I'm finally done!
I was right about finishing mission 3, but it was not a satisfying win. Most of the time, I was able to get one or two of the three objectives, but the third one was at the top of a staircase, guarded by an enemy who was able to kill me every single time. Then, one time, it didn't spawn. So, I was able to climb up there, shut down the satellite dish, and then make my way out. And then I died at the helipad. So I repeated the level a whole bunch more times until it happened again.
I suppose it's just the fickle finger of fate. "Of that day and hour no one knows. . ." etc. Perhaps it's realistic, but it's kind of a dubious design for a video game.
It weird how much I failed to get into this game. Usually, even if a game is notoriously bad, I'll get into it after a couple of hours. There's a kind of trance or focus that comes over me and I start to buy into the game's methods and goals. That didn't happen this time. I think it's because so much of my "progress" was dependent on chance. I never really felt a connection between my actions and the fate of my character. The margin of error was too thin. When I died, I never felt like I could have avoided it through superior play.
Call it sour grapes, if you will, but damn if my grapes are not super sour. Perhaps I'm blaming the game for my bad mood. I was in a bad mood while playing this game, yet correlation is not causation, and I can't say for sure that Takedown: Red Sabre is necessarily a bad game.
It was trying to create an experience, a world where danger lurks around every corner, and only great care and precise tactics can keep you alive. I can see the value in that. Attaining mastery. Overcoming impossible odds. Enduring hardship and failure. That is what being "hardcore" is all about.
I'm just not sure how enchanted I am with hardcore for the sake of hardcore. So, whatever charms Takedown: Red Sabre might have, they are lost on me.
Oh well, maybe next time.