Battlefield 4- Tashgar
September 1, 2014
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“I got an engineering degree like you got a medical degree.” —Irish to Hannah
Tombstone makes their way down the mountain on foot, a journey that takes them two days and forcing them to hunt for food to survive. They commandeer a jeep and drive to Tashgar in western China, finding it under siege by both Chinese and Russian forces. They eventually locate Major Greenland, who commands the remainder of US ground forces in Tashgar. She states that the Russian mobile anti-air positions have put them at a disadvantage. Tombstone volunteers to demolish the Tashgar Dam to flood the area and destroy Russian AA positions in exchange for transportation to the USS Valkyrie. Using Irish’s strategic placement of explosive charges, they are successful in their task and, as promised by Greenland, transported to the Suez Canal by air.
- The graphics in Battlefield 4 are at their finest whenever there’s a lot of sunshine. With a colour palette reminiscent of Battlefield 3‘s Rock and a Hard Place, this mission is quite lengthy and provides an excellent opportunity to try out a vast array of weapons.
- The SV-98 makes a welcome return in the Tashgar mission. Armed with a PKS-07 scope, range finder, straight-pull bolt and muzzle brake, this weapon is well suited for engaging the Russian forces in the city’s open areas.
- In Battlefield 3, the PP-2000 was one of my favourite personal defense weapons until I had unlocked the MP5-K and MP7; it’s still my fifth most-used weapon, attesting to how frequently I wielded it while playing as the recon class.
- With a solid performance at close quarters, the PP-2000 shines when equipped with extended magazines; its slower firing rate and higher damage makes it remarkably effective, and I prefer equipping the Kobra RDS and a laser sight.
- The HK 416 is mytop weapon, and at the time of writing, I have six service stars with it. With a short reload time and manageable recoil, this weapon excels in almost all ranges in Battlefield 3, and in Battlefield 4, it’s also an early unlock and has similar performance. However, in the limited time I spent within the Game Time trial, I did not have a chance to unlock this weapon.
- It’s nice to have some AT weapons that can take out enemy armour from a distance, and with the RPG-7 being available, it was a simple matter of sitting back and blowing away the tanks that show up. Besides the spectacle of burning enemy armour, this image also showcases some of the lighting effects in Battlefield 4, especially the sunbeams streaming through the trees.
- After meeting up with Major Greenland, Tombstone is sent to destroy a dam such that the Russian anti-air in the area are eliminated. My preferred loadout for this section of the game is a sniper rifle so I can pick off everything from a distance.
- Once most of the enemies are picked off, I decided to switch to a Saiga-12K while keeping the HK 461. With a PKA-S sight, flashlight and a modified choke, the campaign version is fun to use at closer ranges. Enemy choppers assault Tombstone while they try and gain access into the dam, but there are stationary emplacements well-suited for taking the choppers out.
- Once most of the enemies are cleared out, it’s time to go and set the charges at the pre-determined spots, then exit from the dam as quickly as possible via the scaffolding. There’s only a short incursion into the dam itself, dashing hopes that the entire level will be set around a dam (as per GoldenEye 64). Long corridors mean that I’ve decided to switch back to the Mk 11 Mod 0, which is excellent in the campaign for slightly longer range engagements.
- The dam section of Tashgar reminds me somewhat of the ambient lighting from Battlefield: Bad Company 2, although a new engine means things look far smoother. It’s been four years since Bad Company 2 was released, and although DICE maintains that Bad Company 3 is in development, the studio says that it’s difficult to design a game when they can’t really figure out what people liked about Bad Company. My answer is that the multiplayer was excellent, but the single-player provided characters that added dimension and humour to the story. A perfect Battlefield title would be a game that has a campaign that emphasises fun and comedy, rather than the generic tone and seriousness found in current titles, while simultaneously having the polished, responsive multiplayer found in Battlefield 3.
It was on a cool, overcast Thursday morning, six days into my Game Time, when I arrived at Tashgar. The narrative seems to have jumped forward quite a bit, taking Tombstone from Tibet to what is better known as Kashgar in real life, an oasis county-level city with approximately 350 000 people in Xinjiang province. Over the course of this time, though, Irish and Hannah have begun to understand one another better, and work better together as a team now. After I dismount from the jeep, I am briefly reminded of Rock and a Hard Place from Battlefield 3, although the first thing that comes to mind is the city’s unique architecture, which was a result of an Islamic influence on the city. As I fought through the old city, I unlocked more weapons, familiar weapons that I thoroughly enjoyed using in Battlefield 3. The level is quite long; after meeting with Major Greenland, Tombstone is sent towards a dam in the area and manage to blow it up. I originally had thought the game would end here, and that I would have to make my decision for the ending here, but this was thankfully not the case, and after completing the assignment, saw Tombstone being sent back to the USS Valkyrie. Whether it be the city streets or the dam, Tashgar proved to be quite the enjoyable mission, set in a city that I originally thought was back in Turkey. I was originally wondering how Turkey fit into the equation, but some reading cleared that up, and indeed, loved how this mission unfolded. Besides featuring some extremely satisfying shooter components, watching the warming interactions between Irish and Hannah was quite rewarding. Even though the two had not really reconciled on-screen, it’s not unreasonable to suppose that they got to know one another better during their trek down the mountain and on the way to Tashgar.