Review by mathias_eichinger
The overview contains a picture which is really appropriate to the role and unit of the player character, while the text explains the situation at hand quite clearly. The overview is followed by a custom loading screen displaying another good UK-themed picture.
The intro starts with a discussion and the player's ears are treated with the right accents for the first time in this mission. Then it cuts over to some pretty intensive fighting scenes, all with appropriate camera angles, so nothing distracts from witnessing a well scripted intro.
The briefing contains many markers, but the map appears well arranged nontheless. The situation is clearly explained, and there even is a weapons selection, something you would not expect from the "grunt" impression the overview gives you. All objectives are added and ticked off correctly.
In line with the intro, the mission is also completely voiced, with each entity having an appropriate voice and accent. This means that all the UK personnel have a UK accent, the US airbase ATC sounds like he's coming from the southern USA, the Germans you can encounter early in the mission yell appropriate German commands and the Czechs seem to yell in Czech (at least to the non-Czech speaker).
While the mission is still a basic grunt mission, it maximizes variety in the tasks a grunt could fulfill. There are tasks like fixed defence of a static position that has an almost WWI feel to it, ad-hoc hostage rescues, the elimination of a key enemy asset that hinders the BLUFOR advance, hasty defence and a lot of house-to-house fighting at close quarters that is challenging but never ridiculously difficult. If the player does the right things in the mission, air support becomes available, making things a bit easier the moment the odds appear to be critically mounting.
You are never alone in the mission, the assets from the base join you in your fight, as are reinforcements, all with the relevant battle chatter, and the action can be heard and sometimes seen all around you, up to the finale, where all combined assets come into play at a critical point.
Some of the good scripting for the missions shows in the form of little, but useful extras: Hidden tasks may be discovered, the player has a first aid pack available, and there is an ammo truck which can be used for resupply or even for laying a minefield.
The outro follows a classic theme for closing missions, showing the advance of own units and the carnage that befell the enemy. All the camera angles are alright though, and while the outro is not terribly original it fits nicely to wrap up the mission.
There are many special things about the mission: First is the completely voiced status of the mission, which even details appropriate languages and accents. Immediately noticeable is enemy behaviour. Enemies fight well in confined spaces, flank you, appear from behind, exactly the way one could imagine fighting in a built up area.
Mission balancing is also a speciality which few mission authors get right, but SaOk does, balancing the amount of enemies with BLUFOR response.
Another goodie is the ammo truck which can provide for additional ammo and mines to help counter the vehicle threat.
A great, well balanced basic infantry mission that maximizes enjoyment of the infantry assault mission type with it's scripting, layout and immersion. Don't miss out to play this!