Monday, January 22, 2018

Crusader: No Remorse -- Part 2

Crusader: No Remorse - Part 1

Crusader: No Remorse - Part 3

- Mission 2 -

Before getting my briefing for mission 2, I walked around and explored the Resistance base.  It looks like it is an old subway station, and there is not much to explore.  There is the bar where I can interact with my fellow Resistance teammates, Col Ely's office where I can get my mission briefing, a small area with a health recharge station and shield recharge station, and one other room that looks like a clinic area where I can't interact with anyone right now.  Now that I've done that, let's meet our teammates at the bar.

Derrich Andrews was the only person nice to me.

This nice lady did not even give me her name, but she did make it clear that she wanted nothing to do with me.

Yo-Yo here told me he has killed many of my kind and that he knows for a fact we bleed.  Pleasant guy.

Weasel is the merchant in the game where I can buy weapons and ammo.  He has a weird accent and even weirder mannerisms.  He comes across as a stereotypical sleazeball, he even has a pet weasel (it actually looks like a ferret) on his shoulder that he refers to as his baby.  Let's see what he has for sale.

Buying/selling interface

You can see I only have 1624 credits and the basic pistol that I already have costs 525 credits.  The next step up pistol is 725 credits, the shotgun is 1400 credits, and the assault rifle is 1600 credits.  I'm going to wait and leave a save game here in the base and start the next mission without buying anything to see if I pick up a better weapon in the mission.  If not, and I'm getting wrecked with just the basic pistol, I can come back to this save and buy a better weapon and restart the mission.

Our mission is to free some Resistance prisoners who were captured this morning when their base was attacked by the WEC.  Seems straightforward enough.

Starting area
Alright I am teleported again into an area with enemies straight away.  It's the same soldier enemies, so I should be able to handle this.  I've got plenty of ammo for my pistol.

Huh, now I'm surrounded by a forcefield that electrocutes me when I try to walk through it.  Shooting the blue button on the wall below the ALERT sign made the forcefield go down, so no harm done.  Nice try WEC.

As I go through this level, something I'm noticing is there are a lot of computers I can access that have funny but not important messages.  I like the atmosphere and sense of environmental interactivity this adds, but it's bad for people that can be a little OCD in I can be sometimes.  It also doesn't help that sometimes computers have important bits of information like passcodes or they may even deactivate forcefields or unlock doors.  At least these kinds of computers will usually be separate from other groups or in an otherwise obvious place.  Reading the message son the computers really gives my the idea that the WEC is quite paranoid about the Resistance and has a very "Big Brother" 1984 feel.

For example
I'm also finding a lot more laser and forcefield puzzles on this level, almost similar to a primitive platformer game.  There are a lot of hallways with series of lasers shooting across that I have to time just right to run through.  Or there will be more puzzles involving pushing buttons to turn off lasers in sequence.  Nothing too difficult yet, I've been able to breeze through them all without dying so far.

But now I've stumbled across my old nemesis...the mega turret:

I think it is time to try out the spider bombs I've been carrying around for the past two levels.  From what I can remember, I need to place it and then steer it with the normal movement controls.  I haven't tried this yet, so this will be the first time...


That worked out pretty well, I would say those controls work pretty well.  My Silencer character turns/pivots at the same time I am moving the direction of the bomb, but that's not distracting.  It also took out the turret with only one bomb.  I like it!

Here is another example in motion:

Here is an example of a hallway with shooting lasers going across it.  As an added bonus, this hallway also has mines running down it.  That poor dead soldier was just standing there when I opened the door when one of the lasers shot him.  He probably should not have been standing in a hallway crisscrossed with deadly lasers and pressure mines.  Come on WEC...

I ran through some more rooms and disabled a bunch more forcefields that were pretty similar to everything else in this level.  It has a very office style to it with a lot of conference rooms and cubicles.  I thought this was funny:

Even in the future copiers get paper jams.

I eventually came to a teleporter that dumped me into a room with a pressure plate puzzle.  That is a first for this game.  But again, it isn't anything too difficult.  I would not classify it as platformer difficulty, more like standard action game difficulty.  In the room, there are pressure plates in the corners, but there are also lasers shooting along all the walls.  I destroyed the laser emitting devices then walked over the pressure plates to open the only door in the room:

After the door opened, the lasers on the floor disappeared for a bit but then came back.  Instead of reload, I just walked through them.  I've discovered I can pretty safely just walk through a lot of the laser traps on this difficulty without worrying about my health too much.  Speaking of health, I have not had a problem finding health kits in the game.  They usually drop from enemies or are found in crates, and I've remained full (10) for most of my playthough.  I have died a few times, but its usually been from high powered turrets that kill me before I can use a medkit.

I came to this room with a teleporter and the nearby computer has this to say:

The after closing that screen, the laser forcefields blocking that teleporter in the upper left went down, and it looks to me like it works.  I'm going to take it.

BAW GAWD I melted!  I would say that is out of order.  Time to reload and try the backup teleporter in the west wing.  After walking into the backup teleporter, I'm greeted with another FMV sequence from a soldier telling me I'm being directed to the prisoner wing.

He states that there is a heavy enemy presence and a lot of defensive measures, so I'll have to fight and figure my way through it all.  Fair enough.  I have to say, I like these FMV sequences over the gameplay screen instead of the usual method of cutting away from the game engine ala Wing Commander 3 or Jedi Knight.  I'm fairly certain the mechanics are the same behind the scenes, that Crusader is actually cutting away from the game image and just leaving a static image as a background screen for the FMV movie, but the effect is a nice change.  It tricks you to make you think you are still playing the game.

He wasn't kidding about all the defensive measures still being active and in place.  Each corner of the room also has moving squares on the floor.  But here's the thing, I've got 10 medkits, so I'm just going to run through all of these lasers and forcefields.  I don't mind a little electrocution or laser burns.

After running right through all those things and healing myself, I've come to the prisoner area.

Hi guys
As soon as I walked into this room, another FMV sequence starts up with our old friend the Wizard.
He tells me that he can get a teleport pad up and running, but that I need to rescue the prisons fast.  But just like last time, there is no timer so I can actually take me time.

This area looks nefarious
At the end of the prisoner room is what looks like a torture/surgery room.  And a strangely dressed NPC.

This guy is great.  The acting is so over the top that you can tell they had a great time shooting this scene.  Dr. Hoffman here is dressed like an mad doctor and he acts like a mad doctor.  He insinuates that he's done some horrible experiments on our poor prisoners, then tells me that they've served their purpose and its too late for them.

Whelp, I tried guys...sorry
Then it cuts to an in-game cutscene showing a mega-turret rising up out of the floor in the prisoner room and shooting all the prisoners!  That Dr. Hoffman sure is evil.  After this he runs out of the room and I am unable to chase him, I guess he gets away this time.

At least I was able to save one prisoner

Home sweet home
After Dr. Hoffman runs away like an evil coward, I come across one last prisoner that's still alive.  Her and I run to the teleporter Wizard has up and running, and we teleport safely back to base.  And that's the end of the Mission 2!

Overall this was a fun outing, but there maybe a few too many laser traps and puzzles.  The game is really at its best when I am simply shooting shit up with maybe the occasional spider bomb puzzle or turret puzzle.  The engine is just not suited to any kind of platforming or timing sequences, the control is too clunky.  I'm going to purchase a better gun for the next mission and see how that goes.
I will continue the saga of the Silencer with Part 3 to come later...

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