“All units this net. Be advised a catastrophic earthquake event in Iran is affecting all operational capability in the Iran-Iraq region. This net will be delivering updates as they become available.” — USMC Commander
Upon regaining consciousness, Blackburn finds himself underneath a large piece of destroyed road. In front of him, a wounded Marine cries for help, and is answered by Solomon and a PLR insurgent, who drags the soldier away, whilst the soldier continues to scream in pain at the movement. Pushing away chunks of rubble, Blackburn crawls along a tear in the tarmac while avoiding the torch beams of patrolling PLR soldiers, who are searching the area. During the crawl, a PLR tannoy plays repeating messages, claiming that the PLR would help wounded Americans, and that hiding was considered “an act of aggression”. After exiting the pipe, Blackburn proceeds into a large building and silently takes down a PLR insurgent to obtain an AKS-74U. However, the rest of the PLR inside the building were also alerted to Black’s presence, and a gunfight ensues in the corridor of the building. Arriving in the parking lot outside the hotel, a V-22 Osprey flies overhead, distracting a PLR squad and allows Blackburn to move forward carefully, eliminating the squad at the same time. Blackburn then engages a PLR patrol in the parking lot, eliminating them and proceeding into the garage where Chaffin had been shot. However, more PLR insurgents have taken up defensive positions inside the building, and Black has to fight through them.
After clearing the garage, Blackburn is interrupted by a PLR patrol opening one of the garage’s doors. Engaging the patrol, Blackburn pushes into a large street, where the way is blocked by a destroyed bus. Climbing into the bus, an RPG strikes the rear of the vehicle, tearing off the rear emergency exit, allowing Black to exit onto the street on the other side of the bus. However, as he does so, the PLR insurgents responsible for firing the RPG engage him, forcing Blackburn to fight through yet more insurgents, allowing him to push into the school. Opening the gate, Blackburn enters the school, which was structurally intact despite the earthquake. Advancing through the corridors, Blackburn kicks open a locked door, and enters a corridor leading to an open exit. However, as he approaches it, Montes appears in the doorway. After realising it is Blackburn, he lowers his rifle, and the pair move down a battered alleyway towards the extraction point. Here, Montes mentions he doesn’t know the way back, as all the buildings and landmarks he knew had collapsed. Moving back towards the extraction point, gunfire rings out, prompting Montes and Blackburn to dive for cover behind a HMMWV. Blackburn is told to man the .50 cal on the Humvee, and enters through the driver’s door. Beating back numerous PLR insurgents and Technicals, Blackburn holds out until a V-22 circles over the area, but is unable to land. An RPG strikes the Humvee, destroying the vehicle and throwing Black clear of the wreckage. Once the landing zone is clear, Blackburn sprints towards the V-22 and boards it.
- Although FPS_Doug states that one can run faster with a knife, doing so in multiplayer will result in a very quick death. Following the earthquake, Blackburn finds himself in a cracked portion of the road. Despite the blaring messages that “hiding will be seen as an act of aggression”, remain hidden and creep towards the goal tracker. A rat will eventually be encountered: a quick hand will be necessary, lest the mission ends here. I continued with the campaign on PC after my proteomics exam concluded, resuming here.
- Most games out there now will ask the player to set the gamma levels such that a specific element is only just visible. This is done to improve the contrast ratio in the game and boost the picture quality. While some might be inclined to raise their settings with the aim of being able to see better during darker sections of the game, the actual impact is that the image is degraded.
- Last year, after enjoying prime rib, honey-roasted salmon and crab fried rice on Christmas Day, I finally reached “Uprising”. In most games, shotguns have a ridiculously short range, and as such, whenever I’ve got a shotgun, I usually have to walk right up to my target before firing. In Battlefield 3, shotguns behave more realistically and can cut down targets a reasonable distance away.
- On the PlayStation 3, I had trouble aiming and resorted to a resupply crate here to provide me with infinite grenades, thereby allowing me to take down all the enemies and progress to the next part of the game. This year, the Christmas party was held at another relative’s place, where there’s no Playstation. I ended up helping drive people around and spent most of the evening lending a hand with the dishes and setting up dessert. Cheesecake and tea go rather nicely together.
- On the other hand, the superior control offered by a mouse meant that this time, I simply went prone, looked down the sights and effortlessly took down everything here without much difficulty. While traditionally, I play through the campaign in its entirety first before approaching the multiplayer, in Battlefield 3, I switched to the multiplayer pretty fast to get a feel for the game.
- The earliest shooters I’ve played were GoldenEye 64 (Nintendo 64), The World is Not Enough (Nintendo 64), 007 Agent Under Fire (Gamecube) and 007 Nightfire (PlayStation 2). GoldenEye 64 was the first shooter I played, and I found immense entertainment in using the RPC-90, the most unbalanced weapons in the game. When the Gamecube came out, I spent Christmas parties playing deathmatch in Agent Under Fire, and eventually got a PlayStation 2. 007 Nightfire ended up being my favourite James Bond shooter: I have not played any of the later incarnations in the franchise since 2004.
- There is a certain amount of uniqueness in the older 007 shooters: some games have fanciful villains and plots, with exotic and high-tech hideouts for the final battles, while more recent ones strove to be more realistic. A part of the fun in a 007 shooter are the hideouts and sometimes outlandish weapons (such as Agent under Fire‘s Photon Cannon, the Phoenix Samurai Laser Rifle in Nightfire, and the OMEN laser from GoldenEye Rouge Agent): the later games are said to play like Call of Duty and indeed, don’t appear to be as entertaining as the older James Bond games.
- I personally like the blue UI of Battlefield 3 more than I do the grey UI elements of Battlefield 4. As for the blue filters, I don’t mind them too much, although I do admit that they make the maps feel colder, especially in comparison to modifications that strip out the blue filter (these maps look warmer by comparison). After the game was released, internet debates raged over whether or not removing them could give some players an advantage over others, and eventually, when DICE released a statement saying it was an artistic choice to give the game a documentary feel, debates continued, claiming that it was arrogance on DICE and EA’s part.
- For the sake of diversity, all of my posts have me switching between a large number of weapons just to showcase the cool lighting and texture effects. Typically, in most shooters, I always have a versatile primary weapon (such as an assault rifle) paired with a specialised weapon.
- Right after I finished clearing out the PLR forces with the mounted weapon, I was thrown from the vehicle by an RPG. I figured I forgot to do something and died, but it turns out this was scripted and all I needed to do to complete this mission was sprint to a waiting Osprey aircraft.
Set immediately after the earthquake, “Uprising” is a rather short mission. The goal is simple enough: sneak past the PLR and get to the extraction point. I recall this level best for when I was stuck at a choke point and was picked off by enemies in the darkness during last year’s Christmas gathering. I eventually solved that problem by taking advantage of the unlimited grenades provided by a supply crate, although this time, the mission was far shorter, owing to the fact that I could aim better. As for the level itself, in a way, it’s almost like Halo: Combat Evolved in that it involves a fair amount of backtracking, although the earthquake makes most of the places unrecognisable on a cursory glance. Whereas “Operation Swordbreaker” showcased the lighting effects in Frostbite 2 by day, “Uprising” sends the players through similar areas by nightfall. With the glare and specks of light on the screen, Battlefield 3‘s lighting is simultaneously beautiful and a curse, being realistic but also interfering with one’s ability to spot enemies. Of course, this is how real life works; whenever I’m driving and it’s winter, dirt and ice cover the windshield and prevents me from getting a totally clear picture. One simply learns to adjust to such conditions in reality, and so, the same can be done in Battlefield 3.