Battlefield 4- Singapore
August 30, 2014
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“Warriors on the Valkyrie. I know we’re tired. All of us have suffered-lost friends, loved ones. We will ensure it was not in vain. The storm has grounded enemy aircraft, but it won’t be for long. We may be the only ship left, but we will not go down without a fight.” —Captain Garrison
Garrison debriefs Recker and Pac on the upcoming assault on the Chinese-controlled Singapore airfield to destroy Chinese air superiority while their air forces are grounded by a storm. Hannah volunteers to join Tombstone, much to Irish’s chagrin, as he wasn’t involved in the debrief himself. They successfully assault the beach and lead an advance towards the airfield, losing most of their forces in the process. While crossing a bridge to the airfield, Recker is pinned behind by a car blown by the strong winds and tries to break free with the help of Tombstone, to no avail. A large freighter crashes into the bridge, throwing Tombstone into the sea below. They survive and make their way to the airfield via a sewer. After Pac fires the signal flare, Tombstone attempts to evacuate the area using an enemy vehicle, but they are knocked out of their vehicle when the missiles hit, apparently killing Pac. Hannah seemingly betrays the squad, bringing the Chinese soldiers to capture Tombstone; this infuriates Irish, but neither he nor Recker can stop the soldiers from incapacitating them.
- Hannah joins Tombstone in this mission; Huang Shuyi (黃書欹) is a Chinese secret services agent, working with Tombstone to protect Jin Jié, and goes into battle with a P90. Even though their names are completely different in spelling (and Hanzi/Kanji characters), I cannot help but be reminded of Girls und Panzer‘s Hana Izusu when I hear Hannah’s name.
- I’ll start the mission with a SCAR-H, a weapon that I’ve become quite familiar with. Though the 21-round magazine is more limiting, it’s more than enough when the SCAR-H is used as a longer-range weapon, fired in bursts to down distant foes. A tropical storm is raging through the region, reducing visibility; it does rain quite a bit on this side of the world, and one of the blogs I frequent allude to this often. Their current author mentions intermittent rain that can come and go quickly, drenching people and disappearing as fast as it appeared.
- On this side of the world, rain is much lighter, save for the occasional thunderstorm or hailstorm. Rainfall this year for my area seems to be quite normal, and this week, only the latter half was rainy. Thursday saw an unexpected thunderstorm appear by morning, which made getting to campus for the last summer meeting a little more uncomfortable than it would otherwise be, but it’s nothing to really complain about. With the summer now over, a new academic year begins.
- I think that Battlefield 3‘s Thunder Run is decisively the superior tank mission. Anvil makes another welcome appearance, and Tombstone is asked to take over for a tank crew after an airburst stuns the previous operators. Contrasting Battlefield 3, Battlefield 4 gives players a full HUD while they operate the tank. It makes finding enemies a lot easier, but takes away from the cinematic feeling that was present in Thunder Run.
- Contrasting the T-72s fielded by the PLR, which could be wiped out in one shot, the Chinese Type 98 is much tougher and takes several hits to destroy. In the park, I found myself ambushed, and decided to pull back, engaging the enemy armour from a distance using the thermal optics.
- The Chinese Type 88 LMG was the only machine gun I unlocked in the campaign; I missed a lot of weapons on my only play-through since I was focused on finishing, rather than finding everything. This was also the case with Battlefield: Bad Company 2, where I had beat the game first to get all the levels, before going back to find all of the collectible weapons. This time, though, as I was playing on Origin’s Game Time program, I only had a week to play Battlefield 4, so priority went to completing the campaign and trying the multiplayer out.
- After crossing this bridge, getting pinned by a car and falling into the river below, Tombstone will finally go inside and take cover, away from this storm. While Captain Garrison said that other squads would be deployed to reach the airfield, it seems like only Tombstone will make it. The abandoned vehicles on the bridge made it particularly difficult to navigate, and I found myself another MGL to engage multiple foes from a distance.
- I found an XM25 after entering the aircraft hanger; the XM25, or Individual Semiautomatic Air Burst System, is a grenade launcher that launches air-burst rounds that are designed to explode after a predetermined time to maximise disruption of targets behind cover. While funding for the weapon’s development was cut in 2013, its futuristic design and computerised optics make it a popular choice in shooters. Battlefield 4 allows the grenade to be configured to detonate after travelling a certain distance, but require a 20 meter travel distance to arm, and is not particularly effective on direct impact.
- The skies begin to clear up as Tombstone fights through the hanger. Despite being intended to depict Singapore, the mission actually borrows assets from the Siege of Shanghai multiplayer map. By this point in time, I’m just over halfway through talking about the campaign, and even though my Game Time trial ended two weeks ago, I did accumulate a substantial number of screenshots. I’ll talk about the multiplayer once I conclude the remainder of the posts about the campaign.
- For the last bit of the mission, it seemed that a sniper rifle would be nice to have for dropping targets at a longer range. The instant I take a shot here, every single PLA soldier will point their weapons at me, and thanks to the handy engage mechanism, I can both sic my squad on them, or simply use the markers to figure out where the nearest foes are.
I’ve never actually been to Singapore before, so Battlefield 4 is probably the closest I’ll get for the present, allowing me to travel through a virtual, heavily fictionalised Singapore. This mission was set during a tropical depression, bringing back the moody, blue weather associated with some Japanese horror movies. However, as players reach further into the mission, the weather gradually clears up, and the spectacular lighting effects in Battlefield 4 once more make a return. From the game-play perspective, Singapore is a mission that is a combination of vehicular combat and foot combat, giving one significantly more freedom in choosing whether or not they wish to stick with the M1A2 or whether they’d prefer the Chinese light armoured vehicles. This does make things less rigid compared to Battlefield 3, although the choice also means that Singapore is no longer a strict tanks-only mission. Besides offering improved flexibility, Singapore also allows Irish and Hannah to interact with one another, bringing their mutual distrust for one another to bear. After reaching the mission’s ending, Tombstone is captured, leaving players to wonder about the allegiances. Battlefield 4 is keeping in tradition with keeping a more serious storyline, but contrasting Battlefield 3, the game does succeed in giving its characters a more human side, even if they aren’t as well-fleshed out as they were in Battlefield: Bad Company 2.