Battlefield 3- Kaffarov
March 8, 2014
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“This next part is where you have a big credibility problem…” — Agent Gordon speaking to Blackburn
Dima, Kiril, and Vladimir perform a HALO jump, landing near Kaffarov’s mansion. A scouting party of Amir Kaffarov noticed the weapons case and stopped to investigate it, unaware that the GRU were only a few yards away. Dima and his team rapidly take down the party and takes a jeep: with its tinted windows, Kiril decides that they can infiltrate the villa by going through the convoy, but are stopped at a garage. Their cover blown, Dima and company mount an assault on the villa, fighting their way through dozens of Kaffarov’s men to reach the villa itself. Once inside the villa, the squad splits up in some places, as Dima provides supportive fire from the higher floors. Once Dima is through an underground section of the villa, his team eventually reaches a stairway leading up to a helipad, where Kaffarov’s Ka-60 Kasatka is about to take off. Dima sprints towards the helicopter and jumps onto the edge of it just as it’s starting to take off. After a short scuffle, Dima kicks Kaffarov out of the helicopter into a pool below. Kaffarov begs for his life, and promises to tell Dima about any information about Solomon for his freedom, but is knocked out by Dima with a punch to the face. Meanwhile, upon arriving at the villa, Blackburn is confronted by Dima. The latter explains about how the nuclear WMDs were stolen from Russia, and that Solomon’s next target is New York. Blackburn’s officer, Cole, attempts to arrest Dima, but Blackburn is forced to shoot Cole.
- After landing from the HALO jump, Dimitri is asked to recover the weapons from a drop. The first weapon available is the PP-2000, my current favourite choice for personal defense weapons. It’s quite effective and reasonably easy to control even in its base form with no attachments, being only limited by its small magazine. With my preferred customisation (Kobra RDS, extended mags and a laser sight), the weapon becomes ideal for the close-quarters recon class. Almost all of my kills from the recon class come from personal defense weapons, and a majority of these personal defense weapon kills come from the PP-2000.
- Another short car ride ensues, giving the players a chance to kick back and enjoy the scenery in this level. I had some difficulty narrowing down the screenshots I would use for this post, given that there are so many picturesque points during the mission, but in the end, I’ve narrowed it down to ten so the post isn’t excessively long.
- I’m just one rank from unlocking the Saiga-12K, but “Kaffarov” gives me the chance to try it out for myself. Being an automatic, magazine fed shotgun, the Saiga is very powerful and highly effective at close range. It is fitted with a PKA-S and laser sight.
- “Kaffarov” also offers players the chance to use the M82 sniper rifle, outfitted with a IRNV sight that highlights the enemies’ heat signatures. Compared to Battlefield: Bad Company 2‘s M95, the M82 feels slightly less powerful: in reality, the M82 is semi-automatic, while the M95 is bolt action. The latter is more accurate at longer ranges, but also has a higher recoil.
- A long time ago, I tried looking for high-resolution screenshots of this mission, but I always wound up being unsuccessful: I think the closest I came were some 1366 by 768 images from a Japanese source playing the game on medium settings. However, having now a system that can run the game on full specs and, well, Battlefield 3 itself, I can explore and enjoy the missions for myself now, rather than watching YouTube playthroughs of it.
- Kaffarov’s villa has a very modernist feel to it: throughout the missions, there are various boxes here and there, suggesting that he had just recently moved in. This mission evokes memories of Lord of War simply because of how expansive the villa is, reflecting on the kind of wealth Kaffarov must have from his less-than-legal business dealings, and while we’re on the topic of Lord of War, I sometimes feel that anime-related things tend to have some similarity to arms dealing.
- This feeling could simply arise because of the fact that acquiring anime and anime merchandise is an uncommon and oftentimes convoluted process, like the arms deals that Yuri makes in Lord of War. It’s no surprise that some individuals take the process quite seriously, leading me to comparing it with the acquisition of high value targets and intel.
- Sunbeams stream through one of the villa hallways. I’m tempted to sit here and just marvel at the scenery, but there is an arms dealer to capture. It is sufficient to stick with the Saiga-12K for the entire mission; here, I’ve got an M60 to mix things up a little. I think there’s an F2000 assault rifle with an IRNV scope somewhere earlier, although I usually don’t find it.
- The villa is so nice that it would be quite a shame to shoot things up here, but the destruction engine feels a little limited compared to that of Bad Company 2, so the effects of gunfire on the environment aren’t as pronounced. The next part of the mission involves going underground into a basement area with very little lighting: it is advisable to pick up the weapons on the table, as they are equipped with flashlights. Of course, if I could just find that assault rifle with the IRNV scope earlier, I could use it to complete the next part quite easily.
- I’ve jumped ahead, past the villa basement section and Dima capturing Kaffarov, to Blackburn’s arrival at the villa some 75 minutes after the GRU arrive. According to the mission display, it’s 0945 UTC, which would mean it’s roughly 11AM or 12PM where they are. In spite of this, it feels distinctly like the evening now. Dima’s request to Blackburn, that the matter is strictly just two soldiers doing their jobs with no politics or money involved, reflects on how sometimes, things happen because of things that transpire from higher up, and that the ground soldiers are merely following orders (even if the orders aren’t entirely a good idea).
“Kaffarov” is my favourite mission in the Battlefield 3 campaign. Despite it being some two and a half years since I first saw gameplay footage of the mission, “Kaffarov” has lost none of its charm and appeal. The mission opens with a HALO jump out into the morning sun onto the grounds near Kaffarov’s villa, set to the Battlefield 3 Main Theme. The scene is awe-inspiring, and sets the mood for the remainder of a mission, which is predominantly close-quarters. The Saiga-12K picked up from the weapons capsule proves to be an incredible asset, and the remainder of the mission is a shooting spree to reach Kaffarov to capture him. However, in between all of the firefights, I found myself admiring the scenery and lighting constantly: the landscape surrounding Kaffarov’s villa is beautiful, as is the interior of the villa itself. While the level itself is very linear, with the way firefights are choreographed, this linearity is lost in the moment as I try to snipe guards from the roof or use an LMG to provide covering fire for the others. I finally reached this mission and played it on Christmas Day 2013: I finished the mission right before lunch was served (chicken pie and garlic bread). After some two years of wishing I could experience this mission, my wish was fulfilled, and in a sense, this is one of the missions that truly make the Battlefield 3 campaign worth playing through. Besides the mission “Comrades”, no other location in the game has better atmospherics; the combination of dialogue and level design contributes to a thrilling firefight experience that leaves an overwhelmingly positive impression even after the mission has ended.