Hardpoint is the eighth mission in the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 campaign, and the second in which you provide air support to your allies on the ground. You play as Shadow 1 TV Operator (a.k.a. “TV”) under the command of Commander Phillip Graves aboard an AC-130. In the previous mission, Close Air, the enemies on the ground don’t shoot back at you, but in Hardpoint they do, and that makes it much more difficult.
The first part of the Hardpoint mission is much like the Close Air mission, if a little more intense. Use the 25MM gun to take out any enemy infantry on the ground. Use thermal vision to spot them and, if they’re moving, always aim a little ahead of them. If you’re struggling to find targets, pay attention to the radio chatter, which will always tell you where the enemies are. Also, sometimes the team on the ground will use their laser pointers to identify enemy locations, so look out for those lines.
How to avoid incoming missiles in Hardpoint
After you take out the mortar team in the football field, things get a lot more difficult because enemy anti-air units appear and start firing guided missiles at you. Tap down on the D-pad to launch flares, which will cause the missiles to miss. The best timing is to do this when you hear the first, less intense, alarm sound. Leave it until the second sound, and you might be too late. However, even if you time your flares to perfection, that might not be enough. Flares take time to cooldown, and sometimes there are two or more missiles coming at you in quick succession. The only solution is to find and kill the soldiers shooting the missiles, so always make this a priority.
The anti-air units are alone or in teams of three, and usually well away from the heart of the action. It’s best to zoom out so that you can see as much of the terrain as possible, and look out for the missiles’ vapor trails. Zoom in on the source of the trail, shoot the soldier(s) you’ll find there, and don’t forget to launch flares to intercept the missile they just launched. Don’t focus solely on dealing with anti-air teams though. You need to juggle your own survival with that of the team on the roof of the restaurant south of the school. Focus your attention on the road between the school and the restaurant, as that’s where they get inside the restaurant.
During the last part of the mission, there are two more anti-air units on the far side of the bridge, then a number of armored vehicles approach from that same side. Don’t try to hit them directly. Instead, bombard the bridge with missiles and 40MM rounds until it’s destroyed (ideally with the enemies on it). Even if they’re not on the bridge when you destroy it, they’ll be stuck on the far side and easy to pick off from there.