While we work on our review of the newest expansion to Battlefield 3, Close Quarters, I thought I would highlight some of my thoughts from my experience sorting through the Battlefield Premium service. Some (and I was among these) may think of this as simply pre-ordering the expansions for a discounted price, something that is becoming quite common in competitive shooters. I don’t think any of the following additions could sell the service on its own, but each helps to sweeten the deal.
My first order of business was looking at the big highlighted option on the menu that prominently said “PREMIUM”. Just in case you forgot you were a Premium member, the reminders are plentiful. This showed all of the available content, and some of the coming soon content. Obviously Close Quarters had to be downloaded, after which I spent another half hour in the menus just scoping things out.
Assignments are a big deal to me. When Karkand came out, I spent a lot of time focused on completing these assignments to unlock the guns that go with them. Close Quarters aside, Premium comes with five assignments of its own which unlock unique dogtags. You get a freebie dogtag for being a Premium member, and all of the Premium dogtags are unique in the fact that they are black and gold. Instead of generic “get 30 assault rifle kills”, these assignments are more specificly geared towards a weapon. I used the F2000 a lot more than I cared to last night to work on acquiring the Assault Premium dogtag.
You’ll also get access to a new knife, which I’ve heard some people say is a tad faster but I honestly haven’t played in so long (or since the last patch, mind you), that I couldn’t say. It’s a spiffy-looking knife, mind you, but I feel it was included simply for aesthetic reasons.
Speaking of aesthetics, June and July both have weapon camos for Premium members. The ones for June are already out, giving you one camo selection for a gun in each class. It’s per-gun, too, so all of your assault rifles can’t equip the digital blue camo that the F2000 can. At the moment, the selection is rather meager (and none of which are on guns I use in a specific class), but it looks like they plan to continue rolling them out as some more are due out next month.
A few new outfits unlock, too, so in case you felt none of the current camo’s suited your needs (pun not intended), you’ll have access to at least two more. Like gun camos, it looks like more of these are inbound as well.
The last little addition that I actually got to see was preferred seeding. So if I was waiting in a queue to join a full server, I was put at the front of the line. One of the few custom servers I found without ridiculously-high ticket levels was full, but I sat in the queue for about 45 seconds, then it popped me in. There was already one person waiting, so I am sure they were not happy campers. Too bad…
This isn’t a review of the service, or a Battlefield Premium sales pitch. I had heard about all of the little features to Premium during E3, but amid all of the chaos I had forgotten most of them. Consider this a small reminder, and again, I don’t feel none of these things would sell the $50 USD price point if the expansions weren’t included. If you were already going to purchase the expansions, the additional premium content would be more of the cherry on top.