The Infinite Zenith

Where insights on anime, games and life converge

Category Archives: Battlefield 3

The Infinite Zenith’s Firing Range: Sword Art Online II-style

“There’s a maniac out there! He’s shooting everyone in the head!” —Pure_Pwnage

This is the first post in The Infinite Zenith’s Firing Range, a new series inspired by LevelCapGaming’s Loadout series. The difference here is I’ll be running with various Battlefield 3 weapons that are seen in some anime (or approximate the loadout the best I can), rather than taking on a kit and customisation readers will choose, and instead of videos, I’ll be doing a talk as per my usual format. Unlike Loadout, I’ll only consider the gadgets and specialisations if required. Today, I’m running the M98B with the 8x rifle scope, straight-pull bolt and a laser sight, and my sidearm is the Glock G18C. To mimic Sinon’s speed, I’ve chosen to go with the sprint specialisation. This deviates slightly from Sinon’s Hecate II, which has bipod in place of the straight-pull bolt and no other attachments. In general, I’ll try to set up my weapon as close as possible to the loadouts seen within the anime, but because I captured the footage on short order, I forgot to set the customisations up properly in the images. With that said, Sinon’s choice of weapons is logical and doable: optimised for extremely long range combat, a bipod helps stablise the rifle and minimises scope sway. The rifle scope is well suited for long range engagements far away from the front lines. In Gun Gale Online, Sinon typically engages enemies from great distances, so high-powered optics make sense. However, in both cases, the optics obscures one’s field-of-view and leaves players without a good sense of their surroundings. Moreover, scope glint gives the player’s position away, forcing snipers to move from place to place to avoid being hunted down. For close-quarters combat, the G18C automatic pistol is an ideal weapon. As with Sinon, I’m going with the non-suppressed version, which deals more damage and has a slightly better range compared to the suppressed G18C. The weapon is remarkably effective in some cases: with a firing rate of 900 rounds per minute, it out-powers the 93R at close ranges, but is still woefully underpowered compared to the primary weapons.

  • In the few months after I had picked up Battlefield 3, I was downright terrible with the recon class. Bullet drop and scope sway meant that I was constantly missing targets, and my typical preference for close-quarters combat meant I was not doing well at all with the recon class in its intended role. However, that changed somewhat after I unlocked the SV-98, which performed quite admirably. My fondest memory was using it to take down an enemy sniper camped out on the crane.

  • Just a few days ago, in my Sabagebu! talk, I mentioned that I have no combat efficiency ribbons because I still play Battlefield 3 as I did Halo 2. However, the sniper loadout forced me to hang back, far from the front lines. I also happen to have Noshahr Canals’ entire layout memorised: there’s a corner of the map where the enemy team will sometimes spawn in large groups, and over a very short period of time, I managed to get a killstreak going, landing me my first-ever combat efficiency ribbon (to earn it, one must get eight kills without dying).

  • Bullet drop, though intimidating to beginners, isn’t actually that difficult to master. It will take practise, but making use of the sights (and understanding what the different markings mean) helps considerably. The M98B has the smallest bullet drop of any sniper rifle in Battlefield 3 owing to its muzzle velocity, and paired with some practise, getting headshots is reasonably straightforward.

  • During a chaotic match on Kharg Island, I encountered several snipers at close range, and proceeded to wreck them using the G18C. Some players will try to perform either no-scopes or quick-scopes in close quarters with bolt-action rifles, a range where firing rate matters more than any other statistic. They’ll fire, usually miss in a panic and be taken out without too much difficulty. Against the other weapons, I got wrecked when using the G18C.

  • I think Sinon’s loadout is quite viable in Battlefield 3. Compared to my usual play-style, it requires more patience and excellent decision-making skills to ensure that every shot counts. That’s it for the first post in The Infinite Zenith’s Firing Range. Next up in the series will be Maya’s M4A1: she uses the Close Quarters Battle Receiver, which isn’t available in Battlefield 3, but the EOTech holosight is. The timeline for this is going to have to be “whenever my schedule allows”.

In practise, equipping a bolt action rifle, automatic pistol and sprint specialisation is somewhat unusual: one would preferably go with the ammunition, suppression or anti-suppression specialisations (to carry more rounds, suppress enemies downrange more efficiently or prevent enemies from doing the same). There is little question that, at long ranges, nothing else matches Battlefield 3‘s premier bolt-action rifle. Easier to unlock that Gun Gale Online‘s Hecate II, the M98B is one of the most powerful weapons, dealing 95 points of damage and trailing out to 59 points at 120 metres, much greater than other sniper rifles. At closer ranges, players will sustain massive damage if hit, and even at long ranges, two shots will dispose of any opponent. The M98B also has the greatest bullet velocity, so one does not have to compensate for bullet drop or lead their targets quite to the same extent. To balance it out, the weapon has a slower firing rate of 40 rounds per minute and is limited to a five-round magazine (and an extra round in the chamber), although the limitations don’t impede the M98B’s overall performance, making it an excellent weapon at long ranges. For short range engagements, the G18C’s rate of fire allows one to hold out reasonably well, although in general, having the M98B in one’s loadout will leave one with a serious disadvantage in close quarters. When equipped with the M98B, players in Battlefield 3 will do well to follow a similar pattern as Sinon, having squadmates provide cover and moving from place to place to avoid being out-gunned, making use of the G18C as a last resort.

Battlefield 3- Revisiting the multiplayer

“Are we almost done with this post? ‘Cuz you know what, it’s almost headshot time! Boom, headshot!” —FPS_Doug

It’s been some four months since I began playing the multiplayer component to Battlefield 3, and now, I’ve accumulated a total of 34 hours of time spent in-game. I now win roughly half the games I stay the full-length for (and I leave around a third of the games I play owing to real-world reasons). At the time of writing, I’m rank 32, and now, I think I’ve got a reasonable idea of what the Battlefield 3 multiplayer component feels like. If I had to keep this thought short, I will say that I’ve found my replacement to Halo 2 Vista in Battlefield 3: between 2009 and 2013, Halo 2 Vista was my most-played game, and I spent most of my Friday evenings getting killtaculars on Lockout and Beaver Creek. Battlefield 3 has since stepped up to that role, and now, I spend most Friday evenings on Noshahr Canals or Seine Crossing mowing down people with weapons. Battlefield 3 has definitely served as a hugely entertaining experience, aided in no small part by the unlocks system, which constantly gives replay incentive. Of course, the team-based aspects further the game’s enjoyment factor: I have gotten very high scores in games from constantly resupplying, healing, reviving, repairing and spotting for my teammates, even if I had half as many kills as the players up top. I can only imagine what it must be like for a veteran to see a lowly rank 32 player directly underneath him in scoring despite him having double my kills.

  • I hardly ever get to use vehicles outside of conquest matches, but when I do, I have a great time with them. I just unlocked the HMG for my tanks, and I also got the missiles for my anti-air vehicles. Ironically, I unlocked those points by killing infantry trying to capture an objective, rather than through shooting down aircraft.

  • I’ve also unlocked the F2000 assault rifle, but despite its higher rate of fire and general supremacy at closer range, I still find myself preferring the M416 for my assault rifle needs, although I should probably learn my way around it and the other rifles I’ve unlocked so I can get all the attachments.

  • The DAO-12 is my favourite shotgun: I unlocked it via the Physical Warfare pack that came with the game, and its relatively high rate of fire, coupled with a large magazine size, makes it ideal for pumping  buckshot into crowds of hostiles in close-quarters frenzies, like those at Noshahr Canals. The weapon’s downside is that it has a very long reload time.

  • Jets are remarkably difficult to shoot down, making this image particularly impressive, when I destroyed an enemy jet, for the first time, with two Stinger missiles. Ideally, I’d have a teammate with another anti-air missile launcher so that after I fire my shot and flares are dumped, my teammate would fire his missile. There’s a delay in reloading the flares, so we’d be able to score kills on the jets. Alternatively, I’d have a Javelin and SOFLAM combination, although teamwork isn’t generally coordinated enough for me to try this.

  • On occasion, I do play Battlefield: Bad Company 2‘s multiplayer, and as of late, I’ve excelled (or, if I may even say, dominated) with the Engineer’s SCAR-L there. This prompted me to give Battlefield 3‘s SCAR-H another go, and that landed me my first-ever carbine ribbon.

  • Now comes the fun part of my post, where I get to tell some of the more interesting stories about my experiences in Battlefield 3 and in the process, show off some of the medals I’ve unlocked. Part of the challenge is actually getting the screenshots themselves without them either disappearing, or me dying, before I can get the image; the medals may appear at unexpected times once the appropriate number of ribbons are earned, and so, I found myself missing some of the screenshots when my first few medals began appearing either because I was slow in typing out the command or getting shot in the face while trying to take the screenshot. The repair one was easy enough: I just camped in a container while the resupplies were coming in to capture this screenshot.

  • The medical medal was particularly difficult to capture, since I usually die after reviving people while making the switch from the defibrillator back to my weapons. I realised that I would probably miss the medal if I died, so I decided that I would try to capture the medical medal in the slower pace of a conquest match, where the enemies were further away. It worked out nicely enough, leading to this screenshot. Expand the screenshot to see someone raging away!

  • Despite being three months after playing Battlefield 3‘s multiplayer for the first time, I hardly ever use the text chat, preferring to just shoot and help my teammates complete objectives. Here, I’ve unlocked the PDW medal, a rather nice-looking medal reflecting my affinity with the personal defense weapons. I’ve unlocked the PDW-R now, although I still prefer the PP-2000 over all the other PWDs, even in spite of the former’s long reload time.

  • The suppression medal caught me by surprise: I was helping my teammates with some cover fire but had emptied out  my LMG at that point, so I switched to my pistol rather than reload. Firing blindly at the street corner below, my teammates were able to kill a few people, earning me enough suppression ribbons to get the medal. This moment was completely unexpected, and I’m glad the medal lasted long enough for me to type the command for a screenshot into the terminal to get this image.

  • This rush match on Operation Metro saw me with a different loadout than I am wont to using normally: my M416 here is equipped with a 6x rifle scope and bipod for longer range engagements. About halfway into the game, the server switched me to the (losing) attacking team, although I was still able to utilise this loadout to get some long distance kills in the hopes that my team would be able to arm the MCOM charge. Despite failing, I still got enough kills to earn the last ribbon and unlock the assault rifle medal.

At the current rate of progression, I will probably reach Rank 45 by June, by which I will have unlocked all of the all-class weapons and specialisations. By then, my Battlefield 3 vanilla experience will largely be complete (minus the Co-op), and I’ll be left wondering whether or not I wish to continue playing or spend my time elsewhere. I am presently considering purchasing the Premium edition expansion pack once that goes on sale so I have access to the assignments and new maps. I’m only really interested in the Close Quarters expansion: while players may feel that the new maps included make the game handle too much like Call of Duty, I personally enjoy close-quarters combat for the chaos it brings. The other weapons and maps from Back to Karkland seem quite nice, too, and I would also look forward to playing with the X-Bow variants in the DLC. If I still can’t play Co-op by then, I’ll likely just buy those unlocks during a sale. For now, though, I’ve still got thirteen ranks’ worth of items to unlock, and I look forwards to earning more medals in the game. Of course, given how much fun I’ve had in Battlefield 3, I do sometimes wonder if I’ll ever finish Skyrim or Deus Ex: Human Revolution.

Battlefield 3- The Great Destroyer

“How much would you do for your country?” —Battlefield 3 tagline

After the interrogators state that Solomon is actually a US asset, they bring Montes in the room and try to persuade Blackburn to falsely confess that it was Dima who planted the nuke in Paris and not Solomon. However, as the two men leave after receiving a call that a train has been hijacked, Blackburn looks at a poster board with a map and several pictures. When Agent Whistler and an armed guard return from the phone call, Blackburn slams Whistler’s head against the table and knocks him out. The other guard then begins to strangle Montes. Blackburn rips a leg out of the table and hits the guard over the head with it, also knocking him out. As the two escape the room and go into the hallway, several guards start shooting at them: Blackburn ducks through a window at the end of the hallway and finds in an alleyway. He sprints over to the fence overlooking the railroad tracks. There is one small section where there is no fencing. As the train roars by, Blackburn jumps onto the train. Despite a rough landing, he manages to hold on. The scene then cuts to a subway station, with Black crawling furiously on the roof of the train. Blackburn then jumps feet first into a window, Blackburn encounters Solomon, wielding a .44 Magnum, which he uses to shoot at Blackburn. This causes him to slip and almost fall off the train. However, Blackburn proceeds to climb to the roof of the train. PLR operatives start shooting at him from out the windows. Blackburn moves up to the front car and busts in, only to be confronted by a guard and Solomon. Solomon initially knocks down Blackburn but Blackburn strangles the guard and then detonates the bomb located in the second car, derailing the train.

Both Solomon and Blackburn escape the burning train into the sewers. After a short chase in the sewers, including multiple engagements against PLR operatives, Blackburn finds a ladder and climbs to the surface, in the middle of New York City. The fight proceeds out on the streets of New York. Montes arrives with a stolen police car and picks Blackburn up, chasing after Solomon. After a car chase, with Blackburn shooting at the car, the police car rams into Solomon’s SUV and both Montes and Blackburn barely escape. Solomon then leaves his vehicle, and prepares to execute Blackburn. Montes tries to shoot Solomon, but is shot in the head, causing some onlookers to run in fear. As Solomon pulls the trigger, the cylinder is empty, and him and Blackburn then get into a fight. Solomon punches Blackburn several times, and Blackburn tries to strangle Solomon with his handcuffs. Unfortunately, Solomon pins him against the police car and brutally beats him. He then walks back to the nuke, with Blackburn falling to the ground. However, just seconds before Solomon detonates the nuke, Blackburn trips Solomon and beats him to death with a brick. Blackburn then finds the nuke, and disables it, putting an end to the nuclear threat.

  • After busting out of the office, the mission begins as a repeat of “Semper Fidelis”. It’s now nighttime: Blackburn has been under interrogation for at least the entire day, but desperation kicks in and overwhelms exhaustion, as he knows that the nuclear warhead will detonate in New York soon. I will note that tonight, Daylight Savings Time resumes, marking a return of the sunlight and longer days as the Spring Equinox approaches!

  • This time, I’m going to mix things up a little and use the UMP 45, a personal defense weapon that packs a bigger punch compared to the other personal defense weapons, but is lacking at longer ranges and has a slower rate of fire. The key to using this weapon in the multiplayer is to get the jump on the opponent to rapidly cut down another opponent, but in a face-to-face firefight, the UMP may fall short against the faster firing weapons.

  • I’ve taken care to make sure that none of the images from my “Semper Fidelis” post are duplicated. There are only minor differences between the two levels as far as weapons go: for all intents and purposes, the mission “Semper Fidelis” can be seen as a cold open of sorts, dropping players right into the thick of things to pull their attention.

  • Movement on top of the moving train is quite slow: the tunnels are part of the New York City Subway, which has some 1355 kilometers of track. The seventh busiest subway in the world, there used to be an unused section called the “Freedom Tunnel” that was home to graffiti artists and transients in the 1980s, but Amtrak reopened the tunnels in 1991 for regular use, and began a project to remove the graffiti.

  • Battlefield 3 mercifully reduces the number of quick-time events after “Comrades”. Used sparingly, they can add surprise and urgency, but on subsequent play-throughs, they arrive with the tedious inevitability of an unloved season, making the game feel like a visual novel rather than a top-of-the-line shooter. Granted, I’ve nothing against visual novels like CLANNAD (which I am playing, incidentally) or even Go! Go! Nippon!, but when your machine was built to run games like Battlefield 3 on full specs, it’s expected that the game plays and feels worthy of your GPU.

  • Once these bombs go off, “Semper Fidelis” comes to an end, but here, the mission continues after Blackburn extricates himself from the rubble. On closer inspection, “The Great Destroyer” has the most quick time events of any of the levels in Battlefield 3. Since we’re talking about visual novels, I will go back and play Go! Go! Nippon! again for my own amusement. It’s no substitute for a good Lonely Planet book and a good tour guide, but the game is quite entertaining and doesn’t require any GPU power at all.

  • Fortunately for me, I’ve still got my trusty UMP 45 here. In the campaign, it does not matter which weapon one uses to complete the mission for the most part. Following the detonation, it’s time to take the chase to Solomon through the underground passageways of New York. If Futurama is to be believed, then in the future, New New York will be built over top of the current New York: the sewers of New New York appear to be at the same depth as Old New York.

  • In my “Comrades” post, I mentioned the intrigue I had with the Paris Quarries and their haunted character. This section of “The Great Destroyer” is probably the closest one will get to fighting underground, although compared to the Paris Quarries, the underground passages in New York are probably less extensive. Blackburn is wielding a SG553C here, a carbine variant of the SG550 rifle (which was featured in Upotte!!). It’s unlocked for use in multiplayer after scoring 120000 points in the co-op, and even now, I haven’t played a single match of co-op yet.

  • At some point in the near future, I will do a post about my experiences in the multiplayer component of Battlefield 3. I have decided that if I reach rank 45 before a half-year has elapsed since I purchased the game (i.e. before June), I will go ahead and pick up a copy of the Battlefield 3 Premium to gain access to the different maps and assignments once it goes on sale: as much fun as I am having now, I think it would be nice to pick up the additional features, especially considering that an individual DLC pack costs 15 dollars each, but I get all five DLC packs for a cool 30 dollars (when there’s no sale) if I purchase Battlefield 3 PremiumOf course, if I wait for a sale, then the deals get even better.

  • The last segment of “The Great Destroyer” is a linear, quick time event-driven but beautiful section of the game. It’s a little anti-climatic, but with this, the campaign is done, and so, this concludes my series of talks for Battlefield 3. Next up on the programme is my impressions of the Infinite Stratos OVA. Beyond that, I have plans to do a series of talks on Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn and naturally, finish my reflections on the anime I’ve been following this season (The Pilot’s Love SongSoniAniSaki: Zenkoku-hen, and Wake Up, Girls!). Falling into the May timeframe, I will do a talk on BioShock Infinite and Metro: Last Light. If time permits, I will also revisit Broken Blade, as well as Sora no Woto after the Gundam Unicorn finale comes out.

I beat “The Great Destroyer” Shortly after lunch on Christmas Day, marking the end of my campaign experience. After beating the game, I proceeded to the multiplayer, where I got a few matches in before being asked to drive some relatives to the annual Christmas Party. While the locale was different this year, I did end up playing some 007: Agent Under Fire (despite my incredibly vast knowledge of PC FPS, I’m still comparatively terrible on a console) and Enter the Matrix, old classics that bring back memories of an older day. The last mission in Battlefield 3 is something I’ve alluded to elsewhere before: I still think that shooting the bad guy while falling out of a plane and stealing his parachute is significantly cooler than beating someone’s face in with a brick. “The Great Destroyer” wraps up the story: after Blackburn escapes, he pursues Solomon to Times Square and narrowly prevents the last mission tactical nuclear warhead from going off. Granted, New York is saved, but the campaign doesn’t really explain what happens elsewhere as a result. In fact, the story in the campaign is disjoint and doesn’t always flow well in places, so the enormity of stopping Solomon is largely dependent on Blackburn’s word and what little we’ve seen from Dima’s side of things. However, despite lacking a good story and satisfactory ending, the Battlefield 3 campaign excels in visual impact and atmospherics, conveying to players the nature of military work. From just the campaign alone, players experience the kind of linearity associated following orders from higher ups and sticking closely to one’s squad and mission plan to get the job done; while most players were hoping for open-world type exploration, they were disappointed when the campaign was said and done. However, I’m not particularly disappointed by the campaign: first of all, I knew exactly what was coming, and secondly, my wish to play the campaign was to experience an interactive story. My wish of doing things as I please in a more open world is satisfied by the multiplayer, and next time, I will drop by to talk about where I stand with the multiplayer, having played some thirty hours now ever since I got the game.

Battlefield 3- Kaffarov

“This next part is where you have a big credibility problem…” — Agent Gordon speaking to Blackburn

Dima, Kiril, and Vladimir perform a HALO jump, landing near Kaffarov’s mansion. A scouting party of Amir Kaffarov noticed the weapons case and stopped to investigate it, unaware that the GRU were only a few yards away. Dima and his team rapidly take down the party and takes a jeep: with its tinted windows, Kiril decides that they can infiltrate the villa by going through the convoy, but are stopped at a garage. Their cover blown, Dima and company mount an assault on the villa, fighting their way through dozens of Kaffarov’s men to reach the villa itself. Once inside the villa, the squad splits up in some places, as Dima provides supportive fire from the higher floors. Once Dima is through an underground section of the villa, his team eventually reaches a stairway leading up to a helipad, where Kaffarov’s Ka-60 Kasatka is about to take off. Dima sprints towards the helicopter and jumps onto the edge of it just as it’s starting to take off. After a short scuffle, Dima kicks Kaffarov out of the helicopter into a pool below. Kaffarov begs for his life, and promises to tell Dima about any information about Solomon for his freedom, but is knocked out by Dima with a punch to the face. Meanwhile, upon arriving at the villa, Blackburn is confronted by Dima. The latter explains about how the nuclear WMDs were stolen from Russia, and that Solomon’s next target is New York. Blackburn’s officer, Cole, attempts to arrest Dima, but Blackburn is forced to shoot Cole.

  • After landing from the HALO jump, Dimitri is asked to recover the weapons from a drop. The first weapon available is the PP-2000, my current favourite choice for personal defense weapons. It’s quite effective and reasonably easy to control even in its base form with no attachments, being only limited by its small magazine. With my preferred customisation (Kobra RDS, extended mags and a laser sight), the weapon becomes ideal for the close-quarters recon class. Almost all of my kills from the recon class come from personal defense weapons, and a majority of these personal defense weapon kills come from the PP-2000.

  • Another short car ride ensues, giving the players a chance to kick back and enjoy the scenery in this level. I had some difficulty narrowing down the screenshots I would use for this post, given that there are so many picturesque points during the mission, but in the end, I’ve narrowed it down to ten so the post isn’t excessively long.

  • I’m just one rank from unlocking the Saiga-12K, but “Kaffarov” gives me the chance to try it out for myself. Being an automatic, magazine fed shotgun, the Saiga is very powerful and highly effective at close range. It is fitted with a PKA-S and laser sight.

  • “Kaffarov” also offers players the chance to use the M82 sniper rifle, outfitted with a IRNV sight that highlights the enemies’ heat signatures. Compared to Battlefield: Bad Company 2‘s M95, the M82 feels slightly less powerful: in reality, the M82 is semi-automatic, while the M95 is bolt action. The latter is more accurate at longer ranges, but also has a higher recoil.

  • A long time ago, I tried looking for high-resolution screenshots of this mission, but I always wound up being unsuccessful: I think the closest I came were some 1366 by 768 images from a Japanese source playing the game on medium settings. However, having now a system that can run the game on full specs and, well, Battlefield 3 itself, I can explore and enjoy the missions for myself now, rather than watching YouTube playthroughs of it.

  • Kaffarov’s villa has a very modernist feel to it: throughout the missions, there are various boxes here and there, suggesting that he had just recently moved in. This mission evokes memories of Lord of War simply because of how expansive the villa is, reflecting on the kind of wealth Kaffarov must have from his less-than-legal business dealings, and while we’re on the topic of Lord of War, I sometimes feel that anime-related things tend to have some similarity to arms dealing.

  • This feeling could simply arise because of the fact that acquiring anime and anime merchandise is an uncommon and oftentimes convoluted process, like the arms deals that Yuri makes in Lord of War. It’s no surprise that some individuals take the process quite seriously, leading me to comparing it with the acquisition of high value targets and intel.

  • Sunbeams stream through one of the villa hallways. I’m tempted to sit here and just marvel at the scenery, but there is an arms dealer to capture. It is sufficient to stick with the Saiga-12K for the entire mission; here, I’ve got an M60 to mix things up a little. I think there’s an F2000 assault rifle with an IRNV scope somewhere earlier, although I usually don’t find it.

  • The villa is so nice that it would be quite a shame to shoot things up here, but the destruction engine feels a little limited compared to that of Bad Company 2, so the effects of gunfire on the environment aren’t as pronounced. The next part of the mission involves going underground into a basement area with very little lighting: it is advisable to pick up the weapons on the table, as they are equipped with flashlights. Of course, if I could just find that assault rifle with the IRNV scope earlier, I could use it to complete the next part quite easily.

  • I’ve jumped ahead, past the villa basement section and Dima capturing Kaffarov, to Blackburn’s arrival at the villa some 75 minutes after the GRU arrive. According to the mission display, it’s 0945 UTC, which would mean it’s roughly 11AM or 12PM where they are. In spite of this, it feels distinctly like the evening now. Dima’s request to Blackburn, that the matter is strictly just two soldiers doing their jobs with no politics or money involved, reflects on how sometimes, things happen because of things that transpire from higher up, and that the ground soldiers are merely following orders (even if the orders aren’t entirely a good idea).

“Kaffarov” is my favourite mission in the Battlefield 3 campaign. Despite it being some two and a half years since I first saw gameplay footage of the mission, “Kaffarov” has lost none of its charm and appeal. The mission opens with a HALO jump out into the morning sun onto the grounds near Kaffarov’s villa, set to the Battlefield 3 Main Theme. The scene is awe-inspiring, and sets the mood for the remainder of a mission, which is predominantly close-quarters. The Saiga-12K picked up from the weapons capsule proves to be an incredible asset, and the remainder of the mission is a shooting spree to reach Kaffarov to capture him. However, in between all of the firefights, I found myself admiring the scenery and lighting constantly: the landscape surrounding Kaffarov’s villa is beautiful, as is the interior of the villa itself. While the level itself is very linear, with the way firefights are choreographed, this linearity is lost in the moment as I try to snipe guards from the roof or use an LMG to provide covering fire for the others. I finally reached this mission and played it on Christmas Day 2013: I finished the mission right before lunch was served (chicken pie and garlic bread). After some two years of wishing I could experience this mission, my wish was fulfilled, and in a sense, this is one of the missions that truly make the Battlefield 3 campaign worth playing through. Besides the mission “Comrades”, no other location in the game has better atmospherics; the combination of dialogue and level design contributes to a thrilling firefight experience that leaves an overwhelmingly positive impression even after the mission has ended.