Battlefield 3: Aftermath is the next piece of premium downloadable content for Dice's incredibly popular shooter. However, working out when you can actually play the thing isn't all that simple. Here's how it breaks down:
November 27 on PlayStation 3 Premium members December 4 Xbox 360 and PC Premium members December 11 for non-premium PlayStation 3 owners December 18 for non-premium Xbox 360 and PC owners
Got all that!? Good! We were lucky enough to play the expansion ahead of its launch, and we can happily report we had a thoroughly enjoyable time. Here's what you need to know.
There are earthquakes!
Remember that bit early on in Battlefield 3's campaign in Iran, where an earthquake brings down a building right in front of you? Well, Aftermath's four new maps take place right after that earthquake--so everything is a wreck, the character models are bruised and bloodied, but you'll feel aftershocks during your matches as well.
The two maps we got to play were named Epicenter and Markaz Monolith, which demonstrated how red propane tanks open doors to tunnels that can be used to sneak around, creating new routes through the map as you progress.
Of course there's a crossbow
Not to be outdone by fellow EA shooter Crysis 3 and its crossbow, Battlefield 3 now has one too thanks to Aftermath. There are four different tips--standard, scan bolt (proximity), explosive (C4) and balanced bolt, the latter of which is a sniper-like dart that can travel on a straight line farther than the standard bolt.
Three new vehicles
Aftermath's earthquake-stricken maps can be navigated in three new vehicles--the Barsuk, Rhino and Phoenix. These vehicles have been modded in a Road Warrior-esque fashion by the survivors of the ‘quake, so they have a more rough-and-ready appearance than the rather pristine vehicles seen in other maps.
New game mode
Scavenger is a new game mode just for Aftermath. Everyone has lost their guns, so you start the match searching around for weapons. When you find one, you only get the ammo that's in it, so you need to keep moving around to find new sidearms. This also means that BF3's class system is redundant, so everyone’s on the same level, making Scavenger perhaps BF3's purest deathmatch experience yet.
Are you looking forward to Battlefield 3's penultimate piece of DLC? What are you looking forward to the most? Let us know in the comments!