GameGrin were lucky enough to grab a short hands-on experience of the upcoming Battlefield 3 map pack/expansion, Armoured Kill, at the Electronic Arts press section in gamescom 2012. Our time with the new content was regretfully short, but no made no less enjoyable by the time constraints.
We jumped into a match that had just started and found ourselves in our team's staging area with a wide variety of heavy armour types to choose from. Unfortunately, we performed so well in the demonstration that we didn't die enough times to have a real opportunity to experiment with multiple vehicles and compare the differences between them!
Once a vehicle had been chosen the objective of the match was to secure a central control point in the middle of the map - which was an expansive mixture of open field, hilly outcrops, road networks and an over-ground bridge at the capture point.
Given that control of the match centred around a single capture point the action was certainly concentrated in that area, although there were always a few skirmishes going on around the outskirts
Although this was primarily a tank-based battle it was interesting to see squads of engineers and support players working together to coordinate infantry strikes on passing tanks and protecting high traffic road areas. This shows there is still a role for the infantryman on these vehicular battlefields.
That said, when you are on your own and your tank is crippled it is a terrifying experience to find yourself on foot in the middle of a battle of metal behemoths and, in all honesty, you'll probably be of more use to your team just letting yourself get killed so you can respawn and grab a new a new vehicle.
What we played at gamescom was only a tiny taster of what we can expect to see from Armoured Kill and it was a real shame we couldn't spend more time playing and trying a few new maps and modes.
However, what struck us as one of the most important effects that this new map pack and expansion will have is not just the new things that will be introduced, but also the effect this will have on the core Battlefield experience.
By playing and enjoying Armoured Kill, users who generally shy away from the vehicular warfare side of the game and prefer the role of the infantryman are going to gain experience and learn to have fun outside of their normal comfort zone. As a result, there is a good chance that not only will Armoured Kill provide a staging ground for epic vehicular based combat, it will also provide the training ground for a whole new generation of tank commanders, helicopter pilots and fighter pilots whose new knowledge and experience will carry over to the rest of the Battlefield experience.
Battlefield 3: Armoured Kill will be available in September 2012 and will include new maps, vehicles and game modes. More than that, this expansion has the potential to change the way people play and enjoy the Battlefield experience.