Battlefield 3 is getting its first DLC, called Back To Karkand, which brings back old Battlefield 2 maps, weapons and vehicles into the Battlefield 3 era. We’ve gotten our hands on Back To Karkand, and we’ve got a review for you.
First the basics: if you pre-ordered or own a copy of Battlefield 3 Limited Edition, you’ll get Back To Karkand for free, otherwise, it’ll cost you $15. Now the contents: Back to Karkand includes 4 new maps, 10 new weapons, and 3 new vehicles. Hardly a lot for $15 bucks, but as we found out, there’s a lot of quality in Back To Karkand.
First, the maps: Strike At Karkand, Wake Island, Sharqi Peninsula, and Gulf of Oman. If you’ve played BF2, you’ll know that these are classics, and when it comes to Strike At Karkand, it’s one of the most popular multiplayer maps over the past 10 years in any game. The Battlefield 3 versions of the maps add destruction, and of course, much better visuals. Gameplay wise, the maps retain their well known paths and choke points, and feel very familiar. One thing we liked is that some of the maps, like Karkand, include more than the 3 usual capture points that are found in regular BF3 maps.
There are 10 new weapons to be unlocked, but in order to unlock them, you have to complete one “assignment” per weapon — 10 in total. We liked this idea of having to actually earn a weapon rather than just rake in kills in unlock. Vehicle wise, we have one new jet, the F35, a new APC, the BTR-90, and the DPV buggy. Not a lot, but it’s still better than nothing.
Overall, Back To Karkand is an awesome add-on for Battlefield 3, especially if you’re getting it for free. Some of the maps, like Wake Island, felt noticeably smaller than their original counterparts, and the new vehicles, besides the F35 jet, don’t feel like enough to justify a $15 price tag. But the maps, the Battlefield gameplay, and the new weapons are just what Battlefield 2 veterans need.
Solid Battlefield gameplay
Great nostalgia feel with old BF2 maps
Maps are well made, look great and play great
Free (if you own a Limited Edition copy of BF3)
Doesn’t feel like enough content if you’re paying $15 for it.
A few gameplay glitches here and there.
Overall score: 9/10