This week, I was laid off from one of my freelance writing positions. I've gotten pretty used to this lately, but the whole experience was pretty exhausting.
Perhaps that's why I set off on a monumental journey to unlock all the extra guns in Battlefield 3 for the Xbox 360.
At first, I really thought this was a lame idea. I mean, I should blame the developer, DICE, for forcing me to go to all this trouble. The Back to Karkand downloadable content (DLC) gave me all these dreadful tasks that I had to fulfill just to earn these things; however, I felt like I had to squeeze as much as I could out of the DLC pack. Thus, I browsed through the laundry list of requirements to unlock each gun.
The first few assignments took me some time to figure out. One of the most puzzling was the assignment labeled "Best Friend Forever," which required me to revive and heal 10 people. I had a hard enough time figuring out all the gadgets. For example, I didn't know that the defibrillator could revive my dead allies. I also didn't understand what healing meant until I unlocked the first aid kit for the Assault unit..
Thankfully, these trivial objectives were not too difficult. I soon learned all of the essential tools for each unit type. The Recon unit became one of my favorites once I figured out how the motion detector worked. Almost every tool in his arsenal is meant to mark enemies on the map so that allies on my team could hunt them down.
The most fearsome gun requirements involved special kills and victories. The "Professional Russian" assignment looked fairly simple at first. The last objective was nearly impossible, though. It demanded that I somehow win five Squad Deathmatch rounds.
For anyone who doesn't know Squad Deathmatch, this is easily the toughest mode to win. Each player ends up on a four-person squad. The squad who earns the required number of kills wins the round. Unless my squad was filled with expert players, I would have no chance of ever winning a single round. I literally had to comb the servers over the course of two months just to find some high-class players.
This entire task was like a grueling gauntlet run through a meat grinder. Professionals murdered me in every way possible from their hard-to-reach spawn points and with tanks and land mines. I knew that some of them were cheating. On one server, I forced myself back into a corner because I knew that these jerks were respawning directly behind me to snag some easy kills.
But my finest moment took place in the final assignment, "Scarred Veteran." Somehow I had to kill a certain number of players with jeeps and infantry-fighting vehicles. At first, I thought this was impossible. I hardly ever spend enough time killing people with transport vehicles. Then I discovered that I could switch from the driver's seat to the vehicle's turret by pressing A.
This led to some of my most demented kills. I constantly switched to the turret, taking out everything in sight. I literally shot down five helicopters using my ridiculous transport car. My favorite moments involved the jeep, where I literally stole other people's vehicles right after they jumped off. I think I was having too much fun, running numerous people over.
Eventually, I earned every single unlockable gun in the Back to Karkand DLC pack. I may have played the game a little too long, plodding onward for over 120 hours. I'd like to think it was all worth it, but the entire journey was filled with just as many painful moments as well.
I hope that the upcoming DLC add-on, Close Quarters, won't require me to do even more ludicrous tasks to collect everything. This whole experience was like a disturbingly violent Pokémon journey. All of this while the game's angry soldier announcer kept cursing at me.
I need a long break before I go through this again.
How far would you go to unlock all the secrets of a multiplayer game such as Battlefield 3? Should developers continue to force gamers to pull off the impossible to unlock new content?