“You can sink ships, you can wipe out people, but you can’t kill an idea.” —Hannah
After paradropping onto the USS Valkyrie, Tombstone discovers that the ship under siege by Chang’s forces, with most of the ship’s onboard aircraft either destroyed or heavily damaged. Garrison requests assistance over the radio and is ordered to neutralize all PLA forces on the ship. After clearing the deck, they encounter Pac, who survived his injuries sustained in Singapore but declines to recount how he had escaped. Eliminating the hostile forces along the way, Pac leads them to Garrison, who is holed up in the medical bay along with Jin Jié and the ship’s doctor. Upon arriving, they discover that Chinese forces have almost breached the medical bay door. Seeing no other way, Jin Jié states that they must allow the soldiers to enter so that they can see his face and cease fire. Garrison opposes this action, believing it would result in all their deaths. Against Garrison’s orders, Recker complies to Jié’s wish and opens the door. As the soldiers enter, they hold Recker at gun point. Jié then reveals his identity to them, ceasing any hostilities. The soldiers then rejoice that their leader is alive and call other Chinese forces to spread the word and inform the Russians to switch sides in the war. Chang’s warship then launches an attack on the Valkyrie so as to bury the truth. With the Valkyrie defenseless, Irish and Hannah devise a plan to plant C4 on the enemy warship and destroy it. Garrison, realizing the risk yet knowing there are no other alternative, approves of the plan. Before departing, Pac reveals that he is staying behind on the ship to help protect Jin Jié and makes them all promise they will all return safely. Recker, Irish and Hannah take patrol boat toward Chang’s warship, avoiding heavy fire from enemy watercraft along the way. After reaching the ship, Irish plants the C4 and the group uses grappling hooks to ascend to the bridge above for safety. Hannah is then given the honor of destroying the ship, only to discover the remote detonation has failed, requiring someone to sacrifice themselves and manually plant more C4.
- For one reason with another, Recker starts out with the MGL, but after landing on the Valkyrie, there’s a weapons crate. For the fight ahead, I’ll choose to pick up an assault rifle and marksman rifle to be effective at medium and longer ranges. From what I’ve heard, DMRs are not widely used in the game’s multiplayer and lose their effectiveness at long ranges.
- The damaged, blazing deck on the USS Valkyrie brings back memories of Crysis‘ final mission; after launching a failed nuclear strike against the Ceph on Lingshan island, the Ceph begin assaulting the USS Constitution and overwhelms much of the US forces, dealing severe damage to the aircraft carrier. After Nomad stabilises the ship’s reactor, he goes on to fight the Exosuit and a full-on alien warship with a tactical nuclear grenade launcher. There were so many particle effects here that my old machine crumbled under the stress and dropped down to 10 FPS.
- This is what the Slender Man rifle looks like in Battlefield 4: its appearance encouraged me to give it a shot, and although it lacks the same feeling as its Bad Company 2 counterpart, it proved to be very effective in clearing out the Valkyrie’s deck. By this point in time, the Marble Hornets ARG web-series has concluded. On June 20, five years after the first entry was uploaded, the series concluded with Entry 87, showing that Tim and Jessica had survived everything and ending on the note that things seem to be well, after a harrowing run that kept me on the edge of my seat when I watched each entry.
- I’ve gotten the basics for the XM25 now, and here, I successfully used an airburst detonation to clear up the remaining PLA soldiers on the Valkyrie’s deck. The inclusion of a computerised IRNV scope makes the weapon feel futuristic and allows the PLA forces to be located more clearly. Owing to the smoke, and the fact that some PLA had MGLs of their own, I found myself dying here far more often than was necessary.
- There is a large number of PLA forces on the deck, and while ammunition is not a problem, reloading can be. To this end, I switched to the QBB-95-1, which handles like an assault rifle with a larger magazine size. The weapon made it much easier to progress through the remainder of the mission, and the laser sight facilitates shooting from the hip better. Ever since Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, aiming down sights became the next big thing for shooters, and almost all shooters in the present have this functionality to encourage precision shooting.
- Older games like Halo and Half-Life 2 and Counter Strike did not include aiming down sights, and zooming in was only available for weapons with mounted optics. As such, firing from the hip encouraged a more high-paced gameplay. In the present, firing from the hip results in poorer shot placement, although some weapons in Battlefield 3 do quite well when fired from the hip, such as the shotguns and PDWs. I tend to fire from the hip in chaotic close-quarters battles and aim down the sights for longer range engagements, although I love having a laser sight, since that helps with hip fire.
- A Chinese helicopter circles the Valkyrie, and during the frenzy, I somehow managed to shoot another helicopter down with an anti-tank weapon after it held a position over the Valkyrie’s deck. Contrasting Battlefield 3, there are far more opportunities to use anti-air weapons, and although I only made use of the Stinger once during the South China Sea mission, I did enjoy the fact that the weapon and gadget crates afforded more flexible play styles.
- After Jin Jié reveals his identity to the PLA soldiers, they immediately cease fire, spread the word to the other Chinese forces and subsequently convince the Russian forces to join them against Admiral Chang. It turns out that Jin Jié’s words were correct, and by taking a risk, the conflict was stemmed. The resolution is quite rewarding, showing that diplomacy can prevail over force, sharply contrasting Simeon Weisz’s claim that ” Bullets change governments far surer than votes” from Lord of War.
- The last phase of the mission doesn’t involve any shooting, so one’s choice of weapons no longer are relevant. After Jin Jié’s revelation, Admiral Chang orders his warship, based off the Independence-class littoral combat ship, to fire upon the Valkyrie. The Independence-class was built for the US Navy, and the first ship was commissioned in 2010, with a second commissioned this year. There are plans to construct ten more of these ships, which are designed to operate close to the shore.
- The mission’s final moments involves driving a RHIB towards Chang’s warship while under heavy fire, as day breaks. This final moment has a melancholic, yet heroic feel to it, and after the player makes their choice, seemingly sending one of Tombstone to their death, the game ends, although the implications are whoever was sent to place more charges did in fact survive. Thus ends my Battlefield 4 campaign series, which was a short, buggy but nonetheless cinematic and enjoyable ride. After this comes a talk on Battlefield 4‘s multiplayer (and how it compares to Battlefield 3), as well as a talk on Titanfall.
Suez is the final mission in Battlefield 4, and as the morning progressed, I began the last mission to the game. Upon landing back on the Valkyrie, I was met with a considerable amount of resistance, although, now that I’ve unlocked the Type-88, I was able to stay back from the front lines and engaged everything from a distance to prolong my survivability. The remainder of a mission was a wild firefight in close quarters; having unlocked it back during the Singapore mission, I made extensive use of the QBB-51-1 LMG, which handled more like an assault rifle, and a shotgun. After the Valkyrie was cleared, and Jin Jié’s role in everything was revealed, things took the familiar “partial resolution” route: just when it seems the main conflict is solved, the antagonist (Admiral Chang here) plays one final card, forcing the protagonists back into the fray with the intent of solving it. Under heavy fire from Chang’s ultra-modern destroyer, Tombstone eventually reaches the warship and plants the explosives, which fail to detonate. I had finally reached the point in Battlefield 4 where I would make the choice to send Irish or Hannah to manually detonate the C4, or else leave the Valkyrie to be destroyed. I ended up sending Irish, but I did find myself wishing that I could have volunteered Recker to detonate the explosives; after seeing all that Irish, Hannah and the Valkyrie had been through, this would have been the best option, but was not available. Once I made my choice, the end credits began to roll, and, after a year-and-a-half after seeing the first gameplay trailer, I had finally finished the Battlefield 4 campaign. Now that I’ve experienced it for myself, I would concur with the notion that the campaign was too short to properly develop the characters further, stymied by a story that didn’t flow too well, and the ending system was also a little lacking. However, I found the campaign to be reasonably entertaining from the gameplay and visuals departments: compared to its predecessor, the squad commands and shooting felt more tactile. It felt good to know that my shots were landing, and being able to direct my squad to engage the enemies took fire off me, allowing me to live longer. The graphics are absolutely stunning, and now that the campaign is complete, I feel very pleased that my rig, now a year old, manages to run the game without any difficulty even on ultra settings.