The Infinite Zenith

Where insights on anime, games and life converge

Tag Archives: Battlefield 3

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.

Battlefield 3- Rock and a Hard Place

“There’s just us. And then there’s you.” — Montes to Cole after Campo and Matkovic fall to enemy fire

Blackburn is in the back of a Growler ITV, next to a sleeping Matkovic en route to link up with the rest of the Misfit units, who have started to move towards the villa of the Russian arms dealer Amir Kaffarov in northern Iran. However, as they move through the forest, they are ambushed by an unknown unit. After successfully fending off the first attackers, Blackburn and his squad learn that the Russians are also in the region – according to some of the Marines, their intent is to kill Kaffarov so as to cover up their assumed involvement with the PLR. As the Marines make their way to the highway, they link up with a convoy, the other Misfit units. A decision is made after some discussion regarding the possibility of sending Russia and America to war, and after Cole tells them that self-defense is not ‘war,’ the Misfit units move towards Kaffarov’s villa, with the intent of continuing their set mission. Along the way, the Russian airborne soldiers put up heavy resistance, killing or incapacitating many of the Americans, and disabling or destroying many of the vehicles. By the time Blackburn, his squad, and Cole reach the end of the ground resistance by destroying and killing most of the Russian unit, most of Misfit has been disabled.

Suddenly, while the remaining marines are debating what to do next, a Russian Su-25TM streaks overhead, strafing the Marines. After an initial confusion, it is revealed that the necessary anti-air weapons – the FIM-92 Stingers – were on the Growler ITVs that were at the head and rear of the convoy. They make a dash for the ITVs at the front of the convoy, realizing it was too far to go back to the ones at the rear of the Convoy, moving from cover to cover as the Su-25 makes passes at them. Finally, Blackburn obtains a Stinger and manages to bring down the Russian fighter. However, he learns that on the aircraft’s last pass, Christian Matkovic and Steve Campo were both killed. In spite of all this, Cole is undeterred, driving a wedge between him and Montes.

  • Misfit company rides a jeep en route to Kaffarov’s Villa; as they close in on the valley, Christian Matkovic awakens and remarks that in the thirty-four minutes he’s been sleeping, he was dreaming about a vanilla milkshake. Players have wondered whether or not this means anything: for me, it only shows that he’s open about what he thinks, although whether this line connects to the events at mission’s end is not so clear.

  • For this mission, the primary weapon is my favourite assault rifle, the Heckler & Koch HK416: also known as the M416 in Battlefield 3, it has similar damage to the other assault rifles, moderate recoil and a reasonably quick reload. It’s the weapon I favour as the assault class in multiplayer owing to its effectiveness at medium to longer ranges: sticking a rifle scope on it practically turns this into a marksman rifle with a thirty-round capacity.

  • The campaign version of the M416 is equipped with an ACOG scope and under-barrel grenade launcher. Earlier, a large number of Russian paratroopers had just landed in the valley, prompting the squad to have some reservations about crossing through to reach the other side.

  • The skies were sunny earlier, but a thickening cloud layer gives the map a very washed out, grey feeling. This map appears very similar to Caspian Border, having the same radio tower asset, although the multiplayer map has nicer skies. A long time ago, I always felt that the multiplayer aspect of a shooter was designed to supplement the campaign: most of the effort would go into the campaign, and the multiplayer would feature re-purposed maps. Of course, games have been getting more and more complex: in some shooters, it feels like the campaign is simply a proof-of-concept for the multiplayer.

  • The M320 grenade launcher makes a rare appearance in the campaign, although its effective radius is quite small, reducing its effectiveness as an anti-infantry weapon. As an assault class, I prefer using the med kits, since that increases survivability.

  • The M16A3 makes a brief appearance, although given that it’d be better to take on enemies from afar in this mission, sticking to the M416 and its ACOG sight is probably the better idea.

  • The SMAW is one of the two anti-vehicle weapons in the multiplayer, performing identically to the RPG-7 and able to disable a tank with two shots. While an AT4 was used briefly back during “Operation Swordbreaker”, it never appears in the multiplayer. Here, I think two shots will suffice against the BMP-2s that show up.

  • Despite being the most open of all the missions in Battlefield 3, “Rock and a Hard Place” is still quite linear, being driven by Cole’s push to get to the other side. I paused the game here on Christmas Eve for dinner, came back after enjoying some cream puffs, and finished the mission before retiring for the night. I beat Battlefield 3 on Christmas Day, 2013, and would begin playing the multiplayer in earnest after that.

  • The appearance of an SU-25 attack aircraft results in audible fear from Misfit company: having survived this much, an attack jet appears seemingly out of nowhere and strafes the squad. Carelessness about cover can lead to instant death, although the cannon should be powerful enough to annihilate the cover we do see on the bridge.

  • I only wish the stinger and its Russian counterpart were this effective against jets in multiplayer: I’ve disabled only a handful of vehicles using them, and even though I’ve got the SOFLAM now, it doesn’t seem like any of the engineers are willing to use their Javelins to take down enemy air vehicles. I have no pictures of me using the Stinger missile against the Russian fast air, but after I find the Stinger and down the enemy jet, half the squad is down.

It was Christmas Eve when I finally reached “Rock and a Hard Place”: I had actually gotten to the point where the SMAW was needed to take out enemy vehicles, and I was called upstairs for a Christmas Eve dinner with lamb steak and lobster, served with a side of winter vegetables and a baked potato. “Rock and a Hard Place” may be a Christmas Eve mission set during the day, but it is also one of the darker missions, as it reveal’s Cole’s nature. Despite the landing of an overwhelming Russian paratrooper force, Cole insists on crossing the valley to reach Kaffarov’s villa with the aim of taking him down. While the end result would be expected to be beneficial, Cole is motivated by personal gain: successfully completing the mission would have probably yielded a promotion. This forms the motivation for Cole to fight against overwhelming odds, and at the end, Campo and Matkovic are killed by Russian close-air support. While it may initially seem disjoint, the outcome of this mission acts as a grim reminder of the cost associated with reckless advancement, “unhindered by emotion”. We’ve already heard this phrase elsewhere before, but its significance in Battlefield 3‘s context won’t become apparent until the next mission, “Kaffarov”, which is incidentally, my most favourite mission in the campaign. I’ll be returning on short order (within a week or so) to finish up Battlefield 3.

Battlefield 3- Night Shift

“The war for this city is nearly over, and we are gonna end it today.” — Cole, briefing Campo and Blackburn

Henry Blackburn and Steve Campo are on a building overlooking the Misfit’s LZ. Blackburn is ordered to take out the lights. Throughout the rooftops, the player then needs to protect Cole and the squad from PLR forces across the streets. After Cole reaches to the next street, Blackburn and Campo go down on the street level. In these events, the player must avoid contact with the PLR as it is required for the player to sneak through checkpoints – from alleys up to overpasses. When you reach another rooftop, you are again required to secure Cole’s team. Blacknurn then goes down a few buildings and finds the place where Jonathan Miller was executed, before gunning their way down to another sniping position, to assist with Misfit teams’s assault on Al-Bashir’s presumed location. It takes several enemy waves as the Misfits search the location. After fending off the PLR, Al-Bashir tries to escape in a vehicle, the Blackburn sprints to the top of a nearby building and shoots out the tires to Al-Bashir’s vehicle, disabling it and incapacitating him.

Blackburn and Campo then go to a mall for cover, fending off the oncoming PLR forces until they can be extracted with Al-Bashir. Afterwards, when extracted by a V-22 Osprey, on the verge of death after a medical injection, he then tells Blackburn information about Solomon, and his plan to detonate the two remaining nukes and how he was betrayed by Solomon. Al-Bashir then dies, while Campo and Blackburn check his cellular phone for extra intel.

  • Alright…it’s been exactly a month since I last wrote about Battlefield 3, so let’s pick things up from where I left off last time and get started. First things first: high above Tehran, the graphics look beautiful, and the opening atmospherics are in the right places at the mission’s opening. There’s a rainstorm, and the first goal is to kill some lights so a V-22 Osprey can drop off some Marines.

  • The IRNV scope provides visibility under low light conditions and only makes a few appearances in the campaign. In the multiplayer, I’ve unlocked it for several of my favourite weapons, although I am typically found in bright maps at close quarters, preferring the Kobra RDS for all of my engagements. The IRNV scope was altered a few times for competitive balance, making it useless at ranges greater than 20 meters after one infamous patch, although this was remedied slightly in September 2012.

  • I don’t spend nearly enough time as the recon class with the conventional loadouts: there is a learning curve to sniping in Battlefield 3, adding realism in that real-world sniping is incredibly difficult. Most of my deaths in multiplayer come from the assault or engineer class: I am only occasionally killed by snipers, contrasting Bad Company 2, where I die frequently at the hands of the infamous “bush wookies” and take great joy in shredding one at close range with my LMG.

  • The mission takes on a more repetitive feel after the initial sniping mission and the player needs to descend to ground level to make their way to the next destination. In “Night Shift”, the secondary weapon is the Heckler and Koch MP7; it has one of the highest firing rates in the game and is unlocked for multiplayer upon reaching a co-op score of 37000. The MP7 has a very large horizontal recoil and is inaccurate at long ranges, but it excels as a close-quarters weapon, like the other personal defense weapons.

  • Anyone who has driven at night on a rainy or snowing night will attest that real life has a lot of glare, dust particles and smudging. Before I forget to mention it, the player is equipped with a M40A5 in this mission as their primary weapon. The campaign gives one much more ammunition, and the choice of any weapon combinations, turning a good player into an unstoppable destruction machine. For obvious balance reasons, the multiplayer lowers the player’s ammunition capacity and health, as well as allowing only one primary weapon, such that players depend on other teammates.

  • Lightning from a thunderstorm occasionally lights up the scenery. In this mission, both of Blackburn’s weapons are suppressed, making this a stealth mission. However, the atmospherics in this level lack the same immersiveness as does Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare‘s “All Ghillied Up”; I first played the latter two summers ago, and no other modern military shooter even comes close to matching the feelings that mission evokes in me.

  • Blackburn eventually reaches the room where Miller was executed, although by this point in time, nothing remains of that execution. Even though there’s no one here, this site feels a little eerie now because we know what had went down here.

  • This level is almost dark enough to feel like a horror movie, although because one is armed to the teeth with a diverse array of weapons, the effectiveness of various ghosts and spirits would probably decline because the reaction to being confronted with such is to pump it full of hot metal. This is partially why most horror movies strip away weapons: to ensure that the characters are most vulnerable.

  • After providing sniper support for the Marines below, Al-Bashir attempts to escape on a vehicle. The game will switch the player automatically over to the MP7 after, and it took me several tries to shoot the tires off his vehicle, owing to how dark and sudden this scene was. In the end, I made it, otherwise, there wouldn’t be a next post about “Rock and a Hard Place”.

  • The last part of the mission is to defend Al-Bashir, who was injured from the car crash, until extraction occurs. During this time, wave after wave of PLR show up, and stealth stops being a significant factor. It’s time to ditch the MP7 and pick any weapon of one’s choice to fight back the onslaught. Once the map quiets down, there’s an exit to the side of the mall: it took me nearly ten minutes to find it the first time because it was so dark.

The last time I did a Battlefield 3 talk, it was over a month ago. The last time I saw a mission in a game also called “Night Shift”, I was playing 007 Nightfire, and the aim of that mission was to infiltrate an office tower to secure intel surrounding Phoenix International’s dealings. This time, the goal is to land a group of Marines on the ground to secure a high-value target, Al-Bashir. Set during the nighttime, the mission is very dark, and begins with a fun but short-lived segment involving shooting out the lights to the landing zone using the M40A5 with IRNV scope, straight pull bolt and a suppressor. I have yet to earn this gun and its attachments for myself in the multiplayer, but it’s quite an entertaining weapon to use, and the IRNV scope makes the weapon well-suited for the very dark environments seen in “Night Shift”. The mission, however, slowly starts to wear on as time passes, being a very repetitive series of tasks that involve providing covering fire for other Marine squads, then meeting up with other units to assault additional positions, ending with a nighttime firefight with the PLR after Al-Barshir is captured. At the very end, there was some difficulty in finding the exit. When everything is said and done, I would consider “Night Shift” to be similar to “Operation Guillotine” as one of the weaker missions owing to the comparatively duller scenery throughout the later parts of the mission, and tedium in engaging the PLR forces. However, after this mission, Battlefield 3‘s campaign picks up again come “Rock and a Hard Place”.

Battlefield 3- Fear No Evil

“Part of growing up is accepting the inevitability of death. The inevitability, Mr. Miller, of death.” — Solomon talking to Miller

Anvil 3-3 and 3-4 reach Tehran, with the goal of rescuing Misfit team. They try to make contact with Misfit but are unable to do so owing to the buildings blocking their radio signal. As the convoy nears the bank, they find that the main road is blocked by rubble. They turn to a narrow alley, and Miller is asked to take up the driver’s role. Upon exiting the alleyway, the convoy is ambushed by the PLR, who manage to destroy Anvil 3-3. To escape the ambush, Miller Drives the M1A2 into a building exiting on the roadway near the bank. After taking down three T-72s and several PLR infantry men, Miller reaches the bank. However, his tank is hit by a Javelin captured by the PLR, which immobilises it. At this range, Anvil finally makes radio contact with Misfit 1-3: the latter informs Miller that they have captured a Russian portable nuke and must secure it before the PLR reclaims it. Eventually, Saint 4-0 arrives in order to extract Misfit and safely transport the nuke. Anvil requests to be evacuated with Misfit company, as their tank is no longer operational. However, Saint 4-0 denies the request, as they are full from the previous MED-EVAC. After Misfit company is safely in the air, Anvil 3-4 is informed that QRF will arrive in 15 minutes. Despite Miller’s efforts to repel the PLR onslaught with the 50-cal, they are overrun and captured by the PLR. The mission ends with a short monologue from Faruk Al-Bashir, and Solomon subsequently executes MIller.

  • Unlike “Thunder Run”, “Fear no Evil” is sinister. I’d feel safer with some Chobham armour between myself and the surroundings, and sure enough, Miller is asked to get back into the tank by a crewmate.

  • I’m not being lazy: my policy is that shorter campaign missions only have five images. “Fear no Evil” resonated with me for several reasons despite its reduced length, and the first mood it evoked in me was a reminder of what happened back in my second undergraduate year, where I tried to cling on to a passing grade for dear life in a data structures course. By “passing grade”, I refer to the minimum grade my department has set for honours students.

  • According to those who’ve taken the time to try, if players can last long enough against the PLR after covering for Misfit’s extraction, a squad of invincible PLR will appear to trigger the end of the mission. On a note completely unrelated to Battlefield 3, my new printer just died, setting the record for “shortest time a printer has remained operational” to just eight days. The previous record was held by a Canon printer, which lasted seven months until it died last Saturday: this means I get to take an excursion to Memory Express and see if they can’t sort things out.

  • I was just here a few missions ago with the FGM-148 Javelin. I’ve finally unlocked the SOFLAM now for use in multiplayer, but poor communication means that no one on my team is willing to use their Javelins (which I haven’t unlocked yet) to take down the jets that menace my team. Of course, the jets are surprisingly fun to fly: I’ve been practising on empty servers and have recently gotten a few kills, although I’m a short way from unlocking the heat-seeking missiles.

  • It is immensely painful to hear the crew’s “We need backup, now!”, see the screen cut to black as Miller is knocked out by a PLR solider, and then hear on the radio chatter “Hang in there, son, we’re coming to get you”. The kind of situational unfairness is reminiscent of Angel Beats!, where Otanashi dies seconds before a rescue crew rescues him and the other trapped passengers following a cave-in that stops his train while he’s en route to writing an exam for medical school. I might come back at some point in the future to do another talk on Angel Beats! later, since I had the opportunity to re-watch it, and it, perhaps unsurprisingly, gave me perspective with what’s happening in my own reality at present.

The eighth mission is the second shortest mission in the campaign (“Semper Fidelis” is the shortest mission, and if that’s not the case, then “Fear no Evil” ties with “Semper Fidelis” for the title of “shortest mission”), being very dark in nature and ending with Miller’s execution at Solomon’s hands. Reflecting this, the lighting is gloomy, with wrecked buildings and rubble everywhere. The entire mission is cast in a pessimistic light, though: difficulties mean that Anvil company are the only unit available to rescue Misfit, and even against overwhelming odds, Anvil pushes through to secure an extraction for the latter. Even though Anvil company succeeds, it comes at the ultimate cost, and the impact goes double when the player realises that for the control they have in Battlefield 3, they are oftentimes reduced to being an observer. This returns to the whole notion of atmospherics: the highly linear campaign in Battlefield 3 puts the player in the eyes of those involved in the struggle to stop Solomon from detonating the nuclear warheads; although one is quite capable of moving around and shooting the bad guys, in the grand scheme of things, they are quite powerless to control things beyond them. I think that by this point in time, the linear, scripted nature of Battlefield 3‘s campaign might perhaps be a clever way of reminding users that sometimes, actions may be futile in the long run, regardless of one’s determination to do follow their tasks through.