Jerzey is dead.
Doug and Sook are separated from the rest of the team.
Bogey, Viper, and Taras have fallen into uncharted territory, and they’re badly wounded.
It goes without saying that the situation is not great. All we can hope to do is make the best of a terrible situation. First, we need to patch up those wounds.
Bogey is actually able to heal himself to full and start on Viper in the same round. Taras drops to the ground to steady his MG and prepare for battle.
We can see two soldiers jumping down into the hole we created and onto our floor.
The red “ghost” is left over from when Jerzey was killed. There was a soldier there, but there’s no floor anymore — so that guy is either dead or has fallen into the chasm and is standing directly on the other side of the door. We’ll start with the enemies that are visible, though. Viper is able to get two hits in on the next round. The first shot goes right through both soldiers, killing one. He takes the other one down with the second shot.
No time to rest, of course. More are on the way.
That door is still intact, for the record, but the AI decides to come over the wall instead. I guess to be extra scary.
Taras lights him up anyway.
I thought you were going to warn us this time!
Do you speak English?
But it’s still not over. There’s at least a couple more enemies moving toward us, plus a sniper on the floor above who’s firing down from the opposite side of the chasm.
For now it’s all we can do to fend off the attack closer at hand. Taras continues to mow down anyone who tries to hop the wall while Viper exchanges fire with the officer — and misses most of them. Meanwhile, Bogey’s running back and forth just keeping everyone alive.
Doug and Sook are in a totally different jam. Remember that mine we set?
Well, we need to find some way down to the first floor. Since the collapsed section has cut off the route to the other staircases, these two have got to double back and go the way we deemed too dangerous a few minutes ago.
And there’s that mine to worry about. I have no idea how mines work, and approaching it now could set it off; I really don’t know. Doug does have tools to defuse it, though, so he goes for it. Sook takes cover.
It’s been nice knowing you, Doug.
Hey, nothing bad happened! For once, the worst possible thing that could happen didn’t happen! The mine’s defused and Doug puts it back in his inventory. Crisis averted!
Wait, what’s that underneath him?
On the floor below, two more soldiers are heading for Bogey’s team, this time from the west, and all that stands between them is a single door.
Do look behind you, Captain! You have company.
Now they’re coming from both directions. With nowhere to run, there’s nothing we can do but turtle up in the corner and make what might be our last stand.
The first of the German soldiers makes it to the door just as we hunker down. He pauses there and when it’s our turn, Viper hits him so hard the whole door explodes.
Viper and Bogey’s combined fire finishes that guy, but the second one looks like he’s still waiting outside.
Alright, buddy. We’ll just have Taras blast away the wall until we can see you.
And once we can, Viper busts the dude’s head. Literally.
Man, that Always Critical skill Viper picked up is paying off big time.
Up top, Doug and Sook have been crawling through the catwalk in stealth mode.
They make it across just fine, and through a locked door on the other side. I have a bad feeling about this room. Doug slips in as quietly as he can and right there in the corner — there’s a soldier waiting for us.
Entering rooms like this is a dangerous game. Everyone we’ve lost so far has been taken down by an enemy interrupt, and this is the easiest way to trigger them. Miraculously, though, there’s no interrupt this time.
There’s actually an Interrupt skill, which I assume means some sort of check is made, though I haven’t a clue what the details are. All I care about is that on this occasion, the dice fell in our favor.
I’m starting to get pretty pretty paranoid anyway. We’ve lost our point man and we’re not even halfway finished with the mission. A mission that’s going to be a series of rooms just as potentially deadly. On top of all that, the game’s been throwing some horrifying ambient sound at us for the whole level. Thanks, game.
From here on out, we’re playing it as slow and cautious as humanly possible. I don’t care if it takes a week to scour the base.
Speaking of scouring, Doug happens to search through the dead soldier’s equipment and find a neat gun we’ve never seen before. It’s a rifle that can fire in bursts of four. Doesn’t do incredible damage, but the burst mode will make it effective in close range on top of… ranged range.
Bogey and his group cross through the open area to meet up with Doug and Sook.
We take some fire, but no damage, and all five remaining team members are reunited, alive and well, at the base of the stairs.
Nice of y’all to join the party.
Yes, yes. Shall we get back to work?
Now five men strong, we move out into the inner ring of the complex, a open, two-story monster of a room where we can be attacked from absolutely any direction. Everyone goes into stealth.
We immediately spot these two guys, waiting just outside that door Taras and Viper were holding a few minutes ago. And there’s a third one you can’t even see yet. Had we tried to go out that door, we’d have been dead in a second.
Viper takes care of them from a distance and we continue inching up. It seems like every few steps, we find another enemy. Eventually, though, we clear the central area.
Still no idea where we’re going yet. Let’s ponder this riddle.
We’ve seen all there is to see in this northeastern section of rooms, both on the first and second floors. We spread out and cover all of the inner ring, and it does look like there’s anything to be found in the central chamber either.
Okay, so that leaves the southwestern strip, and two rooms to the northwest, the first of which is right at the top of those stairs. Might as well start there.
Let’s get rid of that door so we can see what we’re up against.
Bullets immediately start flying out of the room. The pistol isn’t much danger to us at this range, though. Taras wastes the officer and makes his way up the stairs. What are you willing to bet there are more soldiers in that room?
Are you kidding me?! Before he’s even in the doorway?
Okay. Okay. It’s fine, though. He’s alive. Unless there’s a second burst coming…
Taras’ killer makes the brilliant move of walking into the doorway on the very next turn, and Viper finishes him in one shot. Still, I ain’t sending anyone else into that room unless we can be sure it’s clear.
So Doug decides to give us a bigger window, but the plan sort of backfires…
Part of the walkway got destroyed in the explosion and it’s impossible to access the room we just fought to get into.
Sorry, Taras. I think you may have died in vain.
We are in danger of failing the mission, Captain.
Two men down… No idea where our scientist is… Can’t see a dang thing…
This may be our… darkest hour.
You keep that up and I’ll put your lights out myself.
Alright. If we’re going to make it out alive, we need to reevaluate our plan. We’re looking for a scientist who’s been captured. Where would you keep a captured scientist? Is there anything on the map that looks like a cell? Nope.
That looks like one of those one-way mirrors. You know, the kind you do an interrogation on the mirror side of while some creepy dudes in suits watch from the window side. Our scientist has to be in that room. If not, we bail on the mission.
Doug shoots the door open — and look who it is:
I guarantee you she’s being watched by at least one guard, though. Sending our guys into the room one step at a time is the most tense minute or two I’ve felt in this game.
Doesn’t look like anyone’s here, but how about on the other side of the mirror? I’m definitely not falling for that trick.
…there you are.
The last enemy soldier between us and getting the heck out of this dungeon. It’s touch and go for a round, but we take him down and grab Doctor Locke.
We’re getting out of here, doctor!
Look, I’m the one who makes the snarky comments around here. Are you coming or not?
To our horror, these bars fly up, sealing off half the base.
A trap? An ambush? The squad double-times it back toward the exit with Locke in tow. I’m sweating bullets, waiting for the other shoe to drop. And then —
Nothing. There’s no resistance to be found, and we make it to the ladder without firing a shot. If the game had a big, climactic moment planned, we’re not sticking around to find out what it was.