BCM7 - Bridge descent trick
(1:34) Level 5 ('Assault on the Control Room') on Heroic. This shows a descent trick at the first bridge, performed after getting a handy checkpoint so you can make repeat attempts quickly if needed. Unfortunately, with an NTSC Xbox or a PC the game will probably kill you before you reach the ledge, though you might be able to manage it. On PAL (used here) there's no trouble reaching the ledge alive.
Released January 21st 2010, gameplay recorded January 19th 2010.
00:02 Just to explain something, I'm deliberately starting from a saved checkpoint just before the loading point in the passage, as suggested in my article on the descent trick. That way, if you get an awkward rock for cushioning your fall, you'll be able to start over by ejecting the disc and reloading. The 'landing rock' - which is a major factor in your survival chances - gets randomized each time you go through the loading point. Actually you don't need to work like this if you learn how to recognize rocks from the bridge, but you can read more about all that in my article.
00:08 Although it's not actually necessary for the trick, I'm going to wipe out all enemies as I go. It's partly to keep things in control, and partly because those covies just deserve it. I'm also going to go fast, to save you having to wait long before the actual trick. A couple of whacks take care of the first two dozing Grunts, and I give the third a rude awakening with a plasma grenade on the head. Not a good way to start the day eh grunty? The fourth gets roused with some toasty hot plasma, then I get my pistol levelled at the incoming Banshee. After a few shots I briefly make myself hidden to cause the pilot to veer off (er, and I clumsily shoot the barrier as I hide - oops!), then I'm free to open fire again without plasma coming my way. It's down with my second clip.
00:33 Ok, now for the Elite. You can play this as safe as you like (and remember, you do want to maintain perfect health for the descent), but today I'm just charging down with a plasma pistol after a brief glance at my motion tracker. I stun him with a plasma ball then leave him with plasma grenade fizzing away on his person, heh heh. As I head back up the ramp, his death causes a Jackal to about-face and run for it. But there's no escaping the cyborg! I blast him with a plasma ball and smite him down with a satisfying whack. His beaky pal makes a stand but gets the same delightful treatment.
00:50 I whack the glass panel to fall through to the bottom deck (actually my first whack isn't good so I have to do it again), and I wake four more dozing Grunts with a shot of plasma. These guys are prone to falling off the bridge as soon as they wake up (serves 'em right for going to sleep in such a daft place), and sure enough, the first one to my left is straight off - you can hear his cry. They're no great threat of course, and I give the remainder a good plasma zapping. Heading up the ramp, I take care of the Jackals with extreme prejudice.
01:06 Ok, I'm now at the barrier just before the final glass panels. Headshots take out the Grunts, and I also shatter the panel ahead. A checkpoint gets triggered a few metres before the panel hole, and after falling through I briefly keep it delayed with a jump as I reach my starting position for the descent. Getting a checkpoint at your descent spot makes things as easy as possible for repeated descent attempts. Here I'm starting midway between the final two supports and facing just to the right of the corner, but you don't have to do things exactly like that.
01:16 So, now for the descent trick itself. I run off (no jump!), and rotate as I go down. I'm against the cliffside as I near the ledge, which is just so I end up hitting it at the back. I do a crouch as I hit just past the slight bend, and another as I hit the rock, having bounced off the right hand side of the tree. Perfect landing! My shield didn't even flicker. There are actually five different rocks you can get, and this one is the friendliest. And hey, I'm down in time to wave to the Pelican pilot!
Closing remarks Amazing what you can do in this game eh? This descent trick is pretty routine once you're used to it, and landing with perfect health isn't all that unusual either, especially if you've got the best rock to land on. I had quite a few alternative fast runs I could've used to show you the trick, but this one had some of the most satisfying action along the bridge, especially the tagged Grunt at the start and the joy of smiting those first two Jackals. Check out BCM8 for another example of the descent trick.
I'm not sure who discovered this trick. My own history with it is simply that someone mentioned the general idea to me in October 2004 and I explored things from there - and found it very useful!