Building Camaraderie, One Defib at a Time.

In your headphones, you hear the screams of your fallen comrade,”Ahhh sh*t! Bring me back, bring me back!” after being sniped out from across the map. You pick out his position on your HUD [Heads Up Display], assess the situation and then decide to make a mad dash to his body with defibrillator in hand. Shots wizzing by your head and bullets puffing up clouds of dirt at your feet, you make it to your squad mate, hit him with the defib [defibrillator] and together, scurry for cover. A milisecond later, he would of been in The Elysian Fields and you might of gone with him.

The "defib".

The  Assault Class in Battlefield 3 is the perfect class for those who want to be the hero of Greek mythology. With the ability to bring back teammates from the dead, with an unlockable defibrillator, the Assault Class plays the role of savior in a four man squad. He can lead the charge into an enemy occupied room. He can drop medkits to heal squad members and teammates. He can provide cover fire as the rest of your squad sprints across the street and, if you don’t make it to the other side, he can clean up the mess and bring you back to life.

The more I’ve played Battlefield 3 the more I have come to appreciate the Battlefield medic in its form of the Assault Class. You may not reap all the kills of the Support Class or the vehicle destroyed points of the Engineer but the payoff gained from saving your friend, even in a digital sense, brings about a reward greater than points. It doesn’t hurt that a revive is worth 100 points, the same amount of points rewarded for a kill, and a squad revive is worth 110. What keeps me coming back for more is the thanks I get from a friend and the extra tic (life) applied to our total number left.

A chat connected squad, with all four members playing a unique class, already has an advantage over the competition. Communicating enemy movement and spotting threats, via game mechanics and chat, provides your squad a better field of vision of the ongoing battle. Throw in a player with a thirst for lifesaving heroics and you capture Ace Squad (awarded to the best squad in the match based off accumulated points) on a regular basis.

As a match heads towards an end and the tic count for both sides are dwindling to single digits, an active Assault Class player becomes madly important. With an enemy T90 closing in on our position, like a wild boar running through the bushes, and teammates dying all around you from tank fire – bringing people back from the dead is a feat on measure with the Greek Gods. With one tic left for both teams and three of your squad mates dead on the ground you know what must be done. You are Aphrodite and your friends on the ground around you are your Adonises.

Bringing back the first will be relatively easy, thanks to the boulder his body ended up behind. Bringing back the Engineer, with his all important RPG, and the Support soldier (with the ammo for the RGP) lined up next to him, will require some luck. Thankfully the tank, disabled and housing the enemies last remaining tic, has his cannon pointed at the boulder, trying to keep my head down. He doesn’t know that I am not just any Assault troop but Achilles himself.

The bodies are in a row so it will be a straight sprint and the timing of the defib, as I run across their bodies, will make or break this feat. The tank fires at the boulder again and I am off. I come across the body of the sniper and my friend, zap, he is back. I am out from behind the boulder and I can hear the reload mechanism of the tank working to place another shell for fire. I cross the body of the Engineer, my friend, zap! He starts to stand. Just as I get done bringing back the “Engi” I am on top of the Support trooper, zap! I keep running however, drawing the anger of the driver and the shell of the tank. As the shrapnel cuts through the tendons of my ankle and the heart in my torso, I hear a rocket hitting home, followed by the thanks of my friends.

My "Band of Brothers".

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Heisting My Salary

Still on the job hunt after four months I have decided to go a desperate route, make a career change and take back some of that bailout money through a more direct method. I am practicing to be a bank robber and an all around selfish Robin Hood and I have the perfect trainer in PAYDAY: The Heist.

PAYDAY: The Heist, from developer OVERKILL Software and published by Sony Online Entertainment, is Left 4 Dead turned “left 4 loot”. You and three other criminally gifted cohorts are smooth operating, TARP stealing and lethal when necessary, band of brothers. You are the most active members of Occupy Wall Street.

LR: Unique enemy units the Shield, Cloaker, Bulldozer and Taser.

The four of us (Dallas, Hoxton, Wolf and Chains) operate as a team looking to score money through differing heist scenarios, all while wearing masks that are a mix between those worn in the movie Dead Presidents and Point Break. From the token bank job in the scenario First World Bank to the corrupt stealing from the corrupt in the map Panic Room – where you lift a cash filled safe room out of a five story meth lab – each map requires a different approach. Also, adding to the suspense is the lack of a tutorial that walks you through the how-to-does and what-to-does. Should you try to stay inconspicuous as long as possible or should you go all Val Kilmer in the movie Heat and lay down covering fire to open up your escape in the map Heat Street?

PAYDAY: The Heist has a leveling system that unlocks new weapons, team helping drops and passive perks, but where it sets itself apart is in how you level up. There are three different class trees but instead of picking a class and then leveling up within it, you level up in each class depending on your style of play. If you hit head shots with your rifle on a regular basis then more unlocks become available under the Sharpshooter class. Lay down ammo bags on a regular basis then you will see more unlocks become available in the Support class. Have a Warcraft ogre like blood lust and an extreme hate for boys in blue (and special police units) then you will open up more mayhem enabling unlocks in the Assault class.

I am not ready to go pro in the heisting business as of yet (I only have 10 hours of practice) but give me enough time and I could, I mean Chains could, be visiting a local Bank of America very soon.

Whose behind the mask? Is it Patrick Swayze or maybe Robert De Niro? Could it be the infamous Mandingo?