BCM10 - Dustbowl megabattle

(2:07) Level 3 ('The Truth and Reconciliation') on Normal. This shows a dustbowl megabattle against 45 covies, using the enclosure defence plan and keeping to an AR and plasma rifle, aside from needling a straggler at the end.

Released March 7th 2010, gameplay recorded March 4th 2010.


00:02 I've just had a delayed battle start checkpoint on the cliff path, and as you can see from the motion tracker, there's a swarm of enemies not far behind me plus another bunch off to my right. I'm nicely set up here for either a cliff path defence or - if I get moving quick - an enclosure defence. Today it's the latter. So off we go! Just as I'm reaching it a Jackal opens fire and battle is joined. I turn and switch to the plasma rifle, dodging needles from an Elite and taking him down in return. The lesser enemies nearby panic and I add two Grunts and the Jackal to my tally. Not that I'm going to be keeping count; I'll be too busy trying to stay alive!

00:23 With plasma rifle overheating I switch to the AR and back off to cover, then charge the blue Elite who goes running for the other corner. He does me some damage with his rifle but soon he's reeling from my attack. Aware that other enemies will be closing, I circle left to make him act as a shield for me (though I get a little too close to be honest, which is a bit clumsy and makes some of my shots miss). He goes down and I manage to dodge most of a stream of needles from a Grunt as I back into a handy nook in the left corner, where you stand some chance of being able to recharge. It sounds like there are only a few panicking Grunts close, so after reloading the AR and switching to the plasma rifle I let myself peek back out for more firing before recharged. That bags me another three Grunts. Sorry if you can't see them very well in that dark corner; I'm afraid my video capture set-up isn't good at handling darkness. In the actual game they were plenty clear enough.

00:37 With the hum of a Jackal's plasma pistol nearing, not to mention a whole lot of red dots on my motion tracker, it's time for a frag. As well as sending a Jackal flying (nice!), it sets off a plasma blast in the right corner, putting paid to a few more Grunts. Then I move around towards that side, injecting plasma into anyone I don't like the look of - which is all of them actually. A Grunt complains with that cute "Hot hot hot hot hot hot" line and I throw a frag to forestall new arrivals - then follow with another to seal the deal. A blue Elite gets blown towards the left corner and is easily finished off with the AR as I return there.

00:56 I swap my plasma rifle for his and start peppering a panicking Grunt in front of me, plus one in the other corner. I also send out a frag towards two blue-shielded Jackals. After dodging their plasma balls it does the job very nicely by the sound of it! I move for the opposite corner again, killing three Grunts on the way. I like moving back and forth, and you can pick up supplies on the way. Just as I'm arriving, a Grunt tries his luck with a plasma grenade: "Tossin' one!". His grunty buddy dives for cover and I instantly throw a plasma in return but I fluff it. It hits the wall just ahead of me, and now I've got fizzing plasmas on both sides! I move left trying to judge a safe distance between them while simultaneously injecting the newly arrived blue Elite with plasma. He's down! And thankfully I escape the plasma blasts.

01:15 I head back to the left corner again, drilling a Grunt there as I go. One of his buddies lobs a plasma - "Down in front!" - but I'm long gone, and then I send two back in return. One lands close behind a crouching Jackal (subsequently seen flying across my field of view), the other tags a Grunt (on the arm I think). But now I'm under pressure in my corner, with incoming needles from a Grunt in my face and a newly arrived Elite in the other corner. I take down the Grunt while dodging needles, and meanwhile the Elite goes up in a plasma blast from the aforementioned tagged Grunt.

01:23 But another Elite moves in to take his place and I arc around with the AR, making myself a moving target for other enemies. As he goes down a Jackal is firing on me and I instinctively turn and throw a plasma, tagging him on the right foot. He goes into that hilarious agonized reaction with arms flailing, and with mischief inside me I throw again, getting a second tag. The first sends him rocketing up and you can hear the second blast later. Poor beaky freak probably left the map! The final two Grunts are put out of their misery soon after.

01:45 With no announcement from Cortana, I know there must be at least one straggler somewhere. Chances are they'll be at the overhang near where the camouflage was. Covie navigation is glitchy there and in particular they'll happily run straight into the overhang, apparently not seeing it. They end up running on the spot, blocked by the rock. Freshly armed with a shiny needler I go to investigate, and sure enough we've got an Elite who's been held up by the overhang. I get past him and back off from his swipe, giving him a nice dose of needles in exchange. Blam! The subsequent AR drilling is not strictly necessary as he's already dead now, but hey, it makes me feel good.

Closing remarks The enclosure defence forms my joint favourite with the cliff path defence, and this movie showed a nice play of it. Ok it included an Elite straggler which marginally lowered the intensity of the battle, but on the other hand that added a touch of variety at the end. Unusually I managed to survive with full health! Against those 45 covies I more often end up dead or with health in tatters, but this time I did a good job of keeping the area relatively thinned out, so the scales never quite tipped in the covies' favour. Probably my favourite bit was around 1:02 when I lobbed a frag at two Jackals and pulled back from an incoming plasma ball. That felt smooth, and I do like seeing plasma balls sailing by. Have to say, I was mightily tempted to show you a play using needler and grenades only. Late in the day, I've been surprised to find that the needler is actually quite a viable option here, and I've started having a heck of a lot of fun with it. But I already had my eye on this nice play to show you - complete with comical Jackal launch at the end - so the needle version will have to wait for another time. But meanwhile there's nothing to stop you having a go for yourself!