Review by Archangel Scream
There’s a good working brief, an overview without any clutter, and there is a limited choice of weapons if you find sniping with a scope too easy. There's also a good range of custom music used - some of which fits into the action superbly.
The basic premise is that you are a Soviet sniper in a town facing an assault from NATO forces. Starting on the roof, you are ideally placed for targeting, but a cursory glance of the set up shows that the Soviet positions really could do with improving – squads should be static and bracing by cover, rather than jogging around the open perimeter of the town. And when a squad of NATO special forces approach the mission builder has made the mistake makes the mistake of having them move far too openly. Better use of waypoints seems to be the main overall flaw here. This doesn’t affect the play as much as lessen the realism somewhat, but as the attack happens you’ll soon be engrossed.
The rooftop position is an inspired and considered choice – you are upon one of two buildings so close to each other you can jump across the roofs. Also, these are apartment blocks that came with Resistance, so you actually have the option of opening the door to the stairwell, to reach the ground level the safest way.
The attack itself has a pair of doomed NATO tanks riding onto pre-laid mines, and of course the spec ops already mentioned – from an opposite position. Your real concern, though, is the Chinook that drops two dozen paras directly over the town. Shooting them in mid-air with any accuracy is highly difficult, plus the more you loose off with your sniper rifle, the sooner you find yourself pinned by the attackers.
As you are engaged in trying to defeat this wave you are then called to rendez-vous with a BMP – dodging lead from any surviving NATO paras. While your poor comrades are left to face a further assault, you are called to evac to a chopper.
But the resistance have already moved in – escape has been thwarted. So you’re left to a somewhat overlong journey to regroup with another soviet troop, who you are then required to lead against the suspected location of the resistance base to secure your escape vehicle. This section is spoiled by too much travelling – really, the positions should have been closer to maximise tension.
On saying that, though, the worst points of this mission have been mentioned – generally, this is nice work with plenty of movement and variation, presenting differing challenges. The linear nature of the play is acceptable in such circumstance, though if you try to bolt for escape on foot you indeed have that option – but it has already been prepared for without unnecessary force.
Generally, this is a clean and competent mission, properly structured, with only small rough areas that frankly don't spoil gameplay.
There's some cutscene work involved in the mission and an end-outro. The camera work is fairly well done, though still rough in places, and the end-outro is just a little gratuitous though makes an important statement to the end of the mission which makes for a nice overall wrap to the package.
(Review Date: Oct 2002) This mission has many cutscenes, with a long intro and outro. It also has many surprises. Although experienced players might find it too easy, it is good for newer players who like a story well-told.
A decent and respectable mission worth playing, with much promise for even better missions following.