Tank you for the kill.
Armored Kill is an upcoming expansion for Battlefield 3 and one that takes an opposite direction from the claustrophobic environment in Close Quarters. Instead of checking corners and making players rage-quit by owning them with shotguns, you’ll evade anti-tank missiles while suppressing the enemy with cannon fire from afar.
Vehicles have always been a game changer. Let’s face it, we’ve all done this: Chasing after an enemy player, you rush around the corner only to come face to face with a tank. You instantly realize the enemy player is no longer important and you turn to retreat. The Battlefield franchise is certainly admired for its immense battles, which include an array of vehicles, but nothing is more favored than tanks. Combine these two factors together and it’s only fitting for BF3 to introduce a new game type and maps that cater to tank warfare.
The new mode, appropriately named Tank Superiority is exactly how it sounds: dominate the battlefield by capturing a single flag and defend it while depleting the opposition’s tickets to zero. Sounds easy enough, but in one of the new maps called Armored Shield, the flag stands completely alone, leaving a wide-open area for heavy machinery to defend or trek on through without restraint.
On the contrary, it’s wise not to go head first toward the flag on foot. During a hands-on demo at EA, my teammate and I remained within pockets of brush and trees for cover, which surrounded the perimeter of the flag. From there, we crouched behind a broken fence and observed opposing infantry sprint toward the flag to capture it—they even went prone. Bad idea. With tanks rushing the open battlefield to contest the flag, your chances of survival is about slim to none. To better suit the players who get left in the dust by greedy drivers, the respawn time for vehicles have been shortened and 16 different vehicles are available all on one map.
So, what if you have a phobia of being encased in a 67-ton machine and choose to travel on foot instead? Then this isn’t the expansion pack for you, but like with my teammate and me, there are small areas that provide enough cover to either engage in infantry battles or seek refuge while an enemy tank rolls by. Engineer classes will be heavily utilized, since the repair tool and rocket launchers are obvious choices to use in this game mode. Recon soldiers can also benefit from the open scenery and perch on elevated terrain to snipe opposing forces across the way as well as using a SOFLAM to destroy enemy vehicles.
At the start of the second round, I was able to jump into the turret seat in an Abrams while the driver followed other tanks in the lead toward the flag. Only one enemy tank and a handful of foot soldiers met us, which were easily targeted by cannon and turret fire. After the flag was captured, we moved forward and spawned trapped the enemy. I know, I’m ashamed of me too. However, it goes to show that with teamwork and the right strategy, you can either rule the battlefield or be overwhelmed with vehicle superiority.
Armored Kill heavily emphasizes tank-on-tank battles by providing four different maps with a vast area for the heavy machines to play in, which include new vehicles like ATVs, mobile artillery, tank destroyers, and a gunship that can be used as a mobile spawn point for your teammates. This expansion pack further includes new assignments, unlocks, and achievements. Expect its release this September, but until then, think of the measures you would take to capture the focal point and gather up reliable teammates to create a dominating tank battalion.