Never be just a medic or just a soldier.
That's my advice to anyone playing the Assault class in Battlefield 3. You have to be ready to push the front line and support it at the same time. No one accomplishes anything on their own in Battlefield 3 and the same is still true of End Game, the final DLC pack which brings four new maps, two new modes, and of course, motorbikes to the theater of war in DICE's multiplayer shooter. Of course, that didn't stop me from trying.
At EA's Redwood Shores offices, two lines of TVs stood with headphones and controllers at the ready. The group of writers gathered for the preview event wondered which side to sit on while I marched over and immediately jumped into the first new mode we'd play that day: Capture the Flag.
CTF returns to Battlefield after a long hiatus. In fact, End Game is the first time the mode is available again since the original 1942. The four new maps included in the DLC take place in different seasons and this map had the warm sunshine and green grass of summer. An oil refinery divided the teams, but a quick tank ride later and I was quickly becoming the most-hated-guy-to-ever-play-Battlefield. I camped the enemy spawn and flag with my tank and sniped them with my cannon. Of course, when I say snipe I mean, "blow a hole in the wall and wait for anyone to pop their head out."
As in many other multiplayer shooters, each team will want to protect their flag while also taking offensives maneuvers to capture the other team's flag. This was easier said than done in End Game's large, open maps. Bases could easily be flanked and a knife could come as quickly as a bullet. Despite my amazing score we lost the round 3-nil and moved on to Air Superiority.
One thing I had always been discouraged by in Battlefield 3 is that you need to level up your Jet-flying abilities before you can really start to dominate the skies. It isn't as pick up and play as the Assault or Engineer classes. In fact, you're likely to waste your team's Jets if you've never flown before. Air Superiority negates this by spawning everyone in a Jet. After that, it's up to you to capture and hold three towers. Of course, you'll also want to make sure your opponents only see blue sky from the spawn page.
Air Superiority allowed me to unlock key Jet weapons like flares and heat-seeking missiles within a matter of seconds. The 250 points you get for capturing a point in a Jet put everyone on an even playing field, whether you've been dominating with aircraft since the game's launch or not.
Finally, the last major addition to Battlefield 3 in End Game is the motorbike, a two-manned vehicle that allows you transport from one of the map and back as fast as possible. The motorbike is weak, but it makes up for it in speed and ease of use. I flew off of hills and bridges, raced over long plains, and generally disposed of the motorbike as soon as I had picked it up.
The bike makes a lot of noise, so don't expect to go sneaking around the enemy base on one. Instead, be ready to play objectives with these new toys. Hop on the back of a bike and steal an enemy's flag or capture an unguarded control point, but don't try to mow down opponents while you're riding on the back. The roads in Battlefield 3 are covered in potholes from explosions, loose debris, and maybe a fallen comrade or two. Driving a smooth line wasn't incredibly difficult, but you never know what might happen in-game.
In fact, I was trying to buzz the enemy base while a squad mate ran in to capture their flag. That's when a new helicopter with missiles spotted me on the Eastern side. The explosions rang out around me and suddenly I was thrown from my bike. It continued to tumble a few yards away from me, where it finally exploded. My teammate came out of the base on the other side hesitated for a moment when he realized he was starring at the same player who had dropped him off. Of course, I made it away unscathed, but he was still carrying the flag.
Many Battlefield 3 fans are just waiting to get their hands on End Game as part of their Battlefield Premium subscription. The add-on lands on PS3 tomorrow and on PC and Xbox 360 next week. The franchise's replayability and incredible moment-to-moment gameplay is high, making End Game hardly the end of BF3.