Silent Storm — Mission 8, Part 1: Into the Abyss

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The results of the mission are in. Here’s our haul:

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Information about a German officer kidnapping British scientists, and a (poorly) coded message about some secret base in the Urals. No mission’s been unlocked in the Urals, but I think this German town has opened up as a new location for us.

The game is extremely unclear about when a new mission becomes available… and what piece of intel made it available once it is. And the location descriptions… by now you’ve probably noticed explain nothing about why you’re being sent there or what you’ll be doing. I’m going to chalk it up to a bad translation.

(Before you leave a comment about how dumb I am, I do realize later on in Mission 12 that there’s a journal. And that it addresses some of these complaints, though not very well.)

Anywho, we’re back home for a quick resupply.

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Despite only walking out of that last mission with four of our six squad members still standing, everyone does survive. Doug and Taras make a full recovery. And in case you’re counting, that’s the second time Doug has held to this mortal coil by the skin of his teeth.

So it didn’t go so badly, right?

…right?

And since this new team has proven itself in the heart of enemy territory, I think it’s time we checked out the ol’ “German Lab.” I completely forget when this mission was unlocked, but it’s been sitting on the map for ages now.

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I haven’t mentioned this before (whoops), but you’ll see these little red icons on the map:

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Those are random encounters. If your squad (the yellow dot) runs into one of these as you’re moving across the zone, you’ll initiate a little mini-mission where it’s just you and some enemy soldiers. The terrain and opposition depends on the region you’re in.

They’re actually almost impossible to stumble into if you’re paying attention. I think they exist more as a way to grind for experience and loot if you wanted to. I hear some of the best equipment in the game is found in rare encounters.

In any case, I am not paying attention right now. (Also, the mission description is covering the part of the map I’m moving across.) So I run directly into an encounter on the way to the lab. It looks something like this:

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And to make a long story short, we shoot a bunch of Nazis.

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Then we leave.

(Which is made harder by some kind of bug where the few civilians running around the area count as hostiles and the game won’t let us exit if we can see them. What we can’t see can’t hurt us, I guess!)

After that small detour, Bogey and the gang arrive at their destination.

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Oh boy. If you can’t make out what you’re looking at — neither could I.

I apologize ahead of time for the screenshots from this mission. The whole map is extremely dark and I also overused the hide ability because it was all nerve-wracking and terrible. Everything is kind of a dark, grey mess as a result.

The above shot is the way things really looked, but I’ll touch the rest up in the hopes of making the action a little clearer. For instance, here’s the layout:

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Okay, so we’ve got two floors. This is the view from the second floor. At the bottom of this first shot is a central chamber mostly enclosed in windows. Outside of that, the facility is split into two rings. The inner ring is completely open and, like the central room, two floors tall. The outer ring is more of a C shape, and consists of smaller rooms on both the first and second floors, with a few parts where the inner ring sticks out into the outer — and here it’s bridged by windowed catwalks.

Whew… I hope that description made something resembling sense.

The “southern” side of the facility mirrors the “northern” part, but for reference he’s a look at it from the first floor. Green arrows in both shots mark stairwells and whether they go up or down.

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Now that that’s out of the way, here’s us in the northeast corner of the base.

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We’re on the upper floor in what I’m calling the outer ring. To the west is one of those catwalks I mentioned, and to the east there’s another room about this size before the ring hits a corner and starts running south.

We have zero idea where any enemies are located, but the best course of action seems to be clearing the outer ring first, and maybe using the windows to fire down into the inner ring and the glassed-in chamber in the middle.

All it takes is Taras popping open the left door and we’ve already got our first contact.

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It might have been wise to bring Sook over for a silent takedown, but I’m afraid the sounds of footsteps will alert him. Taras full-autos the enemy in the back to be safe… but wakes the whole base up in the process, I’m sure.

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ss_portrait_bogeyCould you warn us next time you’re about to do that? I don’t think I have ears anymore.

ss_portrait_tarasYes.

ss_portrait_bogeyExcellent, thank you. It’s very cramped and echo-y in here.

ss_portrait_tarasYes.

We order Doug and Sook into the hallway. The moment they’re next to the windows, they’re taking fire from several positions out in the darkness.

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Viper tries to retaliate, but it’s so dark and there’s so many of them that he isn’t able to accomplish much. That route doesn’t look very promising. How about the other door, guys?

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The next room is empty. Beyond that, we can hear movement. The enemy bursts through the door the next round and sees three automatic weapons pointed at him. Needless to say, it doesn’t go well for him.

Taras and Viper watch the west path while the rest of us explore further this way.

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At the moment, the only signs of life over here are on the floor below. Guess we’re going this way.

I haven’t used Doug’s mines before, but this is the perfect time for them. We’ll trap the west doorway and go around the safer way.

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(You can set a trap on the door itself so that it goes off when it’s opened, but the door in this instance is blown to bits already.)

Then we all meet up behind Jerzey.

ss_portrait_jerzeyStay behind. I clear way.

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He guns down one soldier he spots in the hallway, and inches up through the doorway.

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AGGGHH.

Naw, man… You better not be…

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…dead.

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I admit… we overreact slightly.

ss_portrait_viperBlast that sumbitch!

Taras charges into the room —

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— and hurls a grenade at the door.

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Everything for the next few seconds is chaos… including the camera.

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When the dust has settled, it’s clear that things are much, much worse than they were a minute ago.

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The entire floor of the room has collapsed, and we’ve gone tumbling down along with it. By some miracle, there are no enemy soldiers in the room we’ve fallen into, but we’ve all taken massive damage from both the grenade and the drop.

That definitely was not the right grenade for this situation.

Coughing and hacking up pulverized concrete, we try to get our bearings. There’s only three of us alive in here…

ss_portrait_viperWhere’s Doug? And Sook?

ss_portrait_bogeyMaybe they were killed in the explosion?

ss_portrait_sookUp here, captain!

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ss_portrait_dougDon’t count us out just yet, old chap.

Seems Doug and Sook were far enough back from the door that they were spared by the explosion. Only one problem…

ss_portrait_dougI’m afraid we won’t be able to climb down there to meet to you.

ss_portrait_bogeyAnd we can’t get back up

We’re separated — and the Germans are right on the other side of the door.

On to the next episode!
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