The Let's Play Archive

Battlefield 3

by Lazyfire

Part 10: Episode 11: The Castle Law Applies & Episode 12: The Swan Song of Solomon

Episode 11: The Castle Law Applies

Episode 12: The Swan Song of Solomon

Overall, fuck this game. The plot makes no sense, I don't feel like I accomplished anything or that anything even happened and the mission structure and flashback shit was handled poorly at best. The whole "YOU WERE SET UP BY DIMA" thing didn't work as a plot device because we knew Dima was on our side. Last second reveal that Solomon is a US agent for some reason but the CIA won't investigate if he's gone rogue while he's the only viable lead to the nukes?

Also: Who in the fuck was Solomon and what was his motivation supposed to be? Is it tied into the BF3 novel that apparently explained some backstory to the game? That shouldn't be the case because making people go out and buy a shitty paperback Tom Clancy knockoff to understand the game you made is a bad idea.

Weapons of Battlefield

The AEK-971

The AEK is a Russian designed Assault Rifle originally created for a competition to replace the AK-74 under the Abakan trials of the late 80’s. In this effort it was not successful and the AN-94 won the competition. Kovrov Machining, the designer of the weapon, still went on to manufacture and market the design, targeting police forces and government protection forces. In this they were semi-successful. Through the 90’s and 2000’s some forces bought and used the weapon, but it was never a mass market success. When Kovrov sold the design to another company the lack of orders and potential customers meant the end of production for the gun.

The AEK-971 was based on the AK-47 layout and looks for all the world like an AK derivative. The fact that the gun was meant to accept AK-74 magazines doesn’t help differentiate the weapon families either. Internally the AEK uses a counterweight system to help alleviate the recoil of fully automatic fire. While this makes it more accurate than the AK-74 overall it was less accurate than the AN-94 in burst fire and bested the eventual Abakan winner in sustained fire accuracy. Considering the light weight design, good accuracy profile and ability to accept a pretty common magazine it makes sense that Dima would use one in this mission.

In multiplayer the AEK is the 4th assault rifle unlock in the medic/rifleman class and doesn’t have any real advantages over other weapons in the class. The accuracy on the weapon isn’t as good as the real life counterpart outside of burst fire, which means either players are switching fire modes or taking their chances at anything outside of Personal Defense Weapon range. Most higher level players don’t use this weapon due to the lack of benefits, but I’m sure someone will come in here and tell me it is their favorite weapon. I used it for maybe a full game before I gave up on it so it is possible it is better than I remember.


The USAS is a South-Korean designed fully automatic capable shotgun designed in the 80’s and manufactured by Daewoo Precision Industries. The Universal Sports Automatic Shotgun is either poorly named or the designers like to hunt people as it is very specifically a combat shotgun like the weapon that inspired it, the better known AA-12. The USAS had a rough start, designed by American weapons makers who couldn’t find a gun maker interested in their gas operated shotgun in the US. They went abroad and partnered with Daewoo who performed a redesign on the weapon and began selling it to Asian government forces in the 90’s. At the same time the original designers were looking to bring the weapon to the US civilian market in a semi-automatic version, but were denied as the weapon was found to have “no sporting purpose” and was thus classified as a Destructive Device, meaning a much smaller market was available. One company tried selling a version on the weapon they claimed wouldn’t be classified as a destructive device, but without much success.

The USAS design makes it look a bit more like an assault rifled than a shotgun. It loads from a 10 round box magazine or a 20 round drum and is fairly bulky, which helps lessen the recoil experienced when firing in full auto mode. Interestingly the stock is fixed on this weapon and hallow, allowing the bolt group to recoil into that space. The bolt itself is longer than normal, which slows down the rate of fire, but is necessary in full auto mode. The USAS has appeared in numerous media, including Modern Warfare 3, which debuted a few weeks after Battlefield 3 but had slightly different handling characteristics, being a slow firing automatic shotgun with really decent range.

Battlefield 3’s USAS is unremarkable as far as shotguns go. The fully automatic nature of the gun is balanced by low damage per pellet and a very generous spread at medium shotgun range. The gun is meant for close quarters firefights and isn’t suited to much else, or at least it isn’t now. As I mention in the video the USAS had what some would call a glitch, others a feature concerning the Frag Round attachment. While other shotguns had so-so frag rounds the USAS had extremely powerful versions of the specialty ammo. The USAS has the highest shotgun rate of fire in the game and this was combined with frag ammo that had a large area of effect, high splash and direct damage and surprisingly good accuracy. DICE rolled out a fix that reduced the area of effect, splash damage and fire rate of a USAS using frag rounds, making the gun kind of useless for most maps.

All my kills with the USAS came from picking one up when the frags were still super powerful, so it is difficult to comment on if the weapon is even worth testing out now, but I’m guessing not based on how many I’ve seen in the last year (two total).