Letters from the Front Lines of S.V.E.R. – Cutting My Teeth

Written by Ian Howlett, February 15, 2010, 0 Comments

Dearest, Anna.

A week has passed since my initiation with the S.V.E.R. army and I am deeply sorry that it has taken me this long to place pen to paper. The time I have spent has been deeply mired in training and ensuring that my effort are not fruitless. It has paid dividends.

My first days with the company saw me with little guidance, but enough where I could stand my ground when the real tests began. I was introduced to the S.V.E.R. network, where we are able to monitor our progress within the company, modify our weapons and track our skills progression. It is not elegant, but it was simple enough for me to realize what I needed to do next; train.

Thrown into a ruined field where my brothers had clearly already been, I was asked to complete a set of rudimentary tasks that I am extremely grateful for. My battle skills have grown soft, and re-acquainting myself with the basics of combat, movement and weaponry. I was tasked with removing enemy mines from a field using a combination of firearms and grenades, and proceeding to repair a key machinery and signal for our helicopters to retrieve me. Although I wish they had gone over more, as when faced down in a hand-to-hand situation I was injured quite greatly when I had forgotten that I was carrying my field knife. Do not worry, though, my dear, as the field medics are nothing if not attentive and I am since feeling at my best.

Once I had cut my teeth and understood the basics of what it was that I was to do, it was time to select my weaponry and dive into battle. The choices are fairly limited here, but not uncommon for war situations such as this. My options of a sniper rifle and two combat rifles certainly felt shallow, but from what I have seen it looks like as you progress in the ranks you are rewarded with better equipment, something I strive for.

My first missions with S.V.E.R. were War Games within the company. It was explained that non-lethal ammunition was in use and that we were to compete until our resources were depleted. It is a good way of progressing at the beginning, and allowed me to hone my skills further and understand the direction I wanted to take within the company. You see, every enemy fallen and comrade aided is experience. This experience allows us to move up in the ranks of S.V.E.R. and gain more skills. The real benefit is that it is up to me to choose where I progress.

My passion for healing and aiding my comrades has lead me down the path of Field Support, spending my time healing fallen friends and repairing our primary strongholds. While I feel that my efforts are often fruitless in skirmishes where we are attacking our enemies, when we defend I can utilize my skills much better and only utilize my firearms when I feel our bases are being threatened. There are so many options for soldiers, though, if you chose to place your skills elsewhere. I have seen those dedicated to sniper weaponry, machine guns, demolitions and so much more. Despite the limited selection we have when we arrive, as we move through the ranks our experience changes us more and more.

I believe you would be most impressed with the communication that our teams have. While I have not achieved a rank high enough to lead a squadron, I have seen how a strong leader can determine the outcome of a match by rallying our troops into focused areas. It is the strength and weakness of our war, as it feels so often that out of a squad of eight strong fighters only two will take the time to talk with the rest of us, the others left mute and often to their own devices. I have done my best to keep active in my communication on my team, and the feedback and direction I have received has helped me immensely. I have run in to very few occasions of dissidence on the field, save for a commanding officer who was more interested in complaining about his child at home than actually fulfilling his duties. It was off-putting to hear him speak so cruelly of his own daughter when he was supposed to be inspiring the team to fight on.

At the time I am sending you this, I have already achieved so much and I still have so long to go. As simple as the battles have been, switching between standard fire fights, defending bases and planting explosives on enemy encampments, I know there is more to come as I rise in the ranks. I have already achieved the title of Saber, and I expect to be advancing further as the weeks go on. While I am missing you with all my heart, I know that I will return victorious and able to bring a better life for our family.

It is a heavy weight that I lift by sending you this letter. For all the violence and fear that envelopes this place, it is the distance between us that I find the hardest to bear. I know that our cause is great and with every life that ceases at the end of my barrel or on the tip of my blade I am closer to bringing honor to my family and our nation. I pray this finds you and that we can one day read these together over a roaring fire when this Shadow War has ended.

Yours always,

MAG was developed by Zipper Interactive and published by Sony and is now available for the PS3. Game played for approximately 8 hours. Rank of Saber, level 7 reached.

About Ian Howlett

Ian is the founder and editor of LeftStickRight and the one you can blame if something does not look right or outright breaks. He has been writing and talking about video games on and off for five years. You will often find him walking his dog, eating chicken wings and describing himself in the third person.