Battlefield 3: Back To Karkand DLC Review

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Four classic maps reloaded with goodness

Re-releasing old maps for new games can be a ballsy Hail-Mary pass for a popular shooter. Infinity Ward learned this lesson the hard way from hostile fan reaction when they started releasing re-skinned CoD4 maps for Modern Warfare 2. With Battlefield 3 resurrecting the classic Karkand map pack, the toss and hope long ball is thrown again. Sports metaphors aside, is Return to Karkand worth the price, or is it an easy money-spinner?

Rest assured this DLC is no mere cut-and-paste job of its predecessor. In fact, the four maps included – Strike at Karkand, Gulf of Oman, Wake Island 2014 and Sharqi Penninsula-  are fully rebuilt on Battlefield 3′s Frostbite 2 engine. Sure, there are areas that will trigger your nostalgia-glands into a state of fond lactation, but in every sense that counts these maps feel new. Even if you never played them originally, these maps are still great and add a refreshing gust of variety to your online experience.

With new maps comes new treats too. Back to Karkand delivers three new vehicles, five new dog tags, and ten new weapons – not to mention some juicy achievements/trophies. The vehicles that really stands out is the F-35, a VTOL (read: can take off and land like a helicopter) jump-jet that will appeal to the Top Gun pilot in all of us.

The final party-piece boasted by this downloadable add-on is a new game mode: Conquest Assault. There’s not a whiff of false advertising here; this new mode is a more aggressive form of the familiar ‘Conquest’, in which one team start with all the objectives leaving the other team to wrestle them from their grasp.

If you’re reading this then chances are you have Battlefield 3, but you want to know if this pack will truly add something to your experience. The answer is a resounding yes- you fight across four excellently made arenas, you take the battle to the skies and seas in grin-inducing new vehicles. Back to Karkand is an unquestionably a welcome return to the Battlefield series.