Battlefield 3- Fear No Evil
February 2, 2014
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“Part of growing up is accepting the inevitability of death. The inevitability, Mr. Miller, of death.” — Solomon talking to Miller
Anvil 3-3 and 3-4 reach Tehran, with the goal of rescuing Misfit team. They try to make contact with Misfit but are unable to do so owing to the buildings blocking their radio signal. As the convoy nears the bank, they find that the main road is blocked by rubble. They turn to a narrow alley, and Miller is asked to take up the driver’s role. Upon exiting the alleyway, the convoy is ambushed by the PLR, who manage to destroy Anvil 3-3. To escape the ambush, Miller Drives the M1A2 into a building exiting on the roadway near the bank. After taking down three T-72s and several PLR infantry men, Miller reaches the bank. However, his tank is hit by a Javelin captured by the PLR, which immobilises it. At this range, Anvil finally makes radio contact with Misfit 1-3: the latter informs Miller that they have captured a Russian portable nuke and must secure it before the PLR reclaims it. Eventually, Saint 4-0 arrives in order to extract Misfit and safely transport the nuke. Anvil requests to be evacuated with Misfit company, as their tank is no longer operational. However, Saint 4-0 denies the request, as they are full from the previous MED-EVAC. After Misfit company is safely in the air, Anvil 3-4 is informed that QRF will arrive in 15 minutes. Despite Miller’s efforts to repel the PLR onslaught with the 50-cal, they are overrun and captured by the PLR. The mission ends with a short monologue from Faruk Al-Bashir, and Solomon subsequently executes MIller.
- Unlike “Thunder Run”, “Fear no Evil” is sinister. I’d feel safer with some Chobham armour between myself and the surroundings, and sure enough, Miller is asked to get back into the tank by a crewmate.
- I’m not being lazy: my policy is that shorter campaign missions only have five images. “Fear no Evil” resonated with me for several reasons despite its reduced length, and the first mood it evoked in me was a reminder of what happened back in my second undergraduate year, where I tried to cling on to a passing grade for dear life in a data structures course. By “passing grade”, I refer to the minimum grade my department has set for honours students.
- According to those who’ve taken the time to try, if players can last long enough against the PLR after covering for Misfit’s extraction, a squad of invincible PLR will appear to trigger the end of the mission. On a note completely unrelated to Battlefield 3, my new printer just died, setting the record for “shortest time a printer has remained operational” to just eight days. The previous record was held by a Canon printer, which lasted seven months until it died last Saturday: this means I get to take an excursion to Memory Express and see if they can’t sort things out.
- I was just here a few missions ago with the FGM-148 Javelin. I’ve finally unlocked the SOFLAM now for use in multiplayer, but poor communication means that no one on my team is willing to use their Javelins (which I haven’t unlocked yet) to take down the jets that menace my team. Of course, the jets are surprisingly fun to fly: I’ve been practising on empty servers and have recently gotten a few kills, although I’m a short way from unlocking the heat-seeking missiles.
- It is immensely painful to hear the crew’s “We need backup, now!”, see the screen cut to black as Miller is knocked out by a PLR solider, and then hear on the radio chatter “Hang in there, son, we’re coming to get you”. The kind of situational unfairness is reminiscent of Angel Beats!, where Otanashi dies seconds before a rescue crew rescues him and the other trapped passengers following a cave-in that stops his train while he’s en route to writing an exam for medical school. I might come back at some point in the future to do another talk on Angel Beats! later, since I had the opportunity to re-watch it, and it, perhaps unsurprisingly, gave me perspective with what’s happening in my own reality at present.
The eighth mission is the second shortest mission in the campaign (“Semper Fidelis” is the shortest mission, and if that’s not the case, then “Fear no Evil” ties with “Semper Fidelis” for the title of “shortest mission”), being very dark in nature and ending with Miller’s execution at Solomon’s hands. Reflecting this, the lighting is gloomy, with wrecked buildings and rubble everywhere. The entire mission is cast in a pessimistic light, though: difficulties mean that Anvil company are the only unit available to rescue Misfit, and even against overwhelming odds, Anvil pushes through to secure an extraction for the latter. Even though Anvil company succeeds, it comes at the ultimate cost, and the impact goes double when the player realises that for the control they have in Battlefield 3, they are oftentimes reduced to being an observer. This returns to the whole notion of atmospherics: the highly linear campaign in Battlefield 3 puts the player in the eyes of those involved in the struggle to stop Solomon from detonating the nuclear warheads; although one is quite capable of moving around and shooting the bad guys, in the grand scheme of things, they are quite powerless to control things beyond them. I think that by this point in time, the linear, scripted nature of Battlefield 3‘s campaign might perhaps be a clever way of reminding users that sometimes, actions may be futile in the long run, regardless of one’s determination to do follow their tasks through.