In our fourth multiplayer expansion pack Battlefield 3: Aftermath, we throw players into an all-new harrowing environment: The shattered districts, streets and cities of post-earthquake Iran. Players will struggle for supremacy and survival amongst the devastation, with heavily modified vehicles and the all-new crossbow at their disposal.
A whole new world
Following the earthquake event depicted in the single player campaign in Battlefield 3, operational capacity in the Iran region is severely compromised. From the ashes rise survivors who are beat up but not beaten. The whole style and tone in the entire themed expansion pack is one of being down but not out, and you can even see it in the multiplayer character design: These soldiers have bandages, cuts, and bruises and their clothes are torn.
Fighting amongst the devastation in this urban combat setting will test players in new ways, with plenty of opportunity for vertical gameplay and damaged buildings that create slanting ground and streets that have cracked open and have heaps of rubble in them. The earthquake has also damaged vehicles and weapons for both fighting forces, giving inspiration to a number of unique features in the expansion pack changing how the game looks, feels, and plays. In this blog post we will cover the new Scavenger game mode, the heavily modified vehicles, and the all-new crossbow introduced in Aftermath.
Fight for survival in the new Scavenger mode
Inspired by the earthquake theme and setting, the new Scavenger mode is a frantic hunt for survival. A new concept to Battlefield, lost soldiers start equipped with only a knife, one grenade, and sidearm and must search the environment for more powerful weapons to increase their chance at surviving and eventually winning.
In Scavenger mode, weapons spawn in predetermined locations all over the map, so it pays to learn the map to stand a fighting chance. The particular weapons spawning at these points however have an element of randomness to them, so in order to survive a Scavenger round you will have to explore as much of the map as possible. Sticking together as a team means you might be able to keep enemies from claiming these few and valuable weapons that can turn the tide of a round.
In all other respects, Scavenger behaves like a Conquest game. That is, the two teams battle for control over a number of bases and need to bleed their opponent down to zero tickets. The addition of the desperate weapon situation at the start of the mode is further underlined by the scarcity of ammunition – most weapons that you find in the destroyed environment have only one mag available. In the aftermath of the earthquake, every shot counts. Apart from this new Battlefield experience, the expansion pack also supports all game modes from the base game plus the highly popular Gun Master mode originally introduced in Battlefield 3: Close Quarters.
The new crossbow lets you deliver death in silence
Taking inspiration from real life disaster areas, the team at DICE looked at what military forces usually do in desperate situations like this. In Aftermath, the earthquake has devastated a lot of the available vehicles and weapons. This has forced both sides to use their engineering ingenuity to take what they can find in the rubble and build new weapons and vehicles to increase their odds at survival.
Perhaps the most surprising and striking weapon addition in the history of Battlefield, Aftermath introduces the makeshift crossbow. Inspired by real life military engineering ingenuity, this crossbow is created by taking the stock of a malfunctioning assault rifle and assembling with the other parts needed, like a piece of wire for the string (maybe found inside a broken down car), some scrap metal for the bow mechanic and a scope. Just add duct tape, and you have a new and silent way to deliver deadly force to the enemy. We will return with an in-depth look at the versatile crossbow and its many uses soon here on the blog, so stay tuned.
Modified vehicles showcase ingenuity and firepower
In the aftermath of the earthquake, a lot of the available vehicles are smashed up beyond recognition. To keep them in fighting shape, the crafty soldiers have modified them heavily to create new weapon platforms with what they have at hand. This means adding armor, patching up gaping holes, adding weapons platforms, and even retrofitting a civilian vehicle to create something that fills the role of troop transport.
The “Phoenix” (US) and the “Barsuk” (for the Russian team, meaning “badger”) is a light transport where a grenade machine launcher has been fitted at the back in conjunction with the already existing machine gun on top, making it a ride that will carry troops quickly from A to B while also being able to dish out explosive damage to enemy vehicles and structures and fend off approaching infantry.
Finally, there’s the “Rhino” – originally a completely civilian vehicle, but in Aftermath, you have to make do with what you can get your bandaged hands on. This formerly civilian van has been retrofitted with armor and a remote controlled machine gun controlled by the driver to turn it into a medium heavy troop transport.
In addition to these three new vehicles in Aftermath, depending on the game mode you’ll also see a lot of returning vehicles from the base game, including helicopters and tanks.
We hope you enjoyed this very first detailed overview of Aftermath and some of its key features. Stay tuned in the weeks to come for a deeper dive into our latest themed expansion pack, and let us know in the poll below what you are looking forward to the most.
Battlefield 3: Aftermath is included in Battlefield 3: Premium. Release is starting November 27th for PlayStation 3 Premium members. You can also buy it individually at $14.99 USD for PlayStation 3 and PC or 1200 MS points.