“Sometimes, giving that cover fire is just way more important than getting the headshot.” —FPS_Doug, Pure Pwnage
In this iteration of Firing Range, we’ll be taking a look at the L85A2, a British assault rifle whose predecessor featured in Upotte!. Being one of Funco’s friends, Elle is an anthromorphic representation of the British L85A1, a weapon notorious for reliability and safety issues. Issued in 1985, the L85A1, or SA-80, was an ill-designed weapon that would misfire if dropped or struck, and jammed frequently owing to poor construction and design. By 2002, the limitations of the L85A1 could no longer be ignored: Heckler and Koch undertook an assignment to improve the L85’s design, yielding the A2 version. In combat, this upgraded weapon becomes significantly more reliable than the A1 variant. In Upotte!, Elle is depicted as being unreliable in combat and becomes ill frequently, but nonetheless endures for her friend’s sake. Hence, while her propensity towards jamming might be comical as a running joke within Upotte!, these issues were no laughing matter where an operational assault rifle could make the difference between life and death. In Battlefield 3, such a weapon would probably never be included: DICE decided to include the L85A2 in its stead, as one of the available weapons for the assault class. The L85A2 is unlocked through the Professional Russian assignment from the Back to Karkand DLC, which requires 100 kills with assault rifles, 20 kills with the underbarrel grenade launcher (using any type of ammunition), and five victories in squad deathmatch. In keeping with the Firing Range‘s spirit, I’ll equip my weapon as close as I can to what is seen in Upotte!: Elle appears to represent the default L85 with no additional customisations, barring the optics. While the L85 line originally uses the SUSAT optics (if memory serves, Elle is presumably using the SUSAT sights), newer versions make use of the ACOG sight, so I’ll run with a vanilla L85A2 equipped with nothing but the ACOG sights.
- As with the previous Firing Range for Sabagebu!, I didn’t bother sticking to a specific squad specialisation or sidearm because these are never specified in Upotte!.
- This conquest match was one of the longest I’ve played in a while, but a combination of persistence and luck meant I wound up with a positive KD ratio and a handful of flag capture ribbons. I found that with an assault rifle, I would be effective at anti-personnel combat and captured a few flags. However, the presence of vehicles put me at a disadvantage. For most conquest games, I stick with the engineer class so I have anti-vehicular capability.
- While I’m not particularly fond of the ACOG sights for the most part, they’re actually quite useful on the L85A2 on maps with large, open areas, such as Karkand. Most players tend to take pot shots from across the map, and a good 4x sight offers enough magnification to see them from a distance while maintaining fair visibility. At closer ranges, though, the ACOG sights are difficult to use, but the stock L85A2 has good hip firing accuracy.
- Operation Metro is another map that is conducive for the ACOG sights, featuring open spaces inside the metro station, and lengthy streets overlooked by apartments. This match was particularly harrowing, and was only won by a small margin. I don’t typically expect to do well when experimenting with different weapons: the M98B and M4A1 are excellent weapons for their respective classes, hence a reasonable performance with them. However, my preferred assault class weapon is the M416, so I hardly ever use the L85A2 (or the other assault rifles).
- Because Upotte! was an anime about anthropomorphic weapons, there are a lot of firearms in the anime I could probably talk about, including the M16A4, G3A3, MP-5K and the Steyr AUG. However, for the present, I’m taking a break from Battlefield 3 so I can resume my adventure in Skyrim: it’s been a little under a year since I touched the game, and I’m still at level 23. The next Firing Range post will most likely be in December and be inspired by a loadout from Stella Women’s Academy.
With this loadout, most of my kills come from close-quarters engagements; the L85A2 has excellent hip-firing accuracy even without the laser sight equipped. At longer ranges, the ACOG sight provides reasonable magnification, but the chevron and obsctruction means it’s sometimes difficult to get a bead on where the next target is and ensuring that the shots will line up with them for a kill. However, the weapon’s low recoil makes this well suited for longer range combat. As an assault rifle, the L85A2 has one of the slower firing rates (at 600 RPM) and does similar damage to the other assault rifles. Paired with a longer reload time compared to other rifles, one is left with a slight disadvantage overall at close ranges; it’s more suited for longer range engagements, and equipping a heavy barrel will help this out to quite an extent. On its own, with just an ACOG sight, the L85A2 becomes slightly more difficult to use; during most of my matches, I was being out-gunned and killed while reloading frequently with the L85A2. Although this weapon thankfully doesn’t have the same issues that plague Elle in Upotte!, I typically prefer running with the HK-416 as my main assault rifle because it has a higher firing rate and smaller reload time without introducing too much additional recoil for those advantages. This is mainly because I’m typically going to do close quarters engagements, where faster firing rates and quick reload times become major factors. As such, it’s not unreasonable to say that Upotte!‘s Elle is frequently outgunned at close ranges even when she’s operating normally, and never has a chance to shine at longer ranges with a heavy barrel (one must wonder what that’d look like in Upotte!).