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Battlefield 3 faces a 2012 trio of tricky expansions

Get ready, soldiers - the Battlefield is about to get bigger, three times over. EA and DICE have announced three new expansions for Battlefield 3, following in the late-2011 footsteps of Back to Karkand.

This year, prepare for new, themed adventures, packed with fresh and innovative gameplay, new modes, exciting environments, and - of course - the powerful Frostbite 2 engine in the background.

Executive Producer Patrick Bach explains the strategy:

Instead of delivering piecemeal map packs, we’re giving players a completely new experience with every themed expansion pack to keep the action fresh. Our expansions are designed to excite our large and active fan base while attracting new recruits with gameplay that is dynamic and unpredictable every time.

...so what themes are in store, then? Don't worry, you won't be heading to Mardi Gras.

Battlefield 3: Close Quarters

Our first look at Close Quarters

First cab off the rank - coming in June - is Battlefield 3: Close Quarters, which drops gamers into a "frantic, infantry-only theatre of war".

Frostbite 2 high definition destruction makes the environment come alive as everything from furniture to plaster gets shot to pieces. Players will feel the intensity of the world exploding around them as rubble and broken pieces pile up on the floor, while tight level design and vertical gameplay create a highly competitive environment. Battlefield 3: Close Quarters also introduces new weapons, assignments and unique dog tags to bring back to the base game.

Vehicles make a triumphant return in Q3 of this year with Battlefield 3: Armored Kill, which promises to "up the ante" for vehicular mayhem, just like we've come to expect from the series.

Featuring new driveable tanks, ATVs, mobile artillery and more, Battlefield 3: Armored Kill also delivers huge battlefields for an all-out vehicle assault, including the biggest map in Battlefield history.

Finally, shipping before the end of 2012 is Battlefield 3: End Game. Details surrounding this fourth expansion pack are kept under wraps, so don't ask us what it's about. Judging by the title though, we're not expecting a fifth expansion in 2013.

Stay tuned - neither DICE nor EA are shy when it comes to showing off their wares, so screenshots and other media should be heading your way in the near future.

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