But I’m not looking at the street. Instead, I’m staring straight down at the ground. At my feet there is a cloth sack, an improvised explosive device. A circle fills as I defuse the bomb.
Crouching on the second-floor balcony of a nearby collapsing Berlin building, Sledgehammer community manager Guy Behm pulls off a couple of shots with his sniper rifle, knocking down two of the approaching group of armed.
Bomb diffused, I swivel and open fire on the remaining group, clearing the street of enemies, but only for temporarily.
We’re playing Invisible Threat, a cooperative Spec Ops level in Modern Warfare 3. Behm explains that the goal of the match is for me to diffuse eight bombs hidden throughout the map without getting killed.
I’m down on the street, swathed in a bombsuit that includes a helmet that slightly limits my view. Behm is in his overwatch position armed with a sniper rifle and predator missiles which can be used to scout and pinpoint hidden IEDs.
The first play-through I work my way carefully down the street, diffusing the first three bombs located fairly easily. Behm sends off a second missile, locating three more of the bombs as I scramble into a nearby store, taking fire from a wall of enemies.
The bad guys come at me in waves. After clearing them out there’s usually enough time to make it to a bomb, but not completely diffuse it before a new wave comes in.
I’m down to the last bomb, waiting for Behm to find it when things go sideways. Scouting the area for the hidden IED, Behm accidentally slams the missile nearby, killing me.
In a second attempt, we only make it four bombs in before dying. While both of my attempts at clearing the Special Ops missions were with Behm’s help, Activision told me that the mission can also be played solo, but then you have no overwatch, not even a computer-controlled one.
Of course the game has other Special Ops missions, the developers just weren’t talking about them at Gamescom this week. Many are cooperative, but not all, I was told.