Maximum Interview: We Talk Battlefield 3 with a Navy SEAL

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theriot72

Gordon, what's your gamertag for BF3? Let's rack up some frags!!!

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Arclite

Sawman,

Do you play video games?  If so, which ones and why?  

I've heard that lots of soldiers like to play shooters, but that seems odd to me: after working as a soldier all day, do you want to spend your time off playing one in a game?

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Eno75

I like the connection between the game and the reality and the fact that a healthy compromise has been made between fun and getting shot in the face real-time. I think "Saw" brings a nice connection between the two, exposing some of the realities of the job to those who think it's all about getting it all over with in 120 minutes or less. 

I had the opportunity to bump into a US Air Marshal some time ago and we got talking about some of the work he'd done with the special forces guys in predictable training subjects. Words to this effect were uttered by him following some stories: "It was inspiring for me to see to what human level of precision and performance could be achieved." He was resoundingly impressed.

The training involved is what impresses me the most... as I've read before: Train hard, fight easy... train easy and #$#@ die. Keep the fight easy out there boys.

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Eno75

Double post

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h e x e n

H E X E N's question:

How prevalent or how often does new technology overtake known reliability? What I mean is, how often are new weapon platforms/attachments adopted for a specialized unit like the SEALS? Would you clarify all your equipment as cutting edge or do you still use some older gear like the 1911?

What are some failed technilogical advances in your opinion, in which the standard method/equipment is superior to new designs?

 

Killer article Gordon, and my thanks for your insights Sawman. Great stuff!

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Navarri

I found this to be a solid article.  I think one thing that Sawman does well is describe things from his perspective ie. the perspective that he has ascertained.  It is interesting though that the military loadout system is so unique depending on your unit.  For instance I was in a regular army Stryker Brigade for 3.5 yrs.  My M4 was loaded with what I wanted, but like with most active duty units it was mostly only because I was in good with the commander.  That being said I saw a lot of other guys who had similar situations and they went INSANE with their geardo crap. My favorite hands down is the guys who have Peq-2/4/15's AND NO NODS!!  BTW that is the other big myth about these video games.  Is all the lasers, yah sure you can get lasers that mount, but the ones in these games can usually only be seen with NVG's on.

I like a very stripped down M4...EOTECH/ACOG depends on mission, Redimag (because I dont like tape), and a Peq-15.  Others went insane, Stock replacements (I hate the SOPMOD because I find it harder to get that solid cheeck to stock with IOTV, regular plate carriers not too bad).

One of the things that I think they miss alot in video games is the tools that you have on mission.  I always had my M4 and sidearm of course, but I would also carry a belt knife (accessable by both hands), and usually mounted to the rear sides of my kit I would have a sap and blackjack.

He is right though, if you have a tool you will have to pack it...so you better need that tool something fierce, or get rid of it.

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HSI-Agent72

Great article, however, the title is very misleading especially with the majority of the questions relating to COD and MW3.  BF3 seems to try and keep things a bit more realistic, you won't be able to run around with a gold .50 Desert Eagle or two p90's.  Craig’s input was insightful and much appreciated; it is always a treat to hear about unique tactics from someone with so much experience.  I am a bit surprised that Craig mentioned the POF .308 rifle and didn't mention the LWRCI Reaper .308.  LWRCI is very popular in federal law enforcement circles and the piston system utilized is generally considered to be the gold standard of piston M4/AR-15 style rifles.   

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GaryIKILLYOU

>> We talk Battlefield 3 with Navy SEAL

>> Half of article references CS and CoD

??????

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Ghost XFX

Luckily for you, Rainbow 6: Patriots is still a year away....

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jimmythestu

Being a Marine ('75 to '81) I have always wondered if they have started to let Marines the opportunity to try to join the SEAL's without having to join the Navy first what since we're all on big happy family.  Did you have to get out then join the Navy or did they let you straight up and go to BUD's?  By the way Happy belated birthday all!

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visvivalaw

Aside from his many other awesome accomplishments, Craig Sawyer also appeared in the zombie-horror web series, "Universal Dead": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eRxGiuLR9X0

He did a great job as an actor and was a big help on set as a technical advisor. Thanks, Craig!

 

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I Jedi

Navy Seals are an elite group of soldiers inside of the United States Armed Forces. They're considered second best only to S.A.S., and they have a reputation for getting the job done. If you ever meet a Navy Seal in combat, stop, drop, and place your hands behind your head. These fuckers live the real thing compared to our shitty perspective of playing video games, your GF will flock to them once your now ex-girlfriend finds out she can be with a strong, 'A' type personality man over our weak, scrawny and geeky/nerdy asses. I've only met one Navy Seal in my life, that I know of for sure. Jesus was he built and tall.

I've watched documentaries on what Navy Seals go through, and all I can say is that I would never make it past the first 10 minutes of training. These guys give meaning to physical fitness. I myself bitch if I have to carry 20 pounds on my back while going to college back and forth. These guys are carrying over 100 pounds for several days at a time.

Navy Seals... Fuck yeah.

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szore

Second to S.A.S? Says who?

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Caboose

At one point, it was mentioned that an empty weapon is discarded. How often are your empty weapons left at the combat site, or is that a big no-no? I can see re-holstering your sidearm, but your primary is big and cumbersom, expensive and if you don't have it, I'm sure your CO would be mighty pissed.

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Sawman

@ Caboose,

Let me clarify,

I didn't mean to imply we would ever discard our own weapons. If we come across weapons that provide greater firepower, we'll sometimes (situation depending) pick them up and make effective use of them until they're dry, discarding them at that point and returning to our primary.

I hope that makes more sense. I should have worded that more clearly.

~SAW

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Caboose

Ok, that makes sense. Thanks!

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Ghost XFX

Having been a missile cop myself, I've always hated when these games added the gold plated Desert Eagle as part of the optional arsenal. Only a fool like Gaddafi would go out there with bling in the desert sun (or anywhere for that matter). It's no wonder they found him eventually...

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Sawman

Guys, this is "Sawman" from the article.

I really enjoyed contributing on this and realized I have tons to share on this topic. If you liked the info, please share the article as much as possible and give some strong feedback. This should help increase the likelihood of me coming back to share more of my observations and answer more of your questions!

Thanks for the support!

~SAW

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death.tiago

hey saw, awesome interview! really made my day. hopefully devs will reach out to you to get an insight of how you really work. thanks man!

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Arclite

SAW, Thanks for making yourself available to Max PC.  Great perspective on games vs. reality.  As games get more realistic looking and acting, with more powerful computers able to better simulate physical environments it's fascinating to know what parts of combat the developers are trying to realistically simulate, and what parts they aren't to increase the fun factor.  You've provided the best perspective yet on that.

And thanks to Gordo for the preparation that obviously went into selecting these questions.

 

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szore

Awesome article. My nephew is SEAL, and my brother was Green Beret. Thank you for you're service and God bless you!

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dgrmouse

What a fantastic contribution!  This is, hands down, the best article I've read on any video-game centric publication for quite some time.  That you both have tremendous real-world knowledge and experience and an understanding that games are for fun makes you a tremendously valuable resource to the gaming community.  Thanks.

 

As an aside, I had to guess from context that CQB has something to do with close-quarters combat.  It would be nice if articles of this sort were a bit more careful to qualify jargon in the interest of the layman.

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streetking

yeah, cqb is close-quarters battle, synonymous with cqc

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SteveSilver

Good to have some input from the real world. The remarks about the tremendous loads carried are dead-on target, imho. In my own service (USMC, '67-'72, US Army '06-'09), while technology has reduced weight in some areas (M-14 vs. M-16), those gains have been more than erased by additional technology that needs to be carried, such as communication gear and body armor. How bad is it? Well, we're seeing more people injured from weight-related incidents, such as jumping out of a vehicle, than wounded. I'm still waiting for a FPS where the player has to limp through the last half of the game after throwing out his/her back diving for cover while wearing body armor, a full ruck, weapons, and a Kevlar helmet (or can't play the last half because of being medevaced to Germany with a lower back injury and has to spend the next year in physical rehab). I'm not arguing against the gear - I'd rather my taxes paid for rehabbing a bad back than rehabbing a "TNT GSW" - but think games would benefit from taking weight and mass into account.

By the way, the correct spelling is "Marine Corps" - note the use of the "s." Last Thursday, 11/10, was the Marine Corps birthday - best wishes to all Marines and Corpsmen. Semper fi.

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Arclite

Rainbow Six 3: Raven Shield simulated bodily injury.  If you got shot in the leg, you really lost a lot of mobility.  And shot in the arm affected your aim.  It's a bit long in the tooth now, but at the time it was a tense shooter that opted for realism over "fun."  Here's to hoping the next version of this that comes out will be as good.

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Pball1224

I just had to add to the praise. This is one of the most entertaining and interesting articles I've read on MPC. I really enjoy FPS games, and movies involving military, and it really gets me upset when sometimes they are so blatantly off the mark in terms of what is even remotely possible or realistic. This article rocks!

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Danthrax66

YOU DIDN'T ASK HIM WHAT HIS FAVORITE FPS GAME IS??? I'll just assume CS:S.

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I Jedi

Obviously real life. What game could compare to having the privilege to be a part of the real thing.

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makius

First of all, great article! Thuroughly enjoyed it.

 

Here's my question:

How prevelant is the use of UAV's/drones etc. within the Spec Ops community? Are they even relevant in a small-squad setting? Or are they typically reserved more for the large-scale conventional unit operations?

Also: What are his favorite "gadgets" or non-standard equipment to use?

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acidic

in iraq, we were never given any decent UAV support. so, we relied on ravens to for our squads. its basically a remote controlled airplane (just like you can buy) with 2 cameras in the nose piece

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std error

I love this article; the questions are well researched and the answers are clear and concise. My favorite question is the mid-clip reload question.

Question for Sawman:

In video games we often have overhead markers to denote friendlies from enemies and therefore don't have to rely on uniforms. Obviously in real-life this isn't the case, so in the heat of combat how easy is it to distinguish friend from foe both in conventional warfare (i.e. WWII) and unconventional warfare (Afganistan today) ? What steps are taken in the field and in training to prevent friendly fire?

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US_Ranger

I can't answer for Sawman but I was in a spec ops unit in Afghanistan so I'll take a stab at an answer for you until ol' Sawman can chime in. (if he does)

 

1) First off, it's called a "magazine" istead of a clip. I'm not being a douche so don't take it that way. 

2) In WW2, uniforms were generally worn so distinguising enemy from friendly was much easier. In terms of aerial attacks, it was more a form of Total Warfare and indiscriminant bombing. We just didn't have the technology to see what we were hitting.

3) In modern day Afghanistan, it's going to depend on what unit is there and the distance of the fighting. As explained in the book "On Killing" the indiscriminant attacking still takes places but it's mostly from the air and from artillery. So, there isn't a whole lot you can do to indentify friendlies from the enemy when fighting from distance. We have forward observers (it's an actual job in the military) that do their best and we have different colored panels for daylight and IR tape on individuals/vehicles for night so that helps as well. Still, in foggy and dusty conditions, many mistakes are still made. 

3b) With spec ops units, most of the fighting is done at a somewhat closer range. I can't speak for Seal Team 1 or DEVGRU but the rangers had similar training in the sense that sight picture and target indentifcation was taught day after day. Raise weapon, safety off, finger on trigger (all within a split second) and then the mental judgement on whether to fire or not. In very urban environments (such as Somalia) it's basically impossible to know who's who but in a more spread out area, you can usually get that split second to make a choice. 

3c) Most importantly, for friendly ID, is the size of the group moving and complete awareness of everyone involved. Seal Teams move in small groups and everyone knows where everyone else is. Ranger units move in slightly larger groups but it's still small enough to know what platoon or squad is where. Bigger infantry units don't have that luxury and that's usually where confusion of where everyone is comes into play. Mistakes still happen in small groups (Pat Tillman death in Afghansitan for example) but it's more and more rare in the smaller spec ops groups as everyone had a basic idea of the movement involved and where everyone is. 

3d) 15 degree field of fire is also another way to prevent friendly fire when not sure of identification. When one group is moving while another covers, a "hang loose" sign with the hands with one end pointing at friendlies means the other end of the hand sign is a safe area to shoot without hitting a friendly. As the friendlies move, you keep that 15 degrees of separation. There are more tactics for identification such as trench movement and identifiers but I'm not sure if I'm actually allowed to discuss those so I'll leave it at that. 

 

I hope this answer was satisfactory.

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makius

Great question! I've often wondered that myself.

 

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tornato7

This is great! you need to make more original material. I'm clicking on 5 ads just for this great interview.

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c8503

one of the best MPC articles I've read, boosted significantly by the Ronin references. did you ask him if sprays bullets with Teflon?

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lunchbox73

What a GREAT article! Really intesting. It is strange how devs go out of their way to make certain aspects of shooters as realistic as possible yet we all except getting shot 5 times and magically getting healing by a med pack acceptable. But I suppose the more realistic a game is the less fun in many aspects.

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Adam Wolfe

Outstanding read. Thanks.

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t.y.wan

People should also know that with that much C4 (like in CODsssss) it will take out the whole floor of a building...

and one shot panic knife while getting shot is a piece of S***. (and the cross map throwing knives. - -")

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merc784

Excellent Interview.

Especially liked the question about the practicality of ditching half mags in the real world.

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US_Ranger

Good article MaxPC, very original too. I was skeptical when I saw the title but this guy knows his shit. A guy with real DEVGRU experience is quite an accomplishment as well. It's refreshing to read this as compared to a bunch of fat 17 year olds arguing about ballistics with their "expert" opinions. 

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TylerFehribach

I loved this article. Was very amazing to see how a true person in the military looks at games and either scoffs or says "congrats" on actually getting something real? I think games should take a note from what you've done here and actually incorporate something of the things you mentioned above into games. I mean come on how hard would it be to get some advice from a real marine for a marine portion of the game? Might be stupid but I think it sounds pretty cool.

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whathuhitwasntme

first

Semper Fidelis, brother

 

second, I think it would be fair to address the fact that bigger rounds only equal effective kills if you can hit what you are aiming at. I have seen time an time again that a guy with a 1911 misses the target completely, and my sig 9mm are bullseyes time and time again. So, just keep that in mind when you are picking the BIGGEST GUN YOU CAN GET, that in video games, that's fine, in the real world, you need the biggest gun that you can hit what you aim at!(also not a bad thing that 9mm ammo is lots lighter to carry, but that would be more of a team issue and having ammo you can use in multiple weapon systems is always more important.

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hmp_goose

I'd like to ask the gentlemen what he thought of the 10mm Auto cartridge for non-silenced SMGs. ("Subsonic 10mm" means you should have gone for .40 S&W, as I understand it.) I would imagine a SMG, like the MP5/10, is heavy enough to soak much of the recoil.

The leads to a question about subsonic/ silenced rifle rounds: Isn't that counter productive?

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TommM

Excellent read - thanks!

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streetking

cannot express how much i appreciate this article. nice and objective, puts things in perspective, and respectful, while still being entertaining

thanks gordon! and craig, for fighting for us! happy veterans day

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Phosphorous

One of the best articles you guys have ever put out.

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jowens203

After the past week of posts covering MW3 and BF3, thank you for a decent write up looking at this game from this perspective. It is refreshing to read an article that hasn't been blasted by teenagers thinking they have some sort of knowledge of what is "more realistic". It is a game kids.... 

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acidic

good article. i just wish that more of the CoD kiddies would read it. i love killing kids in games and then hearing them whine and cry how "that gun cant shoot that far or that good". there is like a 99% chance they have never fired a weapon in their life yet they know it all because of CoD. i myself have shot weapons ranging from the M9 to M1A2 abrams and just about everything in between. i had a few squadmates that liked to "accessorize" their M4s with any and everything. they were heavy as hell and hard to maneuver

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routine

nice.. thanks

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