The Infinite Zenith

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Tag Archives: Shooter

Destiny 2: A Review and Reflection on a Complimentary Bungie Experience

“I am a Ghost; more importantly, I’m your Ghost. And you are one of the Traveler’s chosen. You are a Guardian. This is your destiny.” —Ghost

Earlier in November, Activision and Bungie made their RPG-shooter, Destiny 2, free of charge for all players with a account. Bungie’s project following Halo, Destiny and Destiny 2 is set in a future where humans began colonising the solar system and underwent nearly seven centuries of technological advancement brought on by the arrival of a mysterious entity known as the Traveller. This period became known as the Golden Age, although it was brought to a halt by the Collapse, which annihilated human colonies. Players take on the role of a Guardian, whose powers come from the Traveller’s Light duty is to save the Traveller and answer the threat of other aliens. In the original Destiny, players deal with the Vex, semi-organic androids. By the events of Destiny 2, the Cabal forces of the Red Legion, lead by Dominus Ghaul, assault the Last City and drain the Traveller of its Light. Players retrieve a shard of the Traveller to restore their Light, then travel to Titan to repel the Hive and rescue Commander Zavala, who reveals that the Cabal have a superweapon, The Almighty, that can incinerate suns. The Red Legion was sent to the Milky Way two years earleir, and Ghaul had overthrown the Cabal Emperor, planning to take control and use the Light to consolidate his rule. The player then makes their way to Nessus to find Cayde-6, who will be instrumental in taking back the Last City. Ikora Rey is on Io, and after all of the key individuals are present, the player is sent to destroy the Almighty. Returning to the Last City, players confront Ghaul and defeat him in battle. Ghaul attempts to manifest as an ethereal being, but the Traveller reawakens and kills Ghaul. This is where my time in Destiny 2 ends; after the campaign, Cabal vessels appear under exiled Emperor Calus’ command, and Destiny 2‘s endgame begins. Like The Division, Destiny 2 is ultimately about collecting awesome gear and constantly levelling up one’s power level, similarly to how one can bring their Gear Score in The Division up to its cap.

The core enjoyment I’ve gotten from playing through Destiny 2 was being able to experience a very Halo-like game on the PC: ever since Bungie decided to shift their focus, the iterations of Halo past Halo 2 never made it to PC. Thus, when it was announced that Destiny 2 wuold be complimentary on PC, my interest was piqued. The game is a hefty 80 GB to download, and I encountered some installation problems, but once Destiny 2 was set up, I was blown away by the environments. Destiny 2 is visually spectacular: during the first mission where I needed to fight off waves of Red Legion in the Last City, the scenery was stunning, and remained very expansive throughout the game’s outdoors segments. From the forests of Earth to the exotic looking environment in Nessus, Bungie has nailed the environments. There are also many dungeon-like sections, as well, during which players must fight in narrow corridors and chambers deep underground, or in the bowels of a Cabal vessel. Destiny 2 itself is very similar to Halo, with the lore, gunplay and story to match: in particular, the Cabal themselves are familiar, resembling the Brutes of Halo. While there is no Master Chief or Halo Array, there is a Guardian with uncommon powers and a sun-destroying superweapon. The scales of the environments and stakes are similarly high, in typical Bungie fashion. Destiny 2 is, in short, a spiritual successor to Halo on the PC platform, albeit one that encourages replay value through collecting powerful gear rather than attempting to unlock various medals in the multiplayer mode, and overall, it’s a rather enjoyable experience.

Screenshots and Commentary

  • The download for Destiny 2 was a massive 80 GB and took over two hours to download. I was very surprised to learn that Destiny 2 was, from November 2 to 18, complimentary: Bungie was intended to promote their Forsaken expansion and as incentive for players to get into Foresaken, made the base game free for a period. Despite how busy things were, I decided that with a Triple-A title available, it would be worthwhile to at least pick the game up and give it a spin.

  • My gaming desktop is five and a half years old now, and its age is showing somewhat. However, thanks to maintenance, and the fact that I upgraded the GPU a few years ago, it’s managing to hold its own, running Destiny 2 at a very smooth 60 FPS, and I encountered no difficulty in getting through the game. The first mission was breathtaking, seeing the player fight the hordes of Red Legion Cabal in the city with massive capital ships overhead.

  • Unlike the Elites of Halo, who are honourable and build elegant, smooth structures, the Cabal are concerned with conquest and power. These massive aliens resemble the Brutes of Halo and are the main antagonists of Destiny 2, and their constructs are similarly utilitarian in nature, standing in contrast with the interiors of Covenant ships. The first mission ends with the player being stripped of their powers and near-death after Ghaul takes from the Traveller its Light. Staggering through the burning city, the player finds themselves out in the wilderness, with Ghost warning them that without the Light, death is permanent.

  • The run through the wilderness with an SMG is set to Journey, an incredible song that captures the desperation and hopelessness of the situation now that the Light has gone from the player. It is rare that a song can evoke such a strong positive feeling in players, and universally, the soundtrack is counted as being one of the best in a video game: Michael Salvatori returns from Halo as one of the composers, and the music so incredibly enhances the atmospherics of Destiny 2 that it is difficult to imagine what the game would be like without it.

  • While I was doing my hike at Grassi Lakes a week after picking up Destiny 2, the soundtrack came to my mind as I climbed up ice-covered trails along a frozen waterfall up to the lakes, and then again as I scrambled along a rocky hillside. The scope of the topics covered in this blog may imply its owner is quite inactive, but I spend a fair bit of my time with lifting, martial arts and walking around – hikes are reserved as special events primarily because of the fuel prices it takes to get out to the mountains. I believe in balance, and I exercise with the same frequency that I game.

  • There are a great many underground, dungeon-like missions in Destiny 2: the opening and closing missions of the game are Destiny 2 at its finest, and the middle missions are very repetitive. By comparison, The Division‘s missions have enough diversity in their environments so that they are a bit more varied: overall, The Division‘s campaign is more fun, but Destiny 2 has more epic environments and music when the game does come through during its beginning and ending.

  • Throughout most of Destiny 2, I ran primarily with a burst-fire rifle for my kinetic weapon: because of the way damage is dealt in Division 2, having an automatic rifle meant burning through ammunition very quickly. Ammunition drops very frequently, but I prefer the precise damage that burst-fire rifles deal against enemies: one or two bursts will drop any enemy provided one’s aim is true, and the weapon’s power level is sufficient.

  • After a day of hiking, I returned home to prepare some vegetables ahead of a raclette party, then while waiting for the party to start, pushed further in Destiny 2. The occasional public event adds a bit of spice to the game, and it’s fun to join random other players in blasting the open world bosses that show up. Because I had not the time to do a campaign mission, I ended up doing some public events and a side mission prior to raclette.

  • Despite a smaller turn out this time around, it was an excellent evening that saw the enjoyment of fondue, sausage, shrimps, raclette-style cheese-mushrooms-peppers-and-potatoes, all the while listening to hilariously bad music while waiting for the food to cook. Once we finished off most of the food, the party shifted downstairs to a card game. It’s been a while since I’ve been to a raclette, and these events are always fun. For the duration of the party, my worries evaporated, and I ate, drank and relaxed as I’d not done so for quite some time.

  • Here, I am on an arcology on Titan: the largest of Saturn’s moons, Titan is presented as an ocean world with large platforms in Destiny 2, a far cry from the methane-filled moon seen in Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare. However, most of the missions happen indoors, and amidst the platforms and machinery of Titan, the arcology proved an impressive space to move through.

  • The Hive are the enemy encountered on Titan: these insect-like beings are similar to the Flood, especially in how they alter their environment to have a very organic composition. In Destiny 2, there are no specific weapons that work more effectively against the different alien species, and the Hive, while numerous, do not fight the same way the Flood do. One of the more interesting aspects of Halo was that fighting the Flood required a very specific loadout, and so, when one encountered both Covenant and Flood, it was a matter of constantly switching weapons to remain effective.

  • In reality, Nessus is a centaur (a small rocky body with an unstable orbit between the outer planets) only some fifty-seven kilometres across. Destiny 2‘s portrayal of Nessus is a vibrant world with large, geometric constructs attributed to terraforming. It is here that players must rescue Cayde-6, and from a character perspective, the Nessus missions were among the most fun because of Failsafe, a Golden Age AI that sustained damage and as a result, has split personalities.

  • Cycling between a shamelessly cheerful and apathetic personality, Failsafe’s dialogues were very entertaining, bringing to mind GLaDOS of Portal 2. Fighting the Vex here was straightforward for the most part, although I am rather less fond of the missions that involve jumping onto electrified platforms high in the air, where any mistake will involve falling to the surface and necessitate a long ascent back up.

  • Upon returning to Earth, players must return into the dark forest and recover a second shard, which returns the Gunslinger ability. Up until now, I’d been running the Arcstrider, which gave access to an electric staff that dealt massive melee damage. As a Gunslinger, I have access to a flaming revolver that dealt up to ten times more damage per shot than any of my other weapons.

  • Io is the next destination in the campaign after one retrieves the Gunslinger ability: it is a barren world set under a majestic sky dominated by Jupiter. The real Io is a volcanic moon whose geological activity is a result of tidal forces between Jupiter and its other moons. As a result, the moon has many active volcanoes that can spew sulfur plumes 500 kilometres high. Post terraforming in Destiny 2, Io is more hospitable and is home to several mines.

  • Here, I run with an exotic pulse rifle with void properties. This burst-fire weapon proved surprisingly fun to use against the Taken, and on critical kills, could create explosions that damaged or destroyed nearby Taken, as well. Unlike The Division, exotic items in Destiny 2 can be acquired prior to hitting the level cap: I picked up exotic body armour as well as a reward for one of the campaign missions. The approach Destiny 2 takes with exotic items means that as one levels up and acquire more powerful items, the exotics picked up earlier become less viable.

  • The European Dead Zone in Destiny 2 has some of the most beautiful landscapes out of anywhere in the game, and originally, I planned to uninstall Destiny 2 once I’d finished the campaign so that I could recoup the 80 GB of disk space that Destiny 2 requires. However, landscapes such as these offer a compelling case to at least go back and finish off some of the adventures that I’d skipped out on – I only completed adventures in order to get new gear and raise my level up to the point where I could continue with the campaign missions, but it would be nice to revisit some of Destiny 2‘s more picturesque locations again.

  • Upon returning to the EDZ at level fifteen, Destiny 2‘s campaign really kicks into high gear, and it is this part of the game that truly shines. The mission opens with players being granted a Drake tank that handles similarly to Halo‘s Scorpion MBT, differing in that the Drake has an ordinance launcher as opposed to a coaxial machine gun. It was superbly satisfying to blast enemy infantry and tanks alike in this mission, and the mission distinctly feels like the opening stages of Halo 2‘s Metropolis mission.

  • After moving through the tunnels of Earth, players return back into the open, where a Cabal ship is docked. Using the Drake’s main cannons, I blast the shields and couplings, keeping the vessel grounded to end the mission. The next phase is to board the ship and fight one’s way to the bridge to eliminate the ship’s commander, before taking a smaller vessel and make for the Almighty.

  • Compared to The DivisionDestiny 2‘s menu UI was not quite as intuitive for me, especially when it came to skill and inventory management. Despite this, I managed to get by okay, scrapping old weapons and equipping items that worked with my playstyle. Here, in the bowels of the Cabal ship, I use a marksman rifle to engage distant enemies. The marksman rifles and burst-fire rifles are my preferred weapons of choice, providing enough firepower to deal with enemies at most ranges. There are weapons that use special ammunition, as well, but ammunition scarcity means that equipping these weapons would limit players to one primary weapon should they run out.

  • For my part, even if the shotguns and sniper rifles are powerful, I did not tend to equip them. One of the challenges I had in Destiny 2 early on was simply knowing where to go. I recall that in my first mission into the salt mines, I entered the wrong building and tunnels. By this point in the campaign, however, navigation was not of a particular concern: using the Ghost and the waypoints provided was sufficient to get through most places without becoming lost.

  • The heavy weapons of Destiny 2 use a special kind of ammunition and can deal massive damage against bosses. While comparatively rarer to come by, special ammunition still is fairly common, and I make extensive use of belt-fed grenade launchers to make short work of groups of Phalanxes (when there are too many of them to focus on shooting the centre of their shields). At one point, I wielded a sword that could defeat any non-boss opponent in one shot. Like the energy sword of Halo, the swords are constrained by ammunition, but they still act as standard melee weapons when depleted.

  • The fight on the Almighty was a stunner of a mission: set in the punishing atmosphere around the sun, it’s a gripping mission that sees the player fight their way across the weapon to destabilise it and set it up for destruction, in a mission mirroring Halo‘s The Maw. The vastness of the level is apparent, and when Destiny 2 is at its best, its missions are more memorable than those of The Division‘s.

  • While revolvers, known in-game as hand cannons, are incredibly powerful and can one-shot common enemies with a well-placed round to the head (or weak spot), I often find myself fighting hordes of enemies. Curiosity, however, leads me to continue wielding them, and they are quite effective, although for longer range combat, the scout rifles tend to be more effective.

  • The last time I played a game involving stopping a superweapon capable of incredible destruction would have been Halo CE: Bungie is fond of their superweapons, and the Almighty is a Cabal weapon that uses magnetic fields to destablises the forces holding a star together, causing gravity to exceed the thermal pressure of a star. The resultant explosion is powerful enough to level an entire star system, and the Cabal are said to have destroyed numerous systems in this way.

  • Notably, the Almighty is a weapon the Cabal have constructed with their own technology, standing in contrast with the Covenant, who only aim to use the Halo array. Once players destroy the cooling system on the Almighty, the weapon destablises and destroys itself. The threat of total solar annihilation is gone, and now, players turn their attention to Ghaul, the remaining loose end in Destiny 2.

  • Returning to Earth, players fight through the Last City in a bid to stop Ghaul. Once Destiny 2 picks up, its campaign does not hold back in terms of entertainment value, and more so than any other part of the game, save the opening, I was totally engrossed in this final mission, to the point of finishing it in a very short time span. The final mission uses the same song that was heard during the escape from the war beasts in Destiny 2‘s earlier sections, likely meant to signify the beginning of the end and the notion of cycles.

  • For folks looking to pick up Destiny 2, I’m not sure whether or not it will be free again; the opportunity to pick up the game on ended on November 18. Players looking to get Destiny 2 now will also need to buy the Forsaken expansion, which raises the level cap and brings new items to the table for players to unlock. On the whole, since I got the game for free, I’ve got no complaints about it; it was quite entertaining, although at present, I’m not sure whether or not I’ll have the time to continue playing for new gear the same way I did for The Division, and so, I’ve got no plans to buy the Forsaken expansion.

  • The final fight with Ghual is titanic and fun: it’s no different than squaring off against the Zerstörers in Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus, in that sure aim and liberal application of the Guardian’s powers will make short work of Ghaul who, for all of his bluster and showboating, is still mortal. With Destiny 2 in the books, the question of what I’m doing now is likely to be raised. First and foremost, I will be writing about The World in Colours now that the ninth episode is out, and then turn my focus to Battlefield V, which I decided to buy.

It has been quite some time since I’ve played a Bungie game on PC, with Halo 2 PC being the last Bungie title I’ve completely experienced the campaign of. Like The Division, having proper gear makes a significant difference in one’s performance, and players will find themselves swapping out gear constantly as they level up. Because Destiny 2 is a shooter at its core, having good weapons make all of the difference: players have access to one kinetic weapon, one energy weapon and one power weapon. This is reminiscent of Halo, where kinetic weapons dealt more damage against unshielded opponents and energy weapons were effective for stripping away shields. Power weapons are excellent for boss fights and dealing with large groups of enemies. For the most part, weapons have manageable recoil, and my go-to weapons were the burst-fire weapons, which handle in a manner not unlike that of the Battle Rifle. Short bursts of fire were more than sufficient for dealing with enemies, and interspersed with the appropriate use of one’s super ability and power weapons, Destiny 2‘s campaign was rather fun. For many players, the real fun begins here: advancing one’s power level by completing end-game activities and acquiring increasingly awesome gear. However, as much as I’ve enjoyed Destiny 2‘s campaign, I believe that my journey ends here for the present; the prospect of spending hours acquiring items is admittedly a daunting one. Having said this, I am very glad that Activision and Bungie did make Destiny 2 free: I never expected to have a chance to go through Bungie’s newest shooter, which is likely the closest I’ll come to playing a contemporary Halo-like game in the PC for the foreseeable future.

A Jockey is riding Mio: Left 4 Dead 2 and K-On! mods

Six months ago, I got Left 4 Dead 2 on a sale for five dollars on Steam on March 20. That turned out to be quite an eventful day, as spring was beginning, and my copy of Aimer’s RE:I AM had arrived. I had also received an NSERC for the then upcoming summer. At the time, I was up to my eyeballs in software engineering projects, databases assignments and an honours thesis, so I resolved not to play my new acquisition until my semester had ended. While that turned out to be a wise decision (as my GPA for the year attests), once the summer began, I was occupied with Crysis and Battlefield: Bad Company 2; paired with my research work, I did not have time to play Left 4 Dead 2, save an introductory game I played with a friend. This would change, however, on June 13; it was the day of my convocation, and I was taking the morning off from research. I decided to give Left 4 Dead 2 a try, and was immediately enthralled by the game. The premise is simple enough: shoot one’s way with a team through hordes of infected using a combination of strats and teamwork to reach a safe room and reach the extraction point.

  • The addition of K-On! concert posters adds a very nice touch to the game, suggesting that the Houkago Tea Time girls were set for a glorious concert before the zombie apocalypse happened. It would be possible to write an entirely custom story to accommodate this, but maybe now is not the time.

  • One of the absolute most amusing aspects of the K-On! mods is that, if using the skin mods and name change mod, it is possible to have a jockey riding Mio, which, of course, has hilarious implications. Aside from the fact that I’d like to ride Mio, this phrase was sufficiently humorous as to lend its name to this post’s title.

  • My preferred play-style in L4D2 is to play as the sniper, hanging back and clearing up large groups of infected from a safe distance to give my squad a chance to take down any high-value targets, such as the spitters, jockeys, chargers, smokers, boomers and tanks. As for witches, that is something I ask my team to handle, since the scoped rifles aren’t suited for taking down witches quickly.

  • There is nothing quite like tearing apart tanks and chargers while rocking out to the absolute best of K-On!. The fact that electric guitars are in fact usable weapons in the native game is icing on the cake.

  • Azu-nyan! Azusa replaces Zoey in this mod and makes several appearances during the game, providing sniper fire for the other survivors at some points in the game. My L4D2 experience will be complete once I find an M60 in the campaign.

The game is incredibly entertaining, but I eventually recalled one thing that would make the game even more entertaining. I had seen mods for the game that added substance to it, and recalling that K-On! mods were avaliable, I went about installing the mods that replaced the survivors with Yui, Ritsu, Mio and Mugi. Another mod changed the UI’s names to accurately reflect the new character skins. Lastly, I added on a special mod that changed the music during the concert sequence to classic K-On! hits such as U & I and No Thank You!. Taken together, one of the most acclaimed games around had just gotten even more amusing to play: now, I was fighting through endless zombies with a high school band who desired nothing more than to make music and enjoy sweets after their classes had ended. It adds a certain twist to Left 4 Dead 2: while the unmodded game was fun, the modded game simply becomes a riot. Naturally, K-On! haters are using the three dozer build and can be ignored, and I should probably get around to formally explain what the three dozer build itself is.

Battlefield 4 Requirements Announced

News has finally reached my ears concerning the system requirements surrounding DICE’s Battlefield 4; the minimum and recommended system requirements were released today for the next installment in the Battlefield series, certainly surprising me. Of course, now that we have some definitive details surrounding the requirements, players can decide whether or not they’ll aim to upgrade their hardware to accommodate this game. As per the official chart supplied by the official Battlefield Twitter account, the specifications at minimum make the game accessible to older systems, but like Metro: Last Light and Crysis 3, the recommended requirements are quite steep.

  • The system requirements put my old XPS 420 below what can run Battlefield 4, but my current custom rig is mission capable, minus the fact that I’ve “only” got 2 GB of graphics memory. This struck me as a particularly strange requirement, but if this chart is representing the recommended settings as optimal settings, I’m going to be ready.

  • These screenshots come from the trailer “Angry Seas”, released long ago and showcasing some of the different gameplay elements, including interchangeability between iron/red-dot sights and optics, as well as ocean-borne combat.

  • Even though these images aren’t the sharpest in the world, having been taken from a 1080p version of the trailer, the lighting and details in the trailer are indicative of some incredible graphics exceeding what Battlefield 3 had. It appears the UI will remain an unobtrusive grey, and that the blue filter has been removed, giving the game more realistic lighting. On another note, I hope that 1) the water effects have been improved so that walking through water will cause splashes, and 2) the multiplayer looks as good as the campaign.

  • If the campaign proves to be satisfactory, I will definitely buy the game (well, maybe not at full price: I’ll probably wait until the price is reduced to forty dollars). I typically watch YouTube videos of gameplay from people such as TheRadBrad, and then subsequently decide whether or not a game is worth buying. One of the exceptions is Halo 4 and Skyrim: the former, I couldn’t buy despite getting good vibes from the game on the virtue that I’ve not an Xbox 360 (I’m a PC gamer through and through), and the latter, I bought because I wanted a high-fantasy open-world game and had my heart set on it.

  • Thanks to digital distribution, I am content to wait around for the price to drop. I realise that EA’s Origin is the only service available for getting the game, but if Battlefield 4 has a good enough campaign, I’m willing to use it. Yes, I would buy the game for the campaign alone (once the price drops).

The massive disparity between the minimum requirements and the recommended requirements suggest that Battlefield 4 should be playable on anything from entry-level machines (with an older-but-still-somewhat-decent video card like the 2006-era GT 8800) to top-of-the-line beasts fielding SLI GTX Titans. These minimum requirements are similar to those required by Battlefield 3, while the recommended settings are upwards of two to three times greater. Of note is the fact that the GTX 660 or Radeon 7870 HD is the recommended GPU; except for specialised versions, both cards come with 2 GB of video memory, which will lead to questions of how computers equipped with either one of these video cards will perform, as they have sufficient stream processors and enough memory bandwidth to do so, but lack the minimum of 3 GB of video memory. Naturally, top of the line cards and the present-generation GTX 700 series cards should perform just fine. I imagine that at 1080p, I should be able to achieve at least 40 FPS in high settings with my current video card.

Battlefield 4 17-minute gameplay video released

Battlefield 4 is an upcoming first-person shooter video game developed by EA Digital Illusions CE (DICE) and published by Electronic Arts. The game, the 13th instalment in the franchise, is a sequel to 2011’s Battlefield 3. The single-player campaign will have the player controlling “Wrecker”, a member of Tombstone squad. His teammates include: squad leader SSgt. Dunn, second-in-command “Irish”, and combat medic “Pac”. The Gameplay Reveal trailer shows excerpts from the mission “Fishing in Baku”, which follows Tombstone’s efforts to escape from an urban location with vital intelligence. Please note that all screenshots were obtained from the 17-minute gameplay video.

  • Readers are probably thinking that “finally, those Girls und Panzer posts have come to an end!” I hate to disappoint, but I will be covering the rest of the OVAs as they are released. For now, posts will doubtlessly be a little more haphazard. As for Battlefield 4, the first thing I note is that the HUD is grey rather than blue. It is thus more low-key than the previous one, but what would really be great would be the capacity to switch between HUDs.

  • The graphics in Battlefield 4 initially appear to be a slightly improved version of what was seen in Battlefield 3. However, soon, subtle things like dust particles in the air and beautiful smoke animations convince observers that this is the power of the Frostbite 3 engine at work.

  • Remember the Battlefield 3 mission Rock and a hard placeFoliage rendering seems to have improved since then: if those rays shining through the canopy are rendered in real time, I’m going to start wondering if there is anything Frostbite 3 can’t do.

  • Take a look outside and ask yourself whether or not things look this nice. Once you pass under the elevated rail, a sky full of birds greets the viewer, and it is glorious.

  • The Frostbite 3 Engine will remain heavy on the lens flare. I might’ve spoken too soon about Frostbite 3: one minor complaint I have is the fact that water, while beautiful, does not ripple when stepped through. I am hoping that this is an alpha version of the game, and that the lack of water ripples will be rectified in the final product.

  • Assuming this 17-minute video is to be believed, BF4 will bring back the destructible environments that we love from Battlefield: Bad Company 2. In BF3, shooting at the environment, like walls and buildings, only caused cosmetic damages. If rumour is to be believed, small buildings can be destroyed by heavy arms fire or explosives, collapsing and killing anyone unfortunate enough to be inside when said collapse occurs.

  • According to most sources, BF4 is expected to take place predominantly in China, such as parts of Shanghai. I have not expressed this online, but I did state to close friends that if the Battlefield series were ever to be set in China, I would buy that game without any questions.

  • What happens next is an impressive, massive plume of black smoke. One of the things that makes BF4 noteworthy is the inclusion of female members of the armed forces. In BF3, the entire cast of the game was male: we live in the 21st century and have advanced far enough such that there are females in the armed forces: it is about time that DICE games reflect this.

  • Baku is presented to be a fairly cutting-edge city that, for all intents and purposes, is reminiscent of Dubai. The trailer depicts Tombstone fighting through a construction area, where older buildings appear to be in the process of being removed for new developments.

  • I shan’t say any more about the trailer, except that it can be watched here. I am inclined to pre-order this one: my past experience with Battlefield 3 was on a friend’s PC, and as my current machine runs a previous-generation video card, it was unable to play Battlefield 3 when it came out, but this may change very soon, as I aim to design a system that will be able to handle BF4 with a 1080p resolution at 60 FPS. This will also be a topic for another day; at the present, no specifics are known yet about either BF4 or this new system…

A 17-minute trailer was released on March 26 at the Game Developers Conference. EA’s Patrick Soderlund stated that Battlefield 4 would be ‘something special’, with the single player campaign expected to bring back the degrees of freedom that were absent from the third instalment. Choice is emphasised over linear pathways; the idea is that a player should be able to complete an objective in any number of ways, rather than one, fixed solution. Battlefield 4 will make use of Frostbite 3, a new engine that makes everything from the sand to explosions feel tangible. The game has only been stated to be released at some point in Fall 2013.

Girls und Panzer – A Thunder Run

“Hey Miller, you should collect that guy’s salary. You just did his job for him” — Miller’s tank Commander.

  • If  we were to actually field a Panzer IV in Thunder Run, the mission would end around 30 seconds in, after Miller’s crew-mates tell him to lose the toy dinosaur. Fortunately, we’re playing as an M1A2 operator.

Thunder Run is the seventh mission in Battlefield 3, set the Kavir Desert, and follows Jonathan Miller of the 1st Tank Battalion as they move into Tehran to rescue Henry Blackburn’s squad. During the course of the mission, Miller will either be manning the M1A2’s M2 Browning machine gun, driving the tank itself, and during one part of the mission, go on foot to clear a minefield.

  • The PLR will be equipped with T72 tanks, a Soviet-designed main battle tank that entered production in 1970. Armed with a 125 mm (4.9 in) 2A46 series main gun, the T72s have a larger calibre round, but its armour penetration capability is reduced. In game, this means that the player can take the odd hit or two without any catastrophic failure.

  • After disabling the first waves of PLR armour, Miller and company are tasked with taking out a BM-21 positition. The BM-21 is a Soviet truck-mounted 122 mm multiple rocket launcher, that is effective at shorter ranges: one battalion of eighteen launchers is able to deliver 720 rockets in a single volley. However, the system cannot be used in situations that call for pinpoint precision. As one of the tank operators note, they’re inaccurate, but are highly damaging nonetheless if they should connect.

  • Use of the M2 Browning 50-calibre machine gun is rather amusing: during the latter part of the mission, Miller’s company rolls down a freeway, engaging infantry and light vehicles rather than tanks. The quote from above comes from the point where Miller is able to detonate and clear a minefield.

For the time being, this will be the last of the posts with a Girls und Panzer designation. The anime is over, and I’ve had my fun exploring some of the more unconventional aspects that the anime has found itself sharing associations with. Regular posts resume immediately, of course.