The 'Back to Karkand' pack was first revealed through a leaked EA ad as a free bonus for those who pre-order the limited edition of Battlefield 3.
Playing host to four classic Battlefield 2 maps, new weapons, vehicles and other goodies, DICE plans to release the 'Back to Karkand' pack this December, and to help you cope with the wait just a little better, they've released a trailer. How kind.
Not content with merely viewing the trailer once and saying "Hey that looks pretty cool", we watched it, and we watched it again, and we picked it apart to give you our views and opinions, which you'll find below.
The trailer opens with aerial shots of the four maps included in the pack, showing the immense scale and incredible graphical detail of 'Strike at Karkand', 'Gulf of Oman', 'Sharqi Peninsula' and 'Wake Island'.
The first thing we noticed was just how much more open the maps look in comparison to the ones shipped with Battlefield 3. The 'Gulf of Oman' map in particular reminded us a little of the 'Atacama Desert' map that featured in Bad Company 2, with its wide open expanse of sand.
Whether this will be a good or bad thing remains to be seen however, as we can imagine a dozen snipers all taking up positions and picking us off as we try to make our way across the sand. We hate snipers, except when we are one.
Following on swiftly are some rapid shots of jets, gunfire, explosions, and other stuff that makes a loud noise - so all the classic traits that you'd expect from a Battlefield game are here then.
The trailer proudly tells us that three new vehicles will be included in the pack, though it doesn't show off the new vehicles or tell us what they are, so maybe they're not that proud.
We're really hoping the quad bike from Bad Company 2 returns. It was a great method of transport for quickly zipping into the enemy base and blowing up their M-COMs before they can get into any good defending positions. It was also pretty fun to just bomb about on when you ended up in one of those slow games with one or two other players and just want to muck about a bit.
Ten new weapons, the trailer shouts, but again fails to show any of them, instead opting to show off the RPK-74M which is the first gun you have in the support class. We'd like to see a variety of new weapons though, we'll gladly take anything from pistols to assault rifles. We're not too bothered about new sniper rifles though. We hate snipers, you know, except when we are one.
A building blows up, the player dies and a Russian engineer majestically cartwheels through the air amidst large chunks of debris, and then the words "Enhanced destruction" flash up on screen. Nice, let's see this then. Oh, you've just shown off some more driving and aiming down scopes again, DICE. Well done. Give yourself a pat on the back.
We jest, of course. This scene appears to actually give us a glimpse of one of the new vehicles - a buggy-type vehicle, and if you pause at 1:01 and look at the buggy in the background, it looks as if it may support up to three players.
Likewise, at 0:59 we might be looking at a new weapon you're looking at. If we had to guess we'd say it looks most like an MG36 machine gun, which appeared in Bad Company 2, though it's hard to tell because the player is standing in the shadows.
We're then informed that we will be granted 'Extended persistence' upon purchase of the DLC, which we guess means more unlocks, and possibly new medals, ribbons and ranks. We're not sure whether the new weapons will have to be unlocked first or whether you will have access to them as soon as you buy the pack though.
We're then treated to some quick clips of the buggy and its passenger angrily shooting some sand, and a helicopter flying over and lighting up a construction sight with its rockets. "Classic Conquest Action" the trailer says. We approve. And for the big finale, we witness a helicopter shoot a dirty, camping sniper off a crane - beautiful. Did we tell you we hate snipers that aren't us?
The trailer ends with a reminder that the pack will be available in December 2011 and for those who bought the limited edition: free of charge - the best kind of price. It's great to see the classic Battlefield 2 maps back, but tweaked so that they feel familiar yet still fresh and exciting.
Coupled with the added destruction of the Frostbite 2 engine, it's something for both new and old fans of the Battlefield series to enjoy. 'Back to Karkand' looks like it's shaping up to be a worthy addition to the Battlefield 3 multiplayer, and really is probably something no dedicated Battlefield player should go without.