Level 14: Boat
Land on the first island
After all the interior mucking about, it’s nice to be working on proper islands again, even if they are packed to the gills with mercenaries. On the other hand, the Tridgen and mutant population of the islands is apparently nonexistent, so there’s that to be thankful for.
Grab the three explosives located on the first island Land your inflatable boat near the rocky outcroppings directly ahead of your starting position. Your first goal is to obtain some explosives from a nearby merc camp, so proceed overland and take out your adversaries. As with most exterior levels, your binoculars are going to be a big part of your progress, so try to continuously scan around and look for soldiers.
Destroy the first tower
After you clear out the first mercenary camp and retrieve the explosives, head back to the north, towards the small hut from which the armored soldiers came. You can load up on armor and health here before proceeding across the water to the northern island. Said trip is going to be difficult; depending on your level of subtlety, the patrol boats on the far pier may have been launched, thus giving you three reasons to give up, but with what’s hopefully a full load of AG36 ammo, you should be able to kill off the crews of each of them without getting annihilated. If one of them stops within swimming range, feel free to take it; otherwise, you may have to either swim across or run back to your inflatable boat to make the journey. Either way, use your sniper rifle (if you still have it) to soften up the opposition on the far side of the water. If you dropped your rifle, then you’ll definitely want to lure one of the patrol boats your way to use its minigun and rocket launcher before heading across.
The tower is easily visible from the southern shore, but you should head to the camp to the east first and look around. Two of the buildings here contain OICW’s, which can replace your AG36 as the assault rifle of choice. Although its zoom isn’t quite as powerful as the AG36, the increased accuracy and control of the OICW makes it a more effective marksman’s weapon, as well as more deadly in a straight-up firefight. Grab both of the rifles, on the weapons rack in the two main structures, as well as the extra HE rounds from the garage, before driving up to the first radar tower. Don’t park your vehicle too close to the structure, now; it’s going to be blowing up soon, and the last thing you want is to wreck your vehicle while serving the greater good.
After taking out the guards here, plant your explosives and check your next objective. Before heading out, walk to the northern edge of the island near the destroyed tower and sweep the next island with your binocs to get as many soldiers as possible on your radar.
Destroy the second tower
Your best bet for reaching the second tower is to grab one of the patrol boats from the pier near the camp to the east of the tower you just destroyed. If you take a boat to the west of the pier and wrap around the first island, you should find yourself near the point where you’ll want to dock your ship - look for the submerged pier. You probably already noticed the small island nearby, bristling with troops; your OICW should be well within headshot range for these guys, so feel free to bust a cap or two. You’ll have soldiers approaching from the island, as well as from higher up the road, though, so keep your eyes open. When you’ve cleared the island, you can check the hut for a few more rounds of sniper ammo and an armor refill. From there, you can either proceed north across the water to find a tunnel leading to a set of stairs, which will take you to the tower, or you can head back to the main road and walk up.
Destroy the third tower
As you may have surmised, the third tower is definitely going to be the most difficult one to access. It’s nestled in the hills above an enemy base, which is itself packed with mercenaries.
Your first job is to just land the boat near the pier on the southern side of the island. You can find a boat by walking down the stairs near the destroyed second tower, so take it across the water and get out. Unfortunately, from here on in, you’re reduced to simple gruntwork, of the attract-enemies-and-wait-for-them-to-approach variety. There are probably around two dozen mercs on this island, all told, a couple of whom have apparently had bionic eyes implanted, as they’ll spot you from, quite literally, a mile away.
As you walk up the road from the pier and pass through the three rocks that block it off, get ready to hit the dirt as soon as your tension music queues up. The three soldiers who are most likely to spot you are in the three sniper towers in the base to your north; one possesses a sniper rifle, one a rocket launcher, and the third a regular AG36. A fourth owl-eyed bastard is manning a minigun near the rocket launcher’s tower. If you still have your sniper rifle, equip it and start dishing out justice, a dish that’s best served cold! Or something like that.
After the primary threats have been dealt with, you’ll probably hear a 4WD coming your way from the rear of the island. Hunker down near the road leading up from the pier and shoot out anyone who gets off the truck, then claim it for your own. If you still have mercenaries that are hunting you down, you might just want to wait somewhere for them to come within view, before issuing headshots for the house.
When you’ve foisted a modicum of order onto the island, you can proceed into the merc base and loot the buildings and towers. When you’re ready to move on, knock out the third tower in the hills above.
Go and destroy the freighter!
Just in case all this running around wasn’t enough, you’re given a new surprise task; now you have to assault and destroy a freighter in a nearby harbor. From the tower, grab the 4WD and gun it towards the western end of the island. When you spot a couple of mercs in the road, gun them down and get out of the truck. You should be able to spot the freighter from this position, or a little bit further west, but you definitely don’t want to let the snipers aboard spot you just yet. If you grabbed the sniper rifle from the mercenary base, or already had one in your possession, you can use it to take down the boat’s defenders from here; just lie prone behind the large rock and strafe left or right until you spot a target. There should be one sniper and two rocket launcher foes, so check the ship with your binocs to make sure the exterior is clear before taking the nearby boat and climbing up the chains on either side of the ship. There will still be a few mercs left on board, so be cautious as you make your way up to the bridge.
After grabbing the explosives, refill your health and armor and grab a full load of rocket ammo. You’ll find the fuel cell at the rear of the ship, so plant the explosives there. The explosives detonate after 25 seconds, which will cripple the ship and slowly sink it; Col. Crow flies in to try and take you out in the meantime.
Since Crow’s on a helicopter, you’re going to be at a marked disadvantage if you actually stay on the ship; his minigun will cut you to pieces as soon as the water rises enough to force you to swim, and even before that occurs, you’ll have a tough time dodging his fire without getting hit. The thing is, although Jack seems to think the front of the ship is the safest spot to survive the explosion, you’re actually better off jumping overboard as soon as you plant your explosives, and swimming towards shore. You may take a bit of damage from the explosion, since you won’t be able to move as quickly, but you should survive, at any rate.
When you’re ashore, pick a sizable palm tree and stand next to it as Crow flies in. Crow’s attack heli moves in the same fashion as the previous choppers you’ve seen; it’ll swoop around until it’s close, and then it’ll start strafing around your position, so that Crow can fire on you from the minigunner’s position. If you picked a big enough palm tree, though, you should be able to simply hide behind the trunk whenever Crow fires, thus rendering you able to survive the fight without taking any damage at all, in most cases. All you need to do is sit behind the tree, moving so that Crow is on the opposite side, and occasionally pop out and fire a rocket at the helicopter. You’ll obviously want to do this when the chopper is moving slowly; you only have a maximum of 14 rocket rounds, and the helicopter can take nine or so hits before it flies off and explodes. If you run out of rockets, switch over to your OICW and use its HE rounds to finish the helicopter off.
Although Crow survives the encounter, the destruction of the chopper signals the end of this long level.