Level 17: Swamp
Steal a car out of the camp
Get to the mercenary base
Although you ostensibly have Valerie as a partner during this mission, and she does pack an MP5, her participation in battle mostly consists of yelling "Look out!" or "Weve got company!" Youll have to do all the heavy lifting when it comes to actually shooting people, but this isnt an overly large concern: youve been doing fine on your own all game long, and youll have the benefit of picking up the games final weapon a little ways into this level.
To begin with, though, you and Valerie will have to steal the vehicle from the nearby merc camp. You have a fairly clear approach, so engage in your typical scope-and-snipe activities to reduce the oppositions numbers before moving in to check the buildings. Clear out any stragglers before you grab the items from the structures, then head into the car. Youll note that youre getting into the rear, gunner portion of the 4WD; this little drive with Valerie is going to fulfill Far Crys rail-shooter quota. Dont blame CryTek, though: federal regulations require that all first-person shooters have a sequence wherein you become a passenger on a fast-moving vehicle, are unable to control your movement, and are tasked with shooting at other fast-moving vehicles. Its the law.
None of this would be annoying if it werent for the fact that your 4WD only has six rockets. Youre going to be coming up against a helicopter very shortly after you begin the trip, so shoot off one rocket at the first car that attempts to follow you, then do your best to shoot down the helicopter before you get annihilated. After that, youll have to fend off a few trucks; if you dont have any more rockets, concentrate your minigun fire on the gunner in these vehicles. They can chase you all they want, but if they dont have anyone aboard to shoot at you, theyre not worth worrying about.
Although the rail-shooter sequence is lengthy, in terms of the amount of ground that you cover, theres really little to describe. Luckily, a save point kicks in as soon as you get into the vehicle, so youll have the opportunity to make a few dry runs before trying to get through the whole exercise in one piece. After you make the jump over the mercenaries, and shoot up the gas tanker, youre pretty much home free.
Get into the base and find a computer terminal
When you finally stop and get out of the truck, proceed on foot to the north and find the side entrance to this installation. Your life and health levels will dictate just how daring you can be as you breach the building; if you were seriously taxed by the journey in the 4WD, dont hesitate to chuck in numerous grenades before attempting to move inside, and let Valerie move ahead when she spots an enemy. Theres perhaps a dozen soldiers who will eventually be clustered around this side entrance, so youll need some kind of mass infantry removal; frag grenades can do the trick, as can rockets. Regardless, if you manage to open up a path past the bathroom, hang a left and enter the guard room, where youll pick up a full suit of armor, thus greatly increasing your chances of survival. When things have settled down in the hallway, sift through the bodies until you find a machinegun; this beast of a weapon will be all but required for the rest of the level, so drop one of your other short-range weapons and grab it.
Now that you have a suit of armor and a proper killing machine nestled in your hands, feel free to grab the health pack in the small storage room near the stairs, before heading up said stairs to find the computer terminal.
Follow Val! Do not lose her
Val will soon take off for the control center, but you wont get there before running into a few more mercs. Dont be too eager to take your machinegun for a spin; its accuracy issues make it difficult to use over medium ranges, so stick to your OICW for now.
Get the bomb access codes from the headquarters
Now that youve finally managed to ditch Valerie, its time to do the real work, that of obtaining the bomb codes from the nearby headquarters building. First off, though, youll need to find a keycard that opens the headquarters doors; this is located within the mission planning building. There are two entrances to this structure, either of which will reveal a building full of, you guessed it, more mercenaries. This is the perfect time to dust off that machinegun and let it do its thing. Even though the mercs here are armored, body shots with the machine gun are as effective as the M4 was on the mercs at the beginning of the game, which is to say, hold down the fire button for a second or two and everything you hit will be dead.
Scout around inside the building until you find the quartermasters office; the side door here leads to another office where the keycard resides on a desk, which then lets us proceed to the headquarters building. As with the mission planning building, the headquarters has two entrances, but here, the side entrance, which is around the corner and up the stairs from the main entrance, is the more preferable of the two. The main doors here lead into one of those awkward, large-room firefights where you have to keep an eye on two different floors at the same time; best just to avoid it altogether. The side entrance, on the other hand, lets you box yourself into a corner and mow down enemies with your machine gun as they approach. Kill everything that moves, bathe in the blood of your enemies, grab the arming device for the nuclear weapon; all in a days work.
Go back to the control center
In a rather shocking display of disregard for the plotting conventions of action games, Valerie has not been kidnapped by the evil madman during the interval in which you left her alone. Rather, shell actually take the initiative and lead you to the entrance to the armory, where the nuclear device is stored. Of course, it again falls upon your shoulders to clear the way from the gate to the actual building, but such is life.
Get the bomb
If you have a sniper rifle, your first target should be the goon in the tower opposite the bridge; after he falls, climb the closer tower and scout around for enemies. Some of the soldiers on the opposite side will likely attempt to cross the bridge, while others will drop down to the river and walk across the water, so keep your eyes peeled, and dont hesitate to activate your heat vision to pick up incoming targets. Val will also give you verbal warnings when she spots enemies, so listen for her and her MP5. Some of the mercenaries here are packing machineguns, so dont let them get too close. The building adjacent to the minigun positions is where any remaining soldiers will be after youve eliminated the exterior threats. Clean it first, then check through the other buildings for any items or ammunition before moving on to the armory. There are a few more defenders between yourself and the nuke, but your machinegun should make short work of them.