Crusader: No Regret
|a game by||Origin Systems|
|Editor Rating:||8/10, based on 3 reviews|
|User Rating:||5.0/10 - 2 votes|
|Rate this game:|
In this sequel to last year's popular Crusader: No Remorse, the Silencer returns to battle the military might of the World Economic Consortium's lunar base. This bloody 3/4-overhead shooter sports ten new combat and sabotage missions in five fresh landscapes, all loaded with tougher traps and puzzles. No Regret also features new characters like servomechs and civilians, as well as enemies that stalk you with morphing and stealth abilities. But the Silencer's packing more heat, too, including fierce weapons that let you melt, freeze, shatter, and irradiate your foes; new moves like forward rolls and kneeling sidesteps; and other improvements in control and tactics. Graphically, Origin's supplied even more gory death scenes, and everything in the game can be blown up. Pass the ammo....
Download Crusader: No Regret
Combining strategy with fast shoot-em-up action. Crusader: No Regret is an excellent sequel to Crusader: No Remorse. But Regret shows no remorse in outclassing its predecessor by showcasing better graphics, more refined gameplay, and more mayhem.
Silenced by Silencer
Crusader's simple premise: You are Silencer, a lethal futuristic enforcer who's sided with the resistance movement battling an evil organization called the World Economic Consortium. Using a variety of firearms and special weapons, you blast through 10 levels of a WEC wasteland.
Storywise, Regret picks up immediately where Remorse left off as Silencer's picked up drifting in space by the WEC. As soon as the cockpit of your craft opens, you're spraying gunfire in every direction.
While Regret's game engine mirrors its predecessor's and retains the same 3A-overhead view, there are several new elements. The levels are bigger, so that becoming lost is definitely a danger. They are also more challenging, teeming with perplexing puzzles and traps. Puzzles range from collecting identification cards to pressing switches in the correct sequence. Silencer also has a new move, the forward roll--an ability that's essential to dash past hazards and enter hidden areas with narrow openings.
Crusader: No Problem
Controlling Silencer takes skill beyond a quick trigger finger. He has several advanced moves, including crouching, side-stepping, rolling forward, and rolling side-to-side. The responsive controls are tricky at first, but they're easily mastered with practice.
A Violent Scene
The graphics are clean and detailed. The levels look great, and they're packed with items that explode when shot. With bright fire and smoldering embers, the explosions are particularly arresting. The graphics highlight the gruesome carnage. Enemies explode, run around engulfed in flames, and can be frozen and subsequently shattered. The only downside comes when you tune in to the cheesy full-motion video of the resistance members at the video terminals.
The clean audio features loud explosions and intelligible voices (as in other games of this type, enemies believe they can stop you by yelling "Halt!"). Music ranges from hard-grinding guitar riffs to subtle synthesizers, providing an excellent accompaniment to the visuals.
Crusader: No Contest
Crusader: No Regret has all the right elements to produce a top-notch action game, including superb running-and-gunning, great visuals, and hours of intense gameplay. You'll have no regrets about joining Crusader's crusade.
- The steam valves are a handy way to eliminate enemies. Turn the valve wheel when an enemy is close to a leaking pipe, and the escaping vapor can kill him.
- Recharge your energy at various first-aid and electrical stations. However, be careful around these structures--careless gunfire can easily destroy them.
- Use the elevators to your advantage. If an enemy is standing below one, press the elevator switch and let the elevator do him in.
- Use care when you press switches. Some are actually booby taps, like this gun that rises behind you and suddenly fires.
- Avoid using explosives against the enemy troops. If they explode, you can't search them for ammo and other helpful items.
Just when you thought you had blown up everything that moved (and a good deal that didn't) and had finally defeated those well-armed techno-bureaucrats of the Consortium in Crusader: No Remorse, you find out that -- guess what -- there are still more bad guys to toast, broil, freeze, disintegrate, chop, dice and fricassee.
Good thing you didn't leave home without your trusty red space suit and awe-inspiring assortment of firepower.
Such is your mission -- nay, your quest -- in Origin's second installment in the Crusader series: the wreaking of as much destruction as possible on, well, everything. If it moves, shoot it. If it doesn't move, shoot it. If it looks like it might move, what the heck, shoot it just for good measure -- chances are it will blow up real pretty.
In case you don't know the story yet, here goes: you are the Silencer, a renegade storm trooper that has turned against his former masters within the evil World Economic Consortium or WEC (one of the less inspiringly named opponents, if you ask me). Anyhow, the WEC waxed your friends and has repeatedly tried to wax you, so now, naturally, you have a chip on your shoulder and nobody trusts you and you basically want to reduce the WEC to its constituent elements. You're the Charles Bronson of 2029. You know the rest.
Gameplay in Crusader: No Regret takes place from a 3D isometric perspective as originally popularized in the later Ultima games. It's a top-down, 3/4 view that gives you a nice bird's-eye view of Mr. Silencer as he unleashes his death-dealing weapons in every direction. You think I'm playing up the destruction element in this game too much? Play it if you don't believe me. OK, sure, you have to pick up med kits and keycards here and there, but the theme is mayhem, pure and simple. Perhaps the next installment will be called Crusader: No Remains. Anyway, you control the Silencer with your choice of the keyboard, mouse, or joystick. The controls take a little getting used to, but once you have the hang of it, it becomes second nature quickly. Origin deserves credit for fixing some of the control quirks found in Crusader: No Remorse, and has graphically smoothed a good deal of the animation. They've also made it possible to blow almost everything up, and they've added several really neat, brutal new weapons, and a good deal more traps, environments and quandaries in this second offering.
The graphics in Crusader: No Remorse were what really won folks over the first time around, and they've only improved on them in No Regret. This is a visually stunning game, and the sheer depth of interaction with the environment is amazing. All this, and Origin managed to make it run smooth as silk and still add to the level of detail in the original Crusader. This is one that you have to play yourself to fully appreciate, as no screenshot or box shot will do it justice. An A+ in this category.
The audio in No Regret is also first-rate: from the mechanical sounds of the various robots, welding arms, conveyor belts and proximity alarms, to the truly disturbing death shrieks of the Consortium nogoodniks as they run -- on fire and blindly waving their arms -- after encountering the Silencer's immolator rifle. The audio creates an absorbing sense of environment and will make you jump at times when a barrel falls off a ledge, or the Silencer crosses an electric eye beam and suddenly sets off a blaring alarm. The music, too, is well conceived and adds a sense of urgency to the 'one man against the world' scenarios.
You will find no shortage of enemies in No Regret, even on the "Mama's Boy" setting. And this time around (as opposed to No Remorse), the enemy AI has been beefed up so that the WEC guards actually have a couple of pretty neat defensive moves and will not just blindly stand behind a barrel waiting for you to blast them. Also, here you will encounter much more lethal and intelligent robots, and will also come up against several new environmental hazards like radioactive ore. Overall, the enemies, tricks and traps are very challenging, perhaps too challenging for someone who has not played Crusader: No Remorse. In fact, on the 3rd and 4th difficulty settings it takes some good luck and a lot of skill to make it out of the first couple of rooms. So consider yourself warned -- save often, since you only get one life in No Regret and it can be snuffed out by one shot from some of the larger robots or by an unfortunate laser blast too close to a big rack of something explosive.
Crusader: No Remorse really redefined the action genre, or rather came at it from a different view than most gamers were accustomed to. No Regret builds on the strengths of No Remorse and adds in enough new features to make the second installment worthwhile on its own merits. There really isn't anything else like the Crusader games on the market that comes close to the level of detail, gameplay, and immersive environment. The fluid, lifelike movement of the characters and the excellent rendering of the physical environment in both Crusader titles make the pair of them a "must have" for anyone who loves action games.
Parents should be aware that there is a good deal of graphic violence in both Crusader titles, and that the general level has even been upped a notch in No Regret. You will literally see people lit on fire, frozen and shattered, and boiled to vapor. It is not as gory as some of the fighting games or first-person shooters, but to me it is more realistic since the audio that accompanies the demise of all the bad guys is chillingly lifelike. This is probably a title that is better for older kids, not only because of the violence, but also because younger kids simply aren't going to have much fun with the controls' learning curve. Origin rates the game a Teen (ages 13+) title.
Well, this should be the one thing that the folks at Origin themselves regret: I really feel that they missed ahuge opportunity by making No Regret single-player only. We can only imagine what multiplayer would be like, but I can tell you that it would certainly turn some heads among those currently glued to the likes of Quake or Duke.
As touched on above, this is not a game you will easily master -- for me that makes it challenging up to a point, but there were several times on the first three levels that I wondered if a particular room wasn't pretty much impossible to get through due to the number of opponents and/or traps. A good thing to keep in mind is that you will be given the opportunity to gain remote control of the nastier robots quite frequently, and can use them to take out a good number of WEC guards before you try some of the more difficult rooms. Just be sure to use any robot you've captured until it gets destroyed, because if you just leave it and relinquish control, it'll be waiting to use you as a target when you next encounter it. If, overall, the game is too difficult, or you can't wait to find those really cool weapons mentioned in the instruction booklet, you can always resort to the cheat codes.
System Requirements/Install Notes
Minimum: 486 DX4/75 or better, 8 MB RAM, 65 MB hard disk space, 2X CD-ROM drive, sound card, 256-color SVGA graphics card, MS-DOS 5.0 or higher.
Recommended: Pentium 60 or better, 16 MB RAM, 4X CD-ROM drive, 16-bit graphics card, VESA driver or 100% compatible
Notes: Installation was flawlessly smooth and there were no apparent bugs or glitches as hampered the original Crusader. In fact, whatever tweaks the folks at Origin have added to No Regret appear to have been applied to the updated version of No Remorse that came packaged with No Regret. Do heed the fact that this game runs much better with 16 MB RAM, and that it takes a minimum of 65 MB hard disk space—kind of a lot, but worth it once you see this game.
Crusader: No Regret rates a 91 overall. As in the original Crusader, a multiplayer option (or patch -- hint, hint) would probably make this the head-to-head action game of the year, especially if Origin added in network or Internet play that would allow squads of Silencers to face off with all the great weapons and countermeasures at their disposal. Nonetheless, No Regret is an absorbing visual feast that pits the player against some of the toughest scenarios to be encountered in this genre. Newcomers will find this game difficult, even on its easiest setting, and may tire of the often frustrating searches for the sometimes oddly placed keycards or switches, but fans of the original Crusader, the old Ultimas, or anyone who likes a big, fast-paced, gorgeous shoot-'em-up will love this one. As a bonus, if you look around this holiday season you can most likely find No Regretbundled with a copy of No Remorse for under $35.