July 18, 2013
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“This whole place is shaking itself to pieces!” ―Unknown U.S. Tank Commander
Major Strickland reports that air support is unavailable at the time, so Idaho Team has to fight their way to the mine using their tanks. Nomad supports Team Idaho, eliminating KPA tanks along the valley to the train station. With support from the US Forces, Nomad clears the train station and destroys the boxcar obstructing the armour column, allowing it to proceed forward. Progressing closer to the KPA munitions depot, Nomad is caught in an that earthquake causes a distant mountain to collapse. Now sufficiently close to the AAA emplacements, Nomad disables them and destroys the munitions depot. With the airspace clear, the US Forces make their way to the mine, but the earthquake has ruptured the ground, prompting Nomad to proceed ahead until the US Forces can bring in earth movers from the harbour.
- Whenever I think of tank combat done well, I think of Crysis. When I first played this mission three years ago, I had no idea why one of the tanks had a violet muzzle flash. It turns out that this is the Guass tank, one of the most powerful tanks in the game. It cannot be controlled by the player and fires at pre-determined spots owing to its incredible power. In multiplayer, I heard the gauss tank can down a VOTL in a single shot.
- If, for whatever reason, members of the Mädchen und Panzer clan in World of Tanks wishes to challenge me, I will probably decline, since they have superior equipment. A fair fight is determined solely by skill, not equipment tiers and perks. In other words, if we level out the playing field and gave me the M5A2 and put me on a server against all of the Mädchen und Panzer clan with their preferred Tier 10 tanks, I’d win. If we gave all the players the M5A2 Atlas from Crysis, and then put me against any member of the Mädchen und Panzer in a one-on-one, I’d still win. Sorry, Daigensui, but the Nishizumi style is pitiful against modern armour.
- Crysis still looks amazing, despite being released back in 2007. From Onslaught onwards, the skies are grey, and one can almost feel the oppressive humidity of this South Pacific Island. Note the smoke patterns of the tank wreckage to the right, and the burning tanks to the left. You can’t get graphics this good in World of Tanks.
- Despite its near invulnerability against small-arms fire, enemy tank shells and missiles can make short work of the M5A2. The aspects of armoured warfare, such as aiming for the enemy tank’s side armour or tracks, is present in Crysis: it may take up to five rounds to destroy an enemy tank by hitting the front armour, but aiming for the sides allow a catastrophic kill to be achieved in as little as two shots.
- I typically have anywhere from two to seven shells left by this point. To conserve on the C4 charges, I’ll use the tank cannon to destroy the boxcar, and then mop up any remaining elements with what shells I have left. There are a few missile launcher-carrying KPA forces here, and they could make short work of unsuspecting operators. Moreover, there is a KPA Type 101 here: don’t destroy it! It is in perfect condition and allows the player to carry on in an armoured vehicle, which is a good idea considering the number of enemy Type 101s in the upcoming region.
- Some players out there hate the use of tanks in this mission for whatever reason and say that it is common sense that the mission was meant to be completed on foot.
- After the train station, there are three anti-air emplacements in the valley, with a large body of water separating one from the rest. This part of the mission will take a fair bit of time regardless of whether or not the player opts to go on foot, but one quick solution is to locate one and take it out from a distance with either the missile launcher or tank cannon. As for lighting up the ammunition depot, for whatever reason, there are a lot of fuel drums near the tanks. Using a few bullets from the pistol will conserve on explosives and missiles.
- The GK8 Gauss Gun fires slugs of tungsten carbide and depleted uranium at velocities up to eight times the speed of sound. As a dedicated long-range weapon, it downs almost any target in a single shot, but is limited by its small magazine and carrying capacity.
- I’m going into the next mission with all of my incendiary ammunition and a gauss rifle. While not shown here, the ideal weapons for Onslaught are the FY-71 and the precision rifle. The latter is especially useful in taking out missile launcher equipped KPA; by disembarking the tank and picking them off at longer ranges, the tank is granted a longer usable lifespan.
- Thus ends one of my favourite missions in Crysis. Onslaught exemplifies what armoured warfare should be like in any game, keeping things real by making the enemies more than capable of knocking out the player’s tank with their own weapons, but also giving the players any number of means to do the same against their opponents.
This is perhaps the first mission in any game that comes to mind when I’m asked for the best example of armoured warfare in any game. As with Battlefield: Bad Company 2, this is the obligatory tank mission, but differs in that the player can freely exit the tank and choose to go on foot as required. This last part becomes important, given the amount of damage the shoulder-fired missile launchers can do to tanks and the fact that they are carried by almost all foot mobiles on this map. With this much freedom, players may opt to take the tank to the end of the mission or abandon the tank and proceed on foot, giving rise to much replay opportunity. Having seen Girls und Panzer and the countless discussions about how “realistic” Panzerfahren is, I would tend to argue that it is an abstraction of armoured warfare; we’ve already seen air support in the Battlefield series, and here, infantry forces fight alongside the armoured columns. After the train crossing is reached, there is a Type 101 tank that can be taken: by this point, the M5A2 Atlas will doubtlessly be low on shells, so even if one’s tank is in good condition, it is wise to grab a tank with full ammunition. Contrasting my previous discussion, this time around, I used the tank to blow away the AAA emplacements from long range, saving much time. The last moments of this mission introduces the Gauss Rifle, which provides a massive firepower boost that will prove incredibly useful on the next mission