Review by Ozzie
Upon unzipping the mission it was clear to see that a lot of effort had been put into this mission. Included in the zip file were the mission and a readme, but also screenshots, a co-op version of the level and the open source version so that everyone could learn from his work. This made an immediate impression on me, as it was a sign that Toadlife (Paul Blair) had gone that extra mile here and had been nice enough to allow us to appreciate his work and learn from it using the open source version. After this good start I was eager to see if the mission would continue the high standard the author had already set.
The overview was well done, including a picture and a border, which looked very professional indeed. The accompanying description of the mission was short and to the point, including sufficient information with which to form a good idea of what the mission entailed.
The mission began with a short intro. The camera work was quite good, with the use of various viewpoints to show you and your team being taken to shore on a PBR. A few credits on the screen give it a very film-like beginning, which is quite a nice touch. The cutscene has been well timed in relation to the music, since the Intro fades to black as the music ends, which is another neat touch.
The briefing was another plus point for the mission, with it being sound in all areas. The briefing page was very informative, and basically talks you through what to do. It contains a couple of working links to the map, which itself is nicely annotated. The notes page is well utilised, giving the personal thoughts of your character on what to do, as well as supplying you with the "Targeting System Operation Manual", which tells you how to call in the airstrikes. This section is in a different font, and does indeed look like some kind of textbook. Very professional I must say. There is even the opportunity to select the gear for your squad, which in most missions is overlooked, and is very useful considering what the mission entails. So far so good, but would the mission itself (the most important part obviously!) continue this brilliance?
It was time to find out. The objective of the mission was to destroy at least two armoured units stationed at the airport, as well as all grounded aircraft. As is normal with Black Op missions the mission was set during the night. We had been dropped off on the beach by the PBR, and it was time to begin the perilous journey towards the airport. Having been informed via a radio message to travel trough the forests as there were Russian patrols everywhere I quickly ran over to the nearest forest, with my squad close behind. There were resistance forces hiding in these forests however, and were apparently hostile to everyone, so the danger factor was multiplied ten-fold. The first forest proved relatively uneventful, with only three resistance fighters engaging us in combat. However, my squad and I fought these off with ease. Soon after, we encountered a problem. There was a large gap between this forest and the other one, and Russian or resistance forces could be lurking anywhere. Even with my night vision goggles I couldn't really make much out, and I eventually decided to just leg it across the gap. This proved effective, and not even a shot was fired at us. This mission was very atmospheric. Nothing more happened on our journey until we reached the base itself. I slowly approached the edge of the forest and equipped the binoculars. I scoured the horizon and located five armoured units in one large clump. Handy for an airstrike. Using the knowledge I had gained from reading the "Targeting System Operation Manual" I found the co-ordinates of the nearest one, a Shilka, and called in the A10s. It worked a treat and objective one was complete.
Objective two was going to be slightly trickier. I had already located two choppers on the runway, so my squad and I slowly manoeuvred into a firing position, and once there I used my LAW to destroy all of them. Time to evacuate. The base was now crawling with activity, as the soldiers were trying to hunt us down. The evac point was to the north, not too far away. We headed back into the woods and then trekked to the PBR pickup zone. Once there I called the boat and the pilot radioed a confirmation message that it was inbound. It took a while to reach us but eventually picked us up, thankfully, since we were coming under heavy fire from Russian soldiers on all sides. The only remaining Black Op and I got into the PBR and we sailed off into the distance. Safe at last.
A small outro was my reward, and was much like the intro but the boat was sailing away rather than to the shore. Just as nice and effective.
(Review Date: Nov 2001) Short but nice mission.