Battlefield 4- Kunlun Mountains
August 30, 2014
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“Good. We stick together, we survive. You take a bullet, I can do nothing. A dead Marine is no good.” —Dima
Recker and Irish are then taken to a prison in the Kunlun Mountains by the Chinese military. There, the two Marines are interrogated about their mission in Shanghai, with Chang personally watching, before being thrown into cells. Recker is awoken by “Dima”, a Russian prisoner suffering from radiation poisoning. Recker helps Dima release the other prisoners, starting a mass riot throughout the prison and reuniting him with Irish. Although the prison guard is overrun, Chinese military arrive and launch an assault. Recker and Irish hold them off long enough for Dima to open the prison gates, only to be caught by Hannah and other soldiers. Hannah shoots the soldiers holding Recker, Irish and Dima at gunpoint; she explains that she had been tasked to protect Jin Jié, who had been posing as her husband. The group fight their way through the Kunlun Mountains to a cable car, which goes down the mountain. The tram is then shot down by an enemy helicopter, and the impact kills Dima.
- Dima makes a welcome re-appearance, helping Recker escape. This segment of the game reminded me strongly of a similar mission in Metro: Last Light, where Artyom and Pavel were escaping from a Fourth Reich prison and encountered a similar section with the guard tower. For old time’s sake, I tried using the knife for as long as possible, but my cover was soon broken (whereas in Metro: Last Light, I evaded detection the entire way through).
- In the prison’s close quarters environments, the Chinese Norinco “Hawk” 982 is immensely useful; having the most pellets out of the pump-action shotguns and utilising a magazine, it’s an excellent weapon with a short reload time. While I typically do not use shotguns in the campaign, the interiors of the prison make it a particularly lethal close-range weapon.
- The enemies in Kunlun Mountains also drop the JS2, but ammunition crates allow for players to work with a more diverse arsenal. Having a good weapon for medium-range engagements is vital, and as Recker makes his way through a warehouse, the versatility afforded by a good assault rifle becomes apparent.
- The USAS-12 is an unlockable weapon from the South China Seas mission, armed with slug rounds, a compensator and 3.4 x Prisma optics when picked up from the weapons crates. Back in Battlefield: Bad Company 2, aiming down the sights for the shotguns did not work as they did with other weapons, and only zoomed in a little. In Battlefield 3, aiming down the sights worked normally for the shotguns, although for most situations, they were very effective even while firing down the hip.
- All FPS veterans know by this point that, whenever waiting for a gate to open, a firefight is sure to follow. After the gate itself open, Hannah reveals her true alliances. When all seems to be lost, she shoots down Bohai and explains that her loyalties are purely with Jin Jié. This change of events allows Recker, Irish and Dima to escape, setting in motion the shift in dynamics between herself and Irish for the final two missions.
- It’s quite refreshing to exit the dark confines of the prison and return to the surface. Here, I’m wielding the G36C, which I had unlocked earlier in the mission. Being one of the better carbines in the game, barring a slower rate of fire, it’s effective even at longer ranges and is quite fun to wield.
- Whenever gadget crates carry anti-armour weapons, my Spidey-sense tells me that said anti-armour weapons will become useful not-too-distantly into the future, and after I picked them up, a convoy of light armoured vehicles arrived. In Battlefield 4, the RPG-7 does more damage than the SMAW, but also arcs more quickly. Conversely, the SMAW does slightly less damage and flies with a flatter trajectory. In Battlefield 3, the SMAW and RPG-7 deal similar damage, with the RPG-7 reloading slightly faster and the SMAW being slightly more accurate at a longer range.
- The last time I played through a snowy campaign level in the Battlefield series, it was in Battlefield: Bad Company 2‘s campaign, and two of Battlefield 3‘s multiplayer maps (Alborz Mountains and Sabalan Pipeline) are snowy. The fog effects in Bad Company 2 were overwhelming at times, and I’d very nearly driven over the icy precipice in Crack the Sky owing to how much blowing snow there was in the level. Here in the Kunlun Mountains, the particle effects and lighting have been improved vastly, so I could see where I was going without any difficulty.
- It’s been a little more than two weeks since my Game Time trial ended, and a week since I attended the city’s Japanese Omatsuri festival (I know it’s redundant, but that’s what it’s called). As mentioned previously, I had the chance to sample some excellent Japanese food (with Okonomiyaki and Yakitori amongst my top favourites), but I was also able to acquire an Otafest 2014 Gold Volunteer pin, which is said to be extremely rare (Volunteer pins are generally rare, and come in both silver and gold).
- With all of the sniper fire filling the air, and my lacking a foresight to equip a weapon with optics for long-range engagements, I resorted to the next best thing and used the MGL to blow the snipers away. At the mission’s end, I make it to the gondola, but as it begins its trek down the mountain, a Chinese helicopter appears and begins firing upon Tombstone and Dima. In 007: Nightfire, I had a guided rocket launcher, but here, with no anti-air weapons, I was forced to watch the chopper shoot the gondola down.
Battlefield 4 seems intent on taking Tombstone to the most diverse locations, and after Singapore, the Kunlun Mountains is next. One of the longest mountain chain in Asia, it stretches from Xinjiang to Qinghai through the Tibetian Plateau and is remote, with only two roads crossing it. Such a desolate area would be perfect for a prison, and here, Recker meets with Battlefield 3‘s Dima for the first time. In the previous game, one could play as Dima, but here, one plays alongside Dima as the pair work towards escaping. The level design reminded me greatly of the Reich level in Metro: Last Light, featuring a similar circular prison block and an emphasis on staying in the dark to avoid detection. However, despite being able to melee half the guards to reach the control tower, someone soon spotted me, and the stealth devolved into a wild firefight. With the ensuing chaos, and the revelation that Hannah was actually a double-agent, Tombstone manages to escape with Dima into freedom. For a few glorious moments, it seems that everyone will get home scot-free, but a Chinese helicopter shoots down the tram they’re riding, and Dima dies in the process, reminding players that there are times when failure is what lies at the end of a long, difficult journey.