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Battlefield 3's first expansion explodes onto scene

Back to Karkand is an epic addition to Battlefield 3, now available for PS3 and hitting other consoles next week.

It's fair to say the re-imagined maps from Battlefield 2 look incredible. (Click to enlarge.) DICE/EA

Battlefield 3's first downloadable content, Back to Karkand, debuted exclusively yesterday for the PlayStation 3.

Soldiers using PCs and Xbox 360 devices will have to wait until December 13 to access the pack, which costs $14.99 (or 1,200 Xbox points). Many gamers who preordered Battlefield 3 Limited Edition automatically received Back to Karkand free, so this will be a nice change of scenery for those already tired of playing.

DICE and EA released a spicy trailer showing off some of the thrilling moments in Wake Island, one of four maps included in the DLC. Other maps include these Battlefield 2 classics: Strike at Karkand, Gulf of Oman, and Sharqi Peninsula.

There's also a new Conquest Assault game mode along with the addition of 10 weapons and 4 vehicles. One vehicle is a bulldozer, which will surely guarantee some epic win and a larger amount of epic fail.

Assignments adds a little dimension to the unlocking experience. DICE/EA

Perhaps most interesting is how you obtain the new weapons. A new feature for the Battlefield franchise, Assignments (full list), challenges players to unlock weapons in a different way. For example, to unlock the MG36, you must get 100 kills with light machine guns, 50 suppression assists, and 50 ammo resupplies. Obtaining that weapon then permits you access to earn the next weapon in the hierarchy.