Battlefield 5

Amateur review of The Russian

Battlefield 6 - Amateur review of The Russian

Edit: Whoa, where’d this book cover picture come from? I didn’t add it.

For those of you who don’t know, Battlefield 3: The Russian is a companion novel to the titular game. Written by Andy McNab, former SAS officer and author of Bravo Two Zero, the book retells the story of Battlefield 3, but this time focuses on Dima and his backstory, motivations, and exploits during the game.

SPOILERS AHEAD FOR BATTLEFIELD 3 AND THE RUSSIAN (though you probably won’t read it anyway):

Now, I just finished reading this book, and boy, did it exceed my expectations. One thing about the book that I very much enjoyed was that it wasn’t a straight retelling of Battlefield 3’s story. Sure, the same plot points are there, but the story changes so many small things that you feel like you’re experiencing the store for the first time.

You can read the full list of changes here (
Battlefield 3%3A The Russian?mobile app=false - Amateur review of The Russian, but some of the more notable ones is that Hawkins does not appear at all, and Miller only appears during his execution. Furthermore, some of the fight scenes are streamlined, like the earthquake happening immediately after Blackburn shuts off the bomb, and Blackburn and his merry men not even encountering a Russian battalion in Kaffarov’s valley.

This streamlining opens the way for where The Russian really shines: it’s characters. Unlike the game, in which the Russians are generally flat characters, the books goes to great depth to characterize them and give them meaningful backstories.

In fact, a lot of their characters revolve around the fact that they are relics of a time gone by, the Soviet age, where they were appreciated and deployed to their full potential, and then tossed aside by the new government.


It also works to enunciate the fallout between Blackburn and Cole, and gives a much better reason as to why Blackburn shoots Cole (in the book, Cole is about to execute Dima for no reason, and Blackburn shoots him, partly out of malice, but also to save what he see’s as the only hope to save Paris from the nuke).

This brings me to the biggest change in the book: the ending. See, in Dima’s backstory, he actually had a son with a Frenchwoman, and he took the mission so he could find him.

Realizing this, instead of attacking the Stock Exchange with a large group of PLR like in the game, Solomon sneaks it in, and plans for it to go off during a workday, killing Dima’s son. So in the book, Dima sneaks into the Stock Exchange, finds the bomb, and after a long, tense scene, he DEFUSES THE NUCLEAR BOMB. You read that right. In the book, the Paris nuke never goes off, and Blackburn stops the New York bomb from going off, directly saving hundreds of thousands of lives.

This is, I feel, the ending that these characters deserve, and the ending that the game so needed. The nukes don’t go off, the Russian-American war from the multiplayer never happens, and that heavily implies that, without the tensions between Russia and America, Chang never gets Russian support, and never takes power in China, thereby also preventing the events of Battlefield 4 from taking place. Blackburn and Dima are hailed as heroes, and Dima lives an actual happy life with his son. Honestly, it was a fantastic ending, and I am so happy that the book went this way.

In conclusion, Battlefield 3: The Russian is a great book, and a fitting companion to the story of Battlefield 3.

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