It took us 10 or so lives to get here. 10 or more tries at completing a seemingly impossible mission. We’re playing on Realistic difficulty – 1 respawn per round (realism is relative). If you die more than once, you patiently wait for the rest of your team to die as well so you can start over. In this case, “the rest of my team” is Nick, and we’re up against 40 terrorists.
We’re in a corner of Las Vegas abandoned by civilization. A group of houses still under construction when the economy crashed and the construction was abandoned. It’s tight quarters, and the terrorists are aggressive, but we’re patient players. We keep at it, refining our strategy with each death and each subsequent resurrection.
This time, it’s looking good. There are 3 of them left, and we’re moving cautiously through the ground floor rooms. We stack up on the next door and Nick opens. Three Tangos inside. Nick throws a flashbang and we avert our eyes as it goes off, blinding and deafening our enemies. Nick moves in first, killing one of them with a perfect shot to the face, but somehow one of the terrorists has remained unaffected by the flashbang. He kills Nick with a burst of auto-fire, and I quickly take him out before he turns his gun on me. The third terrorist elects to escape through the door.
I quickly weight my options. There’s only one terrorist left, but in this game, and against me, he might as well be 10 – even if I’m careful. I crouch in a corner and wait for Nick to respawn. “8 seconds”, he helpfully informs me on the voice chat. I don’t know where the last enemy went, and I’m afraid to go see. I want to finally beat this mission. We’re so close, it would be stupid to waste that now. When Nick is back, that last frightened guy won’t have a chance. “I’m just waiting for you to respawn before we go look for that last guy.” I say. “4 seconds. 3… 2…” Nick interrupts his own countdown with a chuckle, “wouldn’t it be hilarious if you died right no–”
He’s cut off. The sound of a shotgun blast tears across the sound of Nick’s voice from beyond the grave. It’s a helpful noise: It’s there to let me know I’m joining Nick in the after-life. The words “Mission Failed” burst uncompromisingly unto the screen accompanied by the groan of my avatar as he expires messily. Nick is laughing hysterically, incredulously on TeamSpeak. I’m laughing with him. We were so close this time.
We respawn and try again.