Overall these maps give players a fun romp through streets littered with potential hiding spots. There is plenty of opportunity for destruction on all three tiers of combat and gives Battlefield 3 fans something else to work towards with the completion of Assignments (personal objective-based tasks). The DLC maps also features a Conquest Assault mode which plays out a little bit like Rush, but the defensive side controls all objectives right from the get go.

The pack itself is available free as a inclusion to those who picked up the Limited Edition of the game, otherwise it will cost 1200 Microsoft Points via the marketplace.

Rating: ★★★★★★★★★☆

About the Author

Dan co-hosts the Gameolio Podcast and handles the administration of the website. Occasional poster and frequent deleter with a strange love of the colour green.