The Infinite Zenith

Where insights on anime, games and life converge

Chernobyl Diaries- One Shot, One Kill

“The wind’s gettin’ a bit choppy. You can compensate for it, or you can wait it out, but he might leave before it dies down. It’s your call. Remember what I’ve taught you. Keep in mind variable humidity and wind speed along the bullet’s flight path. At this distance you’ll also have to take the Coriolis Effect into account.”

Captain MacMillan and Lieutenant Price will spend three days at the roof of the Hotel Polissia Terrace, awaiting Imran Zakhaev’s arrival. The second of the Chernobyl missions will focus on the blotched assassination attempt on Zakhaev and the subsequent rush to the extraction point through Pripyat. Contrasting All Ghillied Up, the mission is spent entirely within Pripyat. Moreover, the Ultranationalists are alerted to the players’ presence, so this mission makes a return to more traditional FPS elements. There aren’t any ghosts in this level, and the sheer number of Ultranationalist forces will make the town a combat region rather than merely an eerie abandoned area.

  • This is my personal favourite line from the level; regardless of where one aims, Zakhaev’s arm is the only part of him that gets taken out. From the statistics yielded on-screen, the bullet has a speed of 854 m/s (3074.4 km/h), which is similar to the speed of the real world equivalent. Moreover, in the 1.05 seconds it takes the bullet to travel the 896.7 metres, the bullet should drop 5.40 metres; this was done in one episode of MythBusters, although quite honestly, I find this unnecessary. The fundamental kinematics equations will find that a bullet will take the same time to drop a constant distance regardless of its initial horizontal velocity, given that both a bullet dropped and one fired from a gun will have an initial vertical velocity of zero and thus, only accelerate due to gravity.

  • When one thinks about it, MacMillan and Price spent 3 days in Pripyat waiting for Zakhaev to show up, and they remained just fine, sharply contrasting the events that befall unfortunate tourists in Chernobyl Diaries.

  • One must duck into an old apartment in an attempt to lose the Ultranationalist forces: it is not possible to fight all of them: after this point, it is advisable to exchange the USP for another weapon for shorter range engagements.

  • The mission changes gears once more: MacMillan is injured by a damaged chopper, requiring that Price carry him throughout the remainder of the mission. Fortunately, this is no ordinary escort mission: MacMillan is more or less a stationary turret: while he may fire slowly, he’ll never miss: any shot he takes, kills. There’s nothing quite like getting rescued from certain death (resulting from an empty magazine) by a flawless headshot to a sprinting target across the full length of the LZ square.

  • Once Price reaches this point of the map, players will begin to realise that this area resembles the locker room of their local recreation centre. This building is none other than the Azure Swimming Pool, a facility built for the citizens’ recreation, and is, in fact, modelled very nearly down to the brick on the ground.

  • That said, there are a handful of creative liberties that were taken within the level design. The mission was stated to have taken place in 1996: in the game, the pool is shown to be completely dilapidated, but in fact, these facilities were still used up until 1998 (some 12 years after the accident) by plant workers, scientists and other people who were still working in the Chernobyl region. Furthermore, the infamous Ferris wheel is not that close to the pool, but this can be forgiven, as opportunities to explore Pripyat are doubtlessly rare.

  • The Pripyat amusement park was to be opened on May 1, 1986 in time for the May Day celebrations (decorations for this event are still in place today) but it was opened for a couple of hours on 27 April to keep the city people entertained before the announcement to evacuate the city was made. Today, the park, and in particular the ferris wheel are a symbol of the Chernobyl disaster. The amusement park itself is located behind the Palace of Culture in the center of the city.

  • Once Price and MacMillan reach the Ferris Wheel, MacMillan can be set down to provide sniper fire while they wait for extraction. Wave after wave of Ultranationalist forces will show up: follow MacMillan’s advice about placing Claymores at the points of entry early on, and find a good spot to snipe. At this point in the mission, the trusty M21 should still be in the player’s possession. The choice of secondary weapon at this point is largely irrelevant. The only goal now is to hold off the Ultranationalists long enough for the chopper to show up.

Altogether, both All Ghillied Up and One Shot, One Kill make up two of the most interesting missions in Call of Duty 4. The degree of realism found in the level design make the missions worth playing through just to experience the atmosphere evoked by a ghost town. The mission concept itself is almost a textbook perfect example of the classic “sneak into an area, neutralise a high-value target and get out as fast as possible” paradigm in the sense that stealth is a necessity for the first half of the mission. Once compromised, the priority switches to survival and reaching an extraction point, returning gameplay to the run-and-gun styles found in other parts of the game. The exposition that these missions bring to the game, coupled with the unique setting and atmosphere, make these two missions among the most awesome I’ve seen in any FPS.

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