Battlefield 3: Close Quarters DLC Review

With the brand new Battlefield 3: Close Quarters DLC finally releasing to all Premium members on each platform, I finally got to sink a few days into the infantry-based, CQC-themed expansion. Close Quarters boasts 4 new tightly compacted maps, 10 new weapons, 10 new assignments and a brand new HD destruction feature that literally rips these maps to shreds.

Prior to Close Quarters releasing, we only saw gameplay footage on two of the four maps, Donya Fortress and Ziba Tower. The game mode included in these features was Conquest Domination. DICE kept the other two maps and other game modes guarded until the Playstation 3 release last week. The entire Close Quarters expansions consists of maps: Ziba Tower, Donya Fortress, Operation 925 and Scrapmetal. The ten new weapons include two for each of the four main classes, as well as two extra weapons that can be used as any class. Those weapons are the AUG A3, SCAR-L, L86A2, LSAT, ACW-R, MTAR-21, M417, JNG-90, SPAS-12 and M5K. I will get into an in-depth review of each of these weapons a little later in the review.

In Conquest Domination, two teams are pitched against each other in a battle to capture the three main objective points, represented by flags A, B and C. The first team that bleeds the opposing team to zero tickets will emerge victorious. You do this by killing the enemies, and capping and holding as many flags as you can for a longer duration than the opposing team. Gun Master, extremely similar to Counter Strike’s Gun Game, pits you in a race to level up the fastest through 16 weapons. Each of the new Close Quarters weapons makes an appearance in Gun Master, except the M5K. You start out battling it out with basic pistols, then you graduate to the shotguns and then onto the Assault Rifles and Light Machine Guns. You finish off with the Sniper rifles, the ever-so-difficult LVG grenade launcher that doesn’t detonate on impact and, finally, you complete this ladder by getting a knife kill. Beware though, getting knifed yourself while climbing the weapons ladder will demote you back down a level. Gun Master, to me, is a mode that every Battlefield player should play. Not only does it give you experience with each type of weapon, but it makes you adapt to it’s play style as well. Overall, this mode could make you a better Battlefield player. The last new game mode is Close Quarters TDM, which is the same thing as the old TDM mode, but limited to 16 total players, so nothing too exciting there.

Ziba Tower is one of the smallest Battlefield maps ever created. Located in the middle of Tehran, Iran, Ziba Tower is a beautiful looking map. There’s plenty of open staircases to enable you to get throughout the map and Ziba Tower preaches vertical gameplay more than any of the other maps included in this expansion. The platforms overlook a courtyard area, including a bar and a small indoor swimming pool. Falling off of the side of this map will net you a secret achievement, and personally speaking, Ziba Tower is one of my favorite maps out of all of the Battlefield maps to date. It caters to the role of close quarters combat extremely well.

Operation 925 is by far the biggest map in this expansion pack. Also located in Tehran, Iran, Operation 925 sports different levels of play, ranging from the bottom parking garage all the way up to the cafeteria which harbors an over-looking balcony. Gun Master on this map may take you a bit to complete because of how large this map is. If you’re looking for a fun Conquest Domination match then play here. There’s plenty of office and cubical space that exhibit how beautiful the HD destruction feature can be. Ripping apart an office building has never been so much fun.

Scrapmetal is a decent-sized map. Scrapmetal’s theme is an abandoned factory that features multiple levels, including rooftops and sky bridges that separate the flags in Conquest Domination. This map sports a pretty dull color pallet, but also shows off absolutely beautiful lighting. The sun rays shine through the windows in a beautiful way that makes you really appreciate what the Frostbite 2 engine is capable of. I’ve actually committed suicide on accident a few times by falling off the sky bridge, and I noticed there’s a train that passes underneath the C flag. Scrapmetal as a whole is a good map. It preaches vertical gameplay like Ziba Tower does with it’s different levels.

Donya Fortress is an old fortress that now looks like a modern palace. It has turns everywhere you look, which causes hectic and chaotic action between close quarters weapons. There’s not as much vertical gameplay here based from the games I’ve played. Players tend to stick to the outer hallway routes rather than cutting through the courtyard area. There is an underground area that harbors the B flag. When there is action here, you’re lucky to make it out alive based on how tightly compacted this area is. Seeing the HD destruction by blowing away the wooden railing found throughout this map is a thing of beauty. You got to see gameplay of this map from one of the gameplay videos that Battlefield teased on YouTube.

On to the weapons. I’ll start off with the two Assault class weapons, the AUG A3 and SCAR-L. The AUG A3 supports 700 rounds per minute (RPM). Firing this weapon you’ll notice the recoil is very easy to manage, and the reload speed of this weapon is similar to that of the AN-94, a base weapon. The SCAR-L is very similar to it’s SCAR-H counterpart in the Engineer class, boasting similar reload speeds, accuracy and recoil.

The Engineer class holds the best weapons in the entire expansion, one of them being the ACW-R. Everything about this gun is perfect. Very little weapon recoil, 850 RPM, a quick reload speed and an average magazine size of 27 makes this weapon extremely deadly. The MTAR-21 boasts a faster rounds per minute count at 900. You will need to  be smart when using the MTAR-21 due to it’s fast RPM. The reload speed here is rather quick, like the ACW-R, but much better in close quarters combat.

The L86A2 is the big daddy version of Back To Karkand’s Assault kit version, the L85A2. Basically similar in attributes, the L86A2 sports a small mag size for the average Support class weapon, rocking 750 RPM as well as being more suited towards medium ranged combat. The LSAT is the more traditional Support weapon, holding a 100 bullet mag with a slow RPM of 650. This weapon is also better suited for medium ranged combat.

If you thought semi-auto Snipers were a pain in the butt before, wait until you play against someone with the M417. The M417 is essentially a battle rifle, hosting a large mag size for a sniper at 21, it can be deadly at any range. This to me, is by far the best semi-auto Sniper available in Battlefield 3, especially when you can control it’s crazy recoil when firing from the hip. The JNG-90 is a bolt action sniper with a smaller mag size at 11. This weapon is like most of the other bolt actions in the game and is better suited with the Straight Pull Bolt attachment for quicker aimed shooting.

The assignments needed to obtain these weapons are much easier to complete this time around in comparison to the Back To Karkand assignments. The hardest one you’ll have trouble with is the ‘My Own Terminator’ assignment that asks you to get a kill with an EOD bot, which isn’t even difficult to a lot of people. The rest can be completed by simply playing the game as it will come over time. Various goals for these assignments include 15 grenade kills, 10 knife takedowns, 10 C4 kills, 10 T-UGS assists and other objective-based goals.

4.5 / 5

Overall, if I had to grade the Close Quarters map pack, it would get an A from me, or a 4.5/5 rating. What’s stopping this expansion from getting the full A+ from me is Operation 925. Sure, the map is a lot of fun, but for a close quarters map, it’s way too big. Playing a Gun Master battle here will take you longer than 30 minutes in many cases. Outside of that small nitpick of mine, this expansion is a ton of fun and a huge welcome to the Battlefield frenzy. If you aren’t already a Premium subscriber, or you were on the fence about getting this expansion, don’t be so hesitant. As a whole, Close Quarters does what it’s sole purpose was intended to do: Pit you in crazy, frantic and explosive close quarters combat. I recommend that every single Battlefield player, regardless of your play style, try this expansion out for yourself.

Are you a Premium member? What are your thoughts about Close Quarters? Let us know in the comment section below! As always, stay tuned to MP1st for all of your Battlefield multiplayer news.

  • Glock Lover

    Very good review, I like Close Quarters a lot and hope they keep making these kind of dlc in the future. Only con is gun master doesn’t have ramdom weapons, you use same weapons every match, hope they fix this soon because i love this game mode.

    • Glock Lover


    • MasonMei

      I hope they can allow server admins to set their own chain of Gun Master level ups. (But not so gay… No AUG A3 with underslung Smoke plz 0.0)

    • It’s not even supposed to have random weapons. That’s why it’s called Gun Master.

  • A1vertigo

    I hope they fix the bug that is causing a massive slowdown in the game, it seems that chokes when you’re playing

    • jdoe

      Yeah I play on ps3 and the game seems to get really choppy or the framerate drops really low a lot. Really ruins the experience.

  • Nothing was mentioned about the over use of aim assist? I cannot stand the way game developers are catering to the uncoordinated chumps that lack skill. Lets dumb down the game so everyone can play. Lets no longer reward people who take the time to master the aim and guns of the game. Turn the aim assist back down and this expansion will be a lot better.

    • Glock Lover

      Thing is that there’re people that doesn’t lack skill with input lag issues that are getting owned by people that sucks but without input lag, so aim assist is a help for people with input lag. Aim assist can be turned on or off, input lag don’t, so IMO if a 50/50 deal, don’t you?

    • Chriski333

      Dude some ppl like the aim assist some don’t if u don’t like it just turn it off! If ur such a bass player u shouldn’t worry about other ppl using auto-aim right? U can take’em?

      • sdsd

        ITS NOT THE” HIM USING THE AIM BOT THATS the problem…its every other player goodor bad tht uses it has a clear unfair advantage now

        • I took my MW3 disk out of my xbox when my character did a 180 as I ran past an enemy in a doorway, all without me touching my right thumb stick. That game was never played again on my xbox because I knew it was no longer about skill, but more about making the baddies feel ‘good’. This is why I am upset that BF3 is following their footsteps.

      • Its nearly at the point where all you will have to do is be the first person to press the button first. I bet your reply will be “are you not a fast button masher?? step your game up, mash the button first!”. Where the hell is the skill in mashing buttons, where is the reward for being the better marksman? If I could turn aim assist off for everyone in a ranked server, I would. Buuuut..they need to make people like you feel like you actually accomplished something after spending $60 on their game.

    • I play with aim assist off, so I wouldn’t see it being an issue or not. Maybe I should experiment with it a bit.

    • Dev1lman

      Aim assist is for single player mode

    • It’s just aim assist. It doesn’t aim for you. All it does is tug your crosshairs slightly towards someone who moves through them. It’s not like it does it all for you. And they only increased it at close range, which I would say is an area where precision aiming is just about pointless.

    • uwantSAM0A

      Yeah, I’ve noticed the heavy gravity pull on the aim assist, but for someone like me who lives three islands away from the only available internet server, it is much needed since I have noticeable lag on any privat server in any region.

    • MadMaggy

      people can literally buy weapons now. I think anything resembling skill was wisked away when the game sold out like a cheap whore. Pretty much like how tf2 went.

  • iamtheallmightywiz

    Thanks for the great review Shawn, I’m happy to hear that CQs sounds promising.
    The maps look fantastic and so are the new gaming modes.

  • Warrior 3000

    Has anyone else noticed on the 360 version the ACW-R does NOT make your controller vibrate when you shoot it? is this a bug??


      PS3 as well. Through me off at first.No recoil either.

    • I’ve always played with vibration off since I got my Xbox in 2007, so I wouldn’t know.

    • Casavult

      Happens of PS3 as well. No controller vibration at all.

  • R3PTIL3

    If you play these FPS’s as much as I think you do, then you should know the difference between a clip and a magazine by now.

    “100 clip magazine” was my favorite.

    • iamtheallmightywiz

      :] I said nothing, but I agree. There’s a big difference between clip and magazine.

      • When you review something like this, you have to cover a lot. When I was reviewing this I was jumping between the weapons and obviously typed something in the wrong place. It was an honest mistake.

        • asspicklev2

          Where is the spas and m5k?

    • Hmm.. excuse me for making a typing error. I’m only human.

  • My graphics card has died recently, so I wasn’t able to play much of CQ or BF3 in general (running it on lowest settings at 800×600 resolution and still getting only 25FPS at most – not fun D: ).

    Here’s a few things I didn’t like after my first impression:
    1) All maps feel somewhat the same. All 4 maps seems to have the same squareish layout with multiple floors and one courtyard-like area. Personally I would prefer a bit more variation in the “shape” of the map, as well as more variation between closed and open spaces. Yes, I know it’s supposed to be all about close quarters, but that doesn’t mean there can’t be even a little variation, don’t you think?
    Operation 925 and Ziba Tower looked and played so similar that at first I thought I was playing the same map. So far Scrapmetal was the only map that stood out from other maps in this pack because at the very least it has a much more unique theme and

    2) Gun Master is a fun little mode, except the guns are the same all the time, which I hope DICE will change in the near future. There’s roughly 70 guns already in the game (that’s NOT including pistols with attachments, rocket launchers and gadgets), surely they could add at least some randomization to what guns you have to go through?

    3) Gun Master is the only gamemode that truly stands out. Conquest Domination is almost exactly like regular conquest, and CQ TDM is pretty much just.. TDM. With this in mind I think DICE could put a bit more effort and make something a bit more interesting. From what I’ve read, CoD (yes, I said “CoD”, deal with it) managed to be a bit more creative in that regard, despite the game itself being much more simplistic.

    Overall though I’m liking the DLC and especially the guns. They look nice (especially M5K and Spas-12) and are fun to use.

    • One person was offended by the word “CoD”. I saw this coming miles away. 😀


    GREAT READ! Thanks for taking the time to share.


  • LaDewd

    I am more than happy for Close Quarters.
    In BF3, I sometimes just want infantry combat after I get tired of vehicle heavy maps…
    and we all know that Operation Metro and Grand Bazaar isn’t the best infantry map.
    Close Quarter fixes that, the maps are great fun… where flanking is possible and there isn’t any fucked up choke points like those stairs that lead to flag B in Operation Metro.
    Oh… and those 10 new weapons, I really like the weapons that came this time… more than the weapons that came with B2K.

    • It’s funny how you insinuate that flanking isn’t possible on the regular maps. If anything it’s easier on them. In the close quarters maps, people spawn randomly so you never know where people are since most of the time nobody stays in one place for more than a few seconds. The regular maps are better for it because people are much more likely to hold down a position, meaning you know where they are and can therefore evaluate a flank route. If anything, flanking is random luck on the new maps.

      • zakrocz

        Yep, that’s the main problem with CQC, always seem to spawn nowhere near your teammates in TDM.

  • dgnspectre

    I would give CQ a much lower rating, around 2.5. I like the maps and the tight gameplay alot, and the new weapons are great. However, because the player limit, CQ is played stand alone, and not in the regular map rotations. But there is only 4 modes to play on them, with out much to differentiate them besides gun master. I quickly burned out of Dom and GM, meaning I have all but mostly shelved these maps and went back to the varied gameplay of the normal maps.
    His expansion is fairly unconventional for BF, so it should have had more unconventional game modesincluded such as CTF, as well as Rush modes suited for the maps, or a HQ type mode to extend the life of these four standalone maps.

  • This is quite more fun the i thought as well. Im loving all the chaos that CQ creates. Keep up the boss work DiCE love you guys

  • JohnnyBoy


    You have people saying CQC maps are too small, and now this article claims Operation 925 is TOO BIG? That map is perfect. Any smaller, and the spawns would be worse than they already are.

    • Certain areas of Operation 925 are indeed CQC but as a whole the map is too big in comparison to the other 3 maps in this expansion. It just feels out of place. It would be great if the parking garage wasn’t added.

      • jimmylara

        I absolutely agree, The parking garage IMO was a useless addition, I and I think many barely do combat there. It serves mostly as a spawn area.

  • Wade R

    Basically small maps= da console shiz, and big maps for pc. Since there more people playing console, smaller map’s ratings will go up sooner. I’m on PC and I like both sizes. I will rate this dlc down simply because there’s alot more to the big maps.

  • You forgot to mention that the ACW-R has only 20 max damage, while a lot of other carbines have 25. So that’s the big downfall that balances the fact that it has high rof AND low recoil.

    Tbh these maps suck. Random spawns, broken spawns where you spawn next to someone on the other team (at the beginning of the round might I add), no weapon balance due to there being hardly any long range and much less medium range engagements compared to the regular maps, and much higher emphasis on latency, weapon choice, and twitch reflexes instead of recoil control, precision aiming, and strategy.

    It’s just a giant clusterfuck of everyone shooting each other in the back.

    • Lebiglebowski

      I think the point of this map pack is to add variety and a change of pace. That “giant clusterfuck” can be a shitload of fun if your into it. I personally love this map pack. I would hate if the whole game was like this but to just have a few maps when u just wanna jump into some quick action is awesome. It feels like this game has everything now.

    • Eh, I wouldn’t say it’s so reliant on “twitch reflexes”.
      First of all, there ARE a few places where medium/long-range fights do happen (rooftops of the factory in Scrapmetal for example) as well as some inside areas like some hallways and parking lot in Op925. I agree that it would’ve been nice to have a bit more of that in at least some of the maps, but it’s not too bad the way it is.
      Secondly, due to the number of turns, paths and floors there actually is quite a bit of strategy involved. You have to be really smart about your positioning and sprint and reload timing, because there’s much much fewer safe places where you can take the time to rest. There’s also a lot of opportunities for flanking – it only takes a few seconds to run around a different route and pop up behind an enemy that was shooting at you seconds ago.
      Plus like Lebiglebowski said: “giant clusterfucks” are still fun.
      I love big maps and vehicles, but sometimes I just want me some fast & hot man on man action. *cough* ;O

    • dakan45

      and all that happens with hit delay. Terrible really, just go play cod i you want close range combat.

  • Chan

    The RPG is WAYYY too weak for the assignment. I’ll direct impact people and have to use two missiles to get the kill.

    • Here’s a nice little tip: use RPG against vehicles. 😛

  • bf3kid

    faster action in 30fps is not pretty, i see continous frame drops

  • sgt_mofo

    This doesn’t have support for Rush? WTF?

  • Benjamin

    I don’t enjoy gunmasters. I hate the 44. It’s the only weapon I cannot use. Thank god i had a friend over. I gave the controller to him and went to get some Coca-cola. When I came back, he was in the top five. Without him I still wouldn’t have the mp5k.


    64 Player Conquest Domination for the PC is absolutely insane/ridiculous on these small maps. Spawn Die Spawn Die Spawn Die Spawn Die

  • Pretty good article minus use of the phrase “decent-sized”, which means absolutely nothing in English or any other language.

  • Nice review, sometimes people are too diplomatic on these things but that was enjoyable to read 🙂