But: Back To Karkand Arrives In December

By Jim Rossignol on November 18th, 2011 at 5:27 pm.


And there’s a trailer showing off Strike At Karkand, to celebrate that fact, below. Needless to say, the trailer shows off a lot of walls getting blasted into bits, a lot of guns getting reloaded, and a lot of shouting. I love shouting. That’s the best bit. Back To Karkand, just in case you’ve been asleep for the past couple of months, is the DLC for Battlefield 3 that brings back four famed Battlefield maps for the new game. They are: Strike at Karkand, Wake Island, Gulf of Oman and Sharqi Peninsula. It’s free if you pre-ordered, and $15 to everyone else. The DLC also introduces a bunch of new achievements, weapons, vehicles and so forth, and the Battlefield blog is slowly detailing them all for our anticipatory pleasure.

, , , .

62 Comments »

  1. Dakia says:

    Also supposedly PS3 exclusive, for a week. Though, I’m not sure if that pertains to just the consoles or the PC as well.

  2. Hensler says:

    So excited to get back to Wake Island. All my favorite Battlefield memories are on that map.

    • Inglourious Badger says:

      Yes, loved that map in 1942. Can’t wait to fly jets over it

    • simonh says:

      Strike at Karkand and Sharqi Peninsula were my favourites, and of course every iteration of Battlefield has to have Wake Island.

      I’m pretty sure pre-ordering isn’t enough to get this pack though. You had to get the Limited Edition, which cost about £5-10 more. You didn’t have to pre-order to be able to buy it either, in fact you can still buy it.

    • westyfield says:

      But pretty much all retailers/etailers/DD services were automatically bumping any preorder up to the Limited Edition, for the same price as the standard one.

    • simonh says:

      I couldn’t find any such promotions in Sweden when I was looking to pre-order it :\
      I guess they just couldn’t be bothered with such small countries, even when it’s where the game came from.

    • Phinor says:

      There was some price gouging with BF3 pre-orders. x amount for BF3, x+5 euros for the Limited Edition just as an example. Not every shop did that but some did.

    • Valvarexart says:

      @Simonh: Well, I bought my limited edition at webhallen for 450kr, which was about 50kr more expensive than the regular edition…

    • zakihashi says:

      I know that every digital sale was turned into the limited edition, I bought the limited edition, and my brother didn’t, registering it on Origin however both gave the same thing, but the price was the same. So not really sure what was going on with that, I think EA just made every DD into a digital edition so for all eternity people can see you pre-ordered when you play it on origin, as it pops up specifically as Limited Edition for all who pre ordered.

    • roethle says:

      Got the limited edition at wall-mart (no pre-order) for the same price as the regular edition.

    • GenBanks says:

      It’s going to be weird fighting as/against Russians on it though. Chinese/Japanese seems much more natural.

  3. WingNutZA says:

    Aaaaww, I wanted road to Jalalalalalalalabad!

    • westyfield says:

      If they do any more of these retro map packs, I’d love Dragon Valley. Ten flags, now that was a map!

    • Alfius says:

      I think I loved 2142 more as a complete game but the map design in 2 was undoubtedly the best of the series so far.

      Here’s hoping for dragon valley in the future BF3 patch.

      On that note, I seem to remember the extra maps coming free with updates, are we to take it that the age of paid for DLC means that will be a thing of the past?

    • Barnaby says:

      I’m sorry but Dragon Valley is the last map I’d like to see ported. That map was too enormous for it’s own good. I love openness but I can’t tell you how many times I would be without a vehicle on Dragon Valley, decide to hoof it somewhere just to be blasted by a sniper while I’m swimming to the temple (as just one example).

      Another annoyance was the map was so large defending some of the points was next to impossible. The main base on the ocean for example was an easy target for people to sneak by and take either choppers or the point.

      Not many of the names of the maps stick out in my head, but Dragon Valley does because of how much it frustrated me.

    • Dreamhacker says:

      Awww, I wanted Mashtuur City…

  4. jonfitt says:

    I was not impressed with Metro or the general flow of the combat and have resolved to buy this on sale. If it’s going to cost an additional $15 to get known good maps, then the main game is going to drop even further before I buy it.
    .
    Jellybad, Wake Island, and Highway Tampa were added for free to BF2. Just sayin’.

    • Theory says:

      Metro and Damavand Peak are the only duff maps, and even they are acceptable with low player counts. The others are all simply great.

    • nubbuka says:

      Yeah but after about… 4 years if I’m not mistaken?
      Still kinda agreeing with you but don’t forget, making these maps isn’t a simple task as making those maps from the previous games. Destructible environments, balancing every part of the map and making sure everything will not go to hell.
      I know that PAYING for these maps does not make right with everyone but I do see that this is well worth the money. 4 new Destructible maps is well worth it.

    • zakihashi says:

      However, Euro Force was NOT free, and this is the same, a booster pack, it’s not one single map, this is new weapons, maps, vehicles. So it can not be compared to the maps added into BF2 as free patches. As this isn’t even remotely the same.
      Let me put it down here:

      Euro Force (BF2) gave you:
      Three New Maps
      Four New Vehicles
      Eight New Weapons

      Back to Karkand (BF3) gives you:
      Four New Maps
      Three New Vehicles
      Ten New Weapons
      A new way to unlock weapons

      So expecting this to be free, and thinking this kind of content have been free in the Battlefield series, shows bad memory, and just wanting to get things for free, while blaming horrible EA of changing things so much, while yet, it was like this before. Only Dice added more content this time around.

    • Kadayi says:

      Agree with Theory tbh.

  5. Hoaxfish says:

    Karkand sounds like some horrible hybrid of Ikea and Aldi.

  6. Vorrin says:

    I really hope that these being older maps, taken from bf2, they will keep them good, as they were in bf2, rather than reimagine them in the way they reimagined bf3 (so, strangling them with a string of chockepoints and cramped fighting).

    • Diving Duck says:

      I’m slightly worried about the potential for epic mortar spam at strike at karkand. It was nearly always a grenade lover’s haven as it was. Now with mortars it could be really full on!

      Also would love to see a full size dragon valley too.

    • nubbuka says:

      Actually I quite love mortars; If you know their weaknesses its ok :3
      If you’re a mortar yourself and you have spotted a enemy mortar just shoot one shell and ditch your mortar, that way you killed the enemy and lived to tell about it.

    • Diving Duck says:

      @ nubbuka

      Completely agree about them being weak. Until I decided to give recon a try I loved my mortar. Now I only use it to hit other mortars (mostly on Bazaar), but still think that there will be quite a few US mortars at the back of their Karkand base shooting into the hotel cap at the outset. It will be hard to counter mortar if they set up at the back as you wouldn’t have much time to set up and counter fire before a heap of US troops descend on you.

      When I do use my mortar I set up, fire and then move before it hits, but on the killcam it shows you running around after they have exploded half a map away – this then results in me being a called a hacker on chat :o(

    • Vagrant says:

      Mortars are amazing! But no one uses them right. Smoke mortars are a beautiful thing. They can even make Metro playable!

    • Nick says:

      better off using smoke grenades from the 40mm in Metro than mortars.

  7. DrGonzo says:

    Am I the only one who hates Wake Island? Do like the other maps though. But 15 dollars to get the rest of the game? Fuck you EA, you’ve lost me. Not that they would care about a dissatisfied customer.

    • Vagrant says:

      I’m generally opposed to any map where one team starts out with no land bases. The first half of the round is boring, and on the US side there’s no point in spawning until a ninja captures a flag. Karg Island in BF3 actually got this right; there’s a beach assault spawn point.

    • HisMastersVoice says:

      Canals have an off shore spawn point for the US and it’s not a problem. In fact I’ve seen Russians get baselocked on that map, but never saw that happen to the Americans. Simply giving the US means of getting fast enough to the shore will be enough.

    • Kadayi says:

      Yeah initially I hated Canals, but once you learn your way around the map you realise that there’s a lot of entry points plus it’s configured so that the US have plenty of time to establish a beachhead before the Russian forces are even remotely near the docks.

  8. Tams80 says:

    Destructible environments should mean those bloody snipers are easier to take out. =D

  9. BooleanBob says:

    All right. You posted the trailer, and that’s ok. You thought that was the right thing to do, and nobody blames you for that.

    But, listen. You could have posted the MEC loading music. Not only would that have been the right thing to do in this post, but it would be the right thing to do for every post on the site. Do you see?

    • Lord_Mordja says:

      Give this man a medal!

      Honestly, I loved playing as the MEC; they had the best weapons and the best maps. Plus they were a modernized, cohesive Arab army, with something of a scrappy underdog feel in their uniform design. Oh, and their announcer had a great voice.

      Of course given today’s game design climate, they’d probably re-imagined as a group of fanatics wielding nothing but AKs and RPGs. Whenever you play as them, the objective would be to detonate a nuke on the statue of liberty, no matter the map.

    • Elusiv3Pastry says:

      “Oh, and their announcer had a great voice.”

      I agree. I have no idea what she meant when she said “Cherry busted hymen, ka-boom hiya.” but it sounded quite calm and professional amongst all the chaos.

    • Springy says:

      The thing I find most illuminating about listening to that is how long BF2 used to take to load. I remember always having to listen to that MEC tune a full time and a half after first booting up the game, where it takes longer because of it initially loading all the assets. So, about five minutes. Bloody hell.

  10. coldvvvave says:

    Say whatever you want about BF3 but it has one of the best soundtracks ever.

    EVER

    • Vagrant says:

      It is not as awesome as Battlefield 2′s opening music!
      *badum dum ba dum dum!*

      I’ve had that stuck in my head for years.

    • Nick says:

      Its just a remix of the BF theme, I think the BF2 version is the best incarnation of the BF theme mind you.

    • coldvvvave says:

      I wasn’t talking about maint theme.

    • Doesn'tmeananything says:

      When can you actually hear this great soundtrack? In the singleplayer? I was playing multiplayer and co-op and whatever muffled bits of music there were during loading times are not as memorable as BF2 ones.

    • Springy says:

      I absolutely adore the synth-heavy tune you hear on the losing team post-match screen. This one. Very Mirror’s Edge-y.

      Battlefield has always had above-average music, especially for a multiplayer FPS.

  11. aircool says:

    Anyone know if they’ve changed the squad/enemy colours yet?

    *checks announcements*

    Bunch of f*****g c***s!

  12. Shooop says:

    Because $60 is not enough for a full game! You must pay at least $75!

    And EA knows you will.

    • Premium User Badge Joshua says:

      Actually, as you get this expansion pack for free when you bought the limited edition at 60$, its nto that much of an issue.

      People who did not pre order will probably buy the game at a price of 35$ dollars or so. So if you buy the expansion pack then, pay 50$ for the full game.

      EA tends to lower the prices of their games when they get expansions so that you can buy the entire pack for the same price as the game could originally be bought without expansion packs. Its a nice strategy to ensure… maximum profits.

    • Shooop says:

      Only a fool pre-orders PC games made by DICE though. They’re notorious for releasing half-baked code and keeping everyone waiting at least a month to release a their first patch.

    • QualityJeverage says:

      “Only a fool pre-orders PC games made by DICE though. They’re notorious for releasing half-baked code and keeping everyone waiting at least a month to release a their first patch.”

      Well that doesn’t make much sense, does it? By pre-ordering, I’m now getting this DLC for free. If I hadn’t pre-ordered, I wouldn’t get it for free. How am I a fool for choosing the latter? Because I…paid $60 about thirty days earlier than I would have otherwise, and am now saving $15 in the long run?

      Yes. Very foolish.

  13. The Pink Ninja says:

    Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

    Kinda put me off buying it if I have to shell out £10 for DLC

  14. Radiant says:

    Waiting for Kark’ed it pun…

  15. Vagrant says:

    Sharqi is probably on the shortlist for all time favorite multiplayer maps, I’m super-excited to go back. What isn’t exciting is how half the server list will soon become 24/7 Karkand servers.

  16. jellydonut says:

    Karkand? kar-care. WAKE ISLAND BITCHES. WAKE ISLAND. In my head, that map *is* Battlefield.

  17. Sardaukar says:

    I have always hated Wake Island, except for the 2142 version which was quite clever. I really wish we’d get Fushe Pass or Dragon Valley back, I loved those maps to death.

    That said, only one thing in the Karkand pack really has me eager, and it’s the return of the Pancor Jackhammer shotgun. Oh yes oh yes, that gun and I were the bestest of friends.

    It is coming back, right DICE?

    • HisMastersVoice says:

      You might need to do a handstand, kill 5 enemies with your bare hands and play a tune to get it though, due to the “improved persistence” feature.

  18. The_Great_Skratsby says:

    I wish they’d bring back the overarching strategy, hierarchy and team communication. As nice as the game is its a entirely hollow game in this regard; the rabble of 32 soldiers on a team feels more like BF1942 then BF2′s coordinated gameplay.

    Hohum.

    • The Infamous Woodchuck says:

      yeah, BF3 imo has lost its bf’ness. that sense of teamwork and communication and -needless to say- become more CODish. dont get me wrong, i love COD and BF3 but yeah, but its not the BF experience i was expecting. well maybe ill reinstall my BF2 and have a nice afternoon match on Daqing.

    • EmS says:

      i must agree bf is heading in the wrong direction because you can look at nearly any point in the game mechanics and see how they removed most of the skill involved. for one short bursts of bullets are less effective then just plain emptying your magazine. snipers lost their sneakiness and became lightbulbs and flying vehicles became unlock to win the maps aren’t that big at all but at least they all look nice but the overall level design is absolutely flat and all the fighting takes place on a plane with few exemptions especially bazaar shows that dice docent want a competent shooter but a brainless shooty thingy (wich is all right but that is not bf its kinda call of battlefield)

  19. Trousers says:

    No love for Mashtuur City?

  20. alilsneaky says:

    Very annoyed that this is DLC.
    It’s why I bought a russian version of the game, and not even the LE for like 18 euros…
    With the DLC added that ‘ll bring it about up to the price of a normal full feature pc game.

    Only caspian, kharg (if they move the AA guns back a bit) and maybe canals e have any chance of becoming memorable classics, and with shitters like metro and firestorm (what is this even? a 24 player size map with a whole bunch of fuck all around it?) there simply isn’t enough variation.

    I put 70 hours into the game so far and it’s getting stale now,you can only play the few enjoyable maps so many times before burning out on them due to a lack of variation, and the terrible netcode doesn’t help either. (hilarious lag on hit detection, yes : keeping bullet travel time in mind…)

    bf1942 released with WAY more maps, had a lot of instant classics, and the expansion packs were only released many months later, and worth every penny.
    Road to rome was amazing, plenty of new maps, many new vehicles , new loading screens and music and player models etc etc etc.

    It also allowed mods, had server files released and even the flawed server browser that it had was still better than battleblargh.

    bf3 will never amount to much outside of what dice makes of it because of the lack of mod-ability (seriously, even if modders can somehow get their paws on some tools or a way to import models,scripts and skins, then the lack of server files will make sure noone can actually PLAY them online…)
    For shame dice!

    PS: fuck you dice for removing wing riding.

    edit: bf1942 had so much gameplay variation in their maps too…
    From true allround conquest maps like wake and el alamein, to a ww1style killing fields for tanks and infantry like tobruk and bokage, to an airplane sea battle like midway, to infantry maps like berlin , a homage to omaha beach landing that gave the same feel you get when playing a similar map in rtcw and everything in between.

    Bad positioning or a lack of defending got punished hard due to map layouts, flanking was effective (and greatly rewarded in tickets), pushing back front lines was a natural thing in the gameplay an the spawn system wasn’t as pathetic a mess as it is on new maps like the market in bf3…
    Nor could you push the enemies back on their spawn with no escape like you can in metro (lol this map).

    Dice made NO use of water in map layout this time around, every map is just a blob of landmass surrounded by some water, or or bunch of chokepoints combined into a tunnel or simple square.

    The only map with travel time between capture points (you know, the very essence of conquest gameplay) is kharg island………… And even there it is very limited.