MISSION 03 - Glassed
Advised weapon combo: Battle rifle + Assault rifle
As soon as the mission begins, you'll be in a massive elevator plummeting towards the surface of the planet. You'll start off holding a battle rifle and magnum. Watch from the window as the atmosphere gets closer and closer, as you eventually pass through the clouds and reach ground level (interesting to see the floor indicator on that thing: space --- ground floor?). Locke and the rest of the Spartans hear from Governor Sloan as they arrive. Sounds like a friendly guy.
Exit the elevator and listen to the garbled explanation before legging it down the hallway to the right. You'll see a huge blast door in front of you with militia forces waiting around it. Before approaching it, head to the far right side of the room and check on top of a yellow crate against the wall for some intel.
Objective: Proceed to Meridian Station
Following the corridor and the trail of terrified people, you'll arrive at the main door leading outside. On a ledge to the left of the massive blast doors is a shotgun lying on one of the crates if you want to use it. Stay in this position as the doors begin to open, commanding your squad to stay at the top of the ramp leading down to the door. As soon as the door is fully open, two or three crawlers will race up and open fire. Use your flanking position to quickly dispose of the beasts before emerging into the outside world.
Below you will see the colonists fighting against the promethean forces. Shoot down two or three of the crawlers and a soldier in the open from your vantage point before going down the slope. Swap the magnum for an assault rifle (found at the base of the stairs leading up into the building on the left side of the area). Walk back over to the cover in the center of the area and use your battle rifle against the soldiers (focusing fire on the one on the turret first), while using your assault rifle to deal with any crawlers that get close.
When the open central area beyond the fence is relatively clear, you can move up towards the building on the right, taking out the soldier on the upper floor for a better vantage point and grabbing the DMR rifle from the ground up here if you want to. Don't use the turret if you are on higher difficulties as it makes you a sitting duck. You can also use the angle of the stairs here as good cover to shoot from as it allows you to duck in and out without completely exposing yourself to incoming fire. On the middle floor of this right side is a small office with a data pad sitting on the armrest of a chair that you can interact with for intel. The roof holds a turret control panel that will activate the turrets in the area to make your life easier. On the left area at the base of the large ramp you came down initially you'll find a set of stairs leading up to the left. Next to these stairs is a pile of boxes covered by a tarp with a radio next to it that you can use to get some intel.
More soldiers and crawlers will spawn in as you continue to rack up the kills. Be wary of them spawning inside the right building as their sudden appearance can be dangerous. Keep whittling down the enemy numbers and keep to cover. With all the light rifle wielding enemies, standing in the open is a rapid death sentence. A small room in the lower level of the right building holds two assault rifles if you need to resupply. A checkpoint will trigger when you've killed a fair few enemies.
After the checkpoint happens, your other squad members will begin commenting that "we need to get that gate open." Meaning the fortified gate at the far rear of the area. Shortly after this, a knight commander will show up leading reinforcements (a decent number of soldiers and crawlers). Be careful to avoid the knight's explosive fire (like a slow moving grenade launcher). Remember you'll need to deal with both of his shoulder plates before shooting him in the mouth or back.
However, to make things easier for yourself, scoot across to the opposite side of the area into the caves. At the back, you'll find a set of stairs leading upwards with a shotgun next to them. At the top you'll emerge onto a large balcony/ rooftop overlooking the central area where the knight is. Hastily dispatch the waiting group of four crawlers and two soldiers up here (you can grab one of their light rifles if you want to replace your battle rifle) before using one of the staircases leading further up. Up here you'll find a sniper rifle plus a fair bit of ammo. The reason it's here is so you can shoot the generator outside the gate to lower it, but you can also use the sniper rifle to quickly polish off the knight and any soldiers around him if you are a decent shot.
Shoot the generator when the knight is no more (use your objective locator if you can't spot it behind the gate). The gate will drop, giving you access to the area outside the main settlement.
Use your high position to clear up any remaining enemies before descending back to ground level and passing through the gate. Move forwards from the gate to see a waiting warthog and two mongooses. Before mounting up however, climb the stairs and enter the building on the right to discover a spartan laser up for grabs (which can be of use against enemies in vehicles that we'll encounter shortly) as well a shotgun if you'd prefer.
Head back down the stairs when you're done and jump in the driver seat of the warthog, leaving the turret to one of your AI minions (they can just about handle the turret. Driving, not so much). Burn rubber through the gully ahead and promethean enemies will start to spawn in as you roll along. If you're looking for the intel in this level, you'll need to stop off at a downed pelican with red crates next to it, look at the gap between the pelican and the crates to see the radio mostly buried in the ground. Listening to it to it will give you the intel. Now on lower difficulties you can just bum around making sure everything is dead. On harder difficulties, you want to haul ass, putting as much cover between you and spawning enemies as possible. If it means you look like you are driving drunk, you're probably doing it right.
Keep rolling along the path, avoiding/ killing the spawning enemies, and you should reach what looks like a large gate inside a large structure which leads to a bridge (you'll see some civilian forces are fighting here). Get out of the vehicle and head to the left side of the gate building onto an outlook where you can find some blueprints for a bit of intel. You can also find a DMR and battle rifle ammo on the far corner next to the railing. From this relatively safe position, you can wreak havoc with your spartan laser if you picked it up, or just keep destroying soldiers with your regular weapons.
After you've killed enough enemies, the bridge gate will be opened for you, so round the corner and run on through. You'll find a warthog ready and waiting on the right side of the bridge for you to hop in, but you might want to move along on foot. Because at the far end, another warthog will be manned by soldiers as you approach, prompting you to immediately take cover from the turret. Unfortunately they can kill you very fast if you are driving the warthog.
Move up, following the promethean controlled warthog until you reach the far side of the bridge with an open expanse of snow covered rocks ahead and the settlement's garage in a building to your right. This garage is important, because inside it is the scorpion tank that's going to get you through the rest of the level on legendary difficulty as well as containing the final piece of intel in the back corner. Lower difficulty players can just roll on ahead in their warthogs if they wish, but life is still easier if they pick up the scorpion as well.
To unlock the scorpion, you need to clear all the enemies surrounding the garage area (basically the area you can see when you reach the far side of the bridge). You'll be killing your way through a lot of soldiers, a knight and crawlers here, but the reward is worth it. You can also climb up the stairs to the left of the bridge exit to find another sniper rifle which makes clearing out the soldiers a bit easier. You will also need to be using the scorpion to obtain the skull for this level.
When everything is finally dead, Sloan will get the settlers to open the garage for you. Step inside to grab some ammo and weapons from the back of the garage and then embark in your war machine. Keep in mind it is not indestructible, so take things slow as you start up the slope leading out of this area. As you do, a pair of turrets will spawn in on the ledge above to your left, immediately start hitting them with shells from the tank's turret before they deals damage to you with their laser attack.
Another turret will spawn on the right edge of the same slope you are driving on, be sure to look for it as you trundle forward to avoid taking damage. Blast away the crawlers and soldiers ahead to clear the first slope. Also be wary of the AoE from the tank's shells as you may accidentally damage yourself. Turn the corner and roll up the second slope, passing under an arch of rock at the top.
To get the skull on this level:
To find this Skull, you must play on Legendary difficulty during Mission 3: Glassed. Get into a Scorpion parked in one of the garages just before heading uphill to the station gate in the last half of the mission. Drive the Scorpion along the uphill path until you reach the Meridian Station Gate. Use your Scorpion to shoot down the Phaeton in the sky that appears to be chasing a cargo ship. If you miss the Phaeton, reload from the last checkpoint and try again.
Once you successfully shoot down the Phaeton, the Iron Skull will spawn in one of three locations in the garage area. The first location is in between two yellow containers along a fence near a cliffside to the left of where you positioned the tank after shooting down the phaeton. The next is found between several containers covered by a green tarp ont the roof of garage 14 where you obtained the tank. There’s a small staircase leading up to the roof. The last location is near the center of the garage area. There’s a small rocky overhang with two moveable crates underneath. The skull may be found behind these crates.
Return to where you were and rumble forward. On the other side of the arch, more enemy troops will spawn in to the right. You should be able to pick off a couple as they spawn, then roll further forward to mop up.
Another group of soldiers will spawn as you start rolling up the hill on the other side of where the last spawn was located. Use the rock cliffs for cover as you bombard anything that comes into view. When the way is clear, rattle up the hill and you'll arrive at the entrance to Meridian station. Unfortunately, you are about to be assaulted by many waves of promethean enemies here and you'll need to make good use of you tank driving skills, aiming and cover in the area to survive.
You'll be under relentless assault here from multiple sides, so you'll want to take cover near where you rolled in (behind a rock or large piece of cover) where you still have decent line of sight over the area. As soon as you see spawns (the purple cloud), start firing into it to hit enemies before they have a chance to spread out.
You will get two checkpoints thankfully as the onslaught continues, but stay in cover and use your tank effectively. If it gets destroyed, you're going to have a very long and painful firefight to finish the level. After completing the final wave of enemies, you can approach the gate to the station and the level will end. Wasn't it much easier in the scorpion?