At this point, we transition again into the viewpoint of one of the squad members. The action kicks off with the player hiding in a snow-covered ditch, as a large group of Soviet soldiers stalk by. Once the enemies pass, we crawl out of our hiding spot. Here, finally, is the classic Call of Duty perspective. We make our way down the side of the mountain, pausing occasionally to take out Russian guards in hushed, co-ordinated attacks. Our weapon for the first half of the mission is a scoped crossbow, our vision taking on a fish-eye distortion every time we take aim on the back of an enemy head.
There's a certainly an air of familiarity here, in the tense atmosphere punctuated by bursts of violent action, but the scenery is indisputably top notch. The mountain landscape stretches before us as we move downhill, thick gusts of snow sweeping across our vision, and eventually we reach the top of a substation - a concrete bunker built into the side of a steep drop. It's time for another change-up: the squad strap themselves to the balcony at the top of the descent then climb out over the ledge. We rappel down the side of the chasm, using the left and right triggers to control our descent; as we reach the bottom we reach a glass window. As we swing towards the portal the player spiderwebs the glass with a burst from his silenced assault rifle. The window smashes as we crash through into the room, and the surprised Russian occupants are obliterated via slo-mo massacre.
The substation itself is actually just the first port of call on the assignment, with the overall target being a large radar relay further down the mountain. I don't want to dwell too heavily on the rest of this level as Treyarch also showed off a whole other mission that I've yet to cover, but the short summary is that from here on, the job gets a lot louder. It'll apparently be possible to play through the entire stage in stealthy fashion, but as we approached the main base the demo player decided to take a more dramatic approach: he switched back to the crossbow, and then targeted a large fuel tanker with what appeared to be an explosive bolt. Are we getting multiple ammo types for all our weapons? It's not yet clear, but in this instance the shot certainly had a major impact, whipping the dastardly Ruskies up into a furious, bullet happy response.
The remainder of the Russian mission played out at breakneck pace: a dash through the facility, blowing away soldiers at close range with a SPAS-12 shotgun, until the player found and sabotaged the main power source for the dish. The pace of combat in the last section was typically fraught CoD stuff, with enemies pouring in from all over the place and the odd bout of stabbing when someone got too close. Just for added kicks, the mission ended with a mad dash to escape a colossal avalanche that came crashing down on the base. Again, the visuals here were extremely impressive, with huge freezing clouds swirling all around as the player made a desperate sprint for safety. And what with this being a Call of Duty game, safety meant jumping off the edge of a cliff, ice crystals forming at the edge of the screen as the player plummeted into the white void.
While the snow-bound Russian level took a while before it finally worked up to the standard CoD madness, the second level seemed inherently insane from the off. Here the gist seems to be that the player and his pals are tasked with retrieving some important files from a CIA office. This wouldn't be a big deal under normal circumstances, but unfortunately the building in question is in the city of Hue, and one of the bloodiest battles in the Vietnam War is currently underway.