Crusader: No Remorse
Due from Origin is a Bioforge/LBA type 3D walkabout adventure, which is currently known as Crusader: No Remorse. Set an Orwellian 220 years in the future, an oppressive and self-serving government, known as the Consortium, I controls just about every aspect of a person's life. Citizens must pay the majority of their wages in taxes and receive few benefits in return. General discontent prevails for many years, until one city eventually attempts to secede. A number of cities quickly follow suit, forcing the Consortium to mobilise its forces to quosh the rebellion. Before you start making lame gags about it being a Britain in the '90s sim, you might be interested to hear that you don't actually play the victim, but one of the Enforcers (part of a specially selected military force operated by the Consortium) who decides to defect and join the rebellion.
The game is mission-based and will use live-action video for realistic interaction with fellow rebels, and allows the player to employ advanced fighting tactics with a vast array of weapons to choose from. Crusader is so realistic that visible damage results can be seen from every round fired, whilst an advanced character-control system allows the player to walk, run, jump, crouch and hide. Everything that can be rendered is, and it's all in Super vga.
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'Crusader', huh?sounds like some kind of medieval thang now. don't it? Kind of sets you thinkin' about a bunch of sword-slinging-white-ass-bygone-days dudes, workin' their way through Europe, slayin' people and shit. Well, you be thinkin' wrong. This here Crusader ain't no chain-mailin' helmet-wearin' hey nonny no motherfunker, this here is some high-tech futuristic lethal weapon kind of guy. And believe me. this is one funky sonofabitch too. man. 'cos he ain't no yellow-bellied camouflage-sportin' dumb ass either. This baby strolls straight into a full-on combat situation dressed head to toe in bright red armour. man. You hear what I'm saying? Like, he ain't afraid to be seen. Now that's confidence, bro. that's confidence.
Okay, you seen what we lookin' at here? We're lookin' at the latest game from Origin, man. Origin. They ain't clickin' around when it comes to no game, either my man. They brought us Underworld, man, they gave us System Shock, Wing Commander 3, the Ultima series... Jesus, these guys have classic pc games practically failin' out of their ass, boy. You know, it's like, they go take a dump, man, and then they turn round to wipe an' shit and it's like, woah! There's a library of 100% prime-cut solid gold titles right there in the goddamn toilet pan! And you know what? It's looks like they gone done it again this time. We're talkin' svga, perfect animation, bad ass violence, and superlative gameplay. Smokin'.
Back to normal
Sod it. I can't keep that up - let's get to the point, shall we? We're supposed to be discussing Crusader. Crusader is fantastic. Put simply, it's like a cross between Little Big Adventure and X:Com Terror From The Deep. It's got the action adventure steak of the former, the strategic gunplay kidney of the latter, and the isometric perspective pastry of the two. It's a veritable multi-genre pie. And yes, it smells good. In fact, it's obvious from the word go that this is something major.
You (yes, you) are a kind of hi-tech space mercenary bloke; a potent mix of cat-burglar, espionage agent, and amoral gun-wielding thug. Since I'm sure you couldn't give a fiddler's pluck about the plot, I'm not going to even mention it (which is bloody handy considering I don't know anything about it). Plot, schmot, that's what I say - this game would be top-notch fun even if it revolved around rescuing the members of The Partridge Family one by one. Crusader leaves you in charge of the aforementioned military bloke and allows, nay, encourages you to set about being sneaky, cunning and violent, all at the same time. Basically, you break into places, search about for clues, blow stuff up, and kill loads of people with a variety of weapons. Fantastic.
Your character is extremely nimble, with a plethora of actions to control. Aside from being able to do the basics (running, walking, crouching, etc), he can also jump around, roll into firing position Bodie and Doyle-style, or sneak about on tiptoe waving a gun. The animation is superb throughout -indeed, all the graphics are fantastic, as are the sound effects (Crusader features full speech, too). The controls can be bemusing at first but soon become second nature; aiming and firing may take a little longer. Draw your gun and your character immediately stands still. A small crosshair appears, and the movement control changes to allow you to rotate left and right and perfect your aim. Don't worry; this sounds unwieldy and confusing, but it isn't - it's bloody good fun. The following is a typical 30-second extract of gameplay...
Destroy! Destroy! Destroy!
Having disabled the security alarm, you burst in through the door, take out the security guard in the corner and immediately crouch down behind a packing crate. On the other side of the room stands another guard. He draws his weapon and walks towards you. Like a hero, you do a Bodie and Doyle, roll out from behind your cover and shoot the sucker in the kneecaps. Ha! But lawks-a-mercy! The security camera spots you; an alarm sounds. Suddenly another guard appears in the doorway. You spin on your heel and fire - but miss. Fortunately, your stray bullet hits a barrel, which does the decent thing and explodes in a mass of flames. The guard catches fire and runs past you, screaming, before collapsing in a little pile of ash on the floor. Phew.
In other words, first rate, daring, yet believable heroics. Best of all, you can destroy almost everything you see -the attention to detail is awesome. Pissed off with that chair in the corner? Then pump some lead into that sucker and watch it spin around! Don't like monitor screens? Blow 'em away! That snivelling, unarmed maintenance man getting your goat with his desperate pleas for mercy? Shoot him in the head! Other delights in store include the ability to manipulate remote control combat droids, and the odd trip in an armed-up tank. Started drooling yet? You should do. It's the most addictive game I've played in ooh, yonks. You'll love it.
Crusader should appeal to just about everybody: quest heads will love the snooping and problem-solving, strategy fans will lap up the fine 'realism' of the combat engine and the variety of weapons at their disposal, and action fans will spoodge as the bodies fall like blood-soaked dominoes.
If you like your games to be involving, thoughtful and exceedingly brutal, you really ought to get hold of this. And that's an order, goddamnit.
The popular PC action title goes console. Look out, Project Overkill-here comes Crusader: No Remorse.
Crusader uses a complex button scheme that takes advantage of every button on the controller. Your hero, Silencer, can run, jump, shoot, and use a variety of special weapons--there's so much that memorizing the various functions takes real concentration.
Gameplay & Fun Factor
Crusader is more than blasting enemies and coloring the hallways crimson; it is also loaded with puzzles, traps, hidden areas, and other strategy elements.
Graphics & Sound
The game is early in development, so the characters and surroundings look a little rough around the edges. However, the explosions are very colorful, and there's blood and gore galore. The gunfire is still on the tinny side, and enemies' screams sound like Pee-Wee Herman.
Crusader: No Remorse lines up its sights on the PlayStation, igniting that same captivating action that drove the PC version to the top of the charts. There's plenty of room to improve the graphics and sounds, but Crusader delivers what matters the most: topnotch addictive gameplay. Playing as a renegade soldier called the Silencer, you join the rebel forces in order to stave off the evil machinations of the world governmerit. Accomplishing that involves stealing secret data, detonating key installations, and so on. The Silencer's up for the job, too, as he fights with a lethal arsenal and sweet moves like ducking and rolling, strafing, and more. Complicated at the start, the controls work smoothly with practice.
On the graphics side, engaging touches like the cool explosions make up for the otherwise generic look. The solid but uninspired sounds stick to the middle of the road as well.
Crusader's like Project Overkill with more brains, achieving a sweet combo of intense combat and tough, well-varied mission objectives. If killer game-play is all you care about, Crusader ranks among the PlayStation's best.
- Whenever you get control of a droid, use it to cleat out everything in the area so the Silencer can just stroll right on through.
- If you can't find the key or passcode to open a door, grenade often does the trick just fine.
- Watch for hidden switches or those that seem to have no purpose--they often open up secret areas elsewhere in the level.
PCs aren't exactly famous for their action games. Most computer titles are either Doom clones, epic RPGs, in-depth strategy games or ultracomplex simulators. More often than not, action-oriented titles just don't cut it with PC gamers. Origin's Crusader; No Remorse is one of the few shining exceptions to this rule, and now it's coming to the PlayStation.
At first glance, Crusader looks much like the recently released Konami title Project Overkill. It's played in a three-fourths, isometric perspective and your character spends most of the game blowing up anything and anyone that gets in his way. The game is also very visceralbad guys gush blood when you blast them and run flaming and screaming when you nail them with particularly destructive weapons.
True to its PC roots, however, Crusader is more than just a mindless shooter. It has earned the respect of PC gamers for one main reason-they have to use their heads as well as their reflexes to survive its missions. So players can't just run through this game with guns blazing-they have to take cover behind boxes, pop out from around corners and use other surprise tactics to get the jump on enemies. Fortunately, your character can pull off a slew of lightning-quick moves to dodge enemy fire Csee sidebar).
Crusader is set 200 years in the future, when the world is run by a gang of international, ultraconservative din-gleberries who make up the World Economic Consortium. The Consortium frowns upon free thought, and life just ain't all that fun anymore. Those who break the rules are hunted down by armored, heavily armed shocktroopers called Silencers. But one Silencer has caught a bad case of guilty conscience.
He doesn't want to execute freedom fighters anymore; he'd rather plot against the government. Players guide this turncoat Silencer as he blasts his way through government installations and tries to sabotage the Consortium's plans.
The Silencer goes on 17 missions in all. Each has players sneaking and shooting their way through maze-like installations, where they'll battle soldiers (who shout out colorful greetings like "Die, rebel bastard!"), terminator-like robots and the occasional hostile civilian. The levels pack a nasty collection of traps, too, like electrified floor panels and wall-mounted laser zappers. But the Silencer, of course, isn't unprepared for such life-threatening nuisances. Although he starts the game with a wimpy little machine gun, he'll later find laser rifles, grenade launchers, roving mines and other high-powered armament.
The Silencer will have to aim his weapons carefully, however, since nearly every object in the game blasts apart when it's shot. If players stand too close to an exploding gas tank or desk, they'll take damage (the Silencer does receive some protection from a personal force field, which wears out if it takes too much abuse).
Control in Crusader is a bit complicated, since the Silencer can pull off so many moves. The game offers two modes of play-one that makes moving through the levels easier and another that simplifies aiming. Players can switch between these modes on the fly though, so they'll be able to choose the control method that best fits the situation.
The PC version of Crusader met with a good deal of success when it was released more than a year ago. It's no surprise, then, that Origin has just released its sequel, Crusader: No Regret. If the PlayStation version of Crusader: No Remorse is a hit, console players will, no doubt, eventually get to play the sequel, as well.
You wont live long in Crusader if you dash blindly into every new room you find, since bad guys often wait in ambush. The best way to enter a room is to first announce your presence with a little firepower. Stand in front of the open door for a second or so and launch a few rockets into the new room. Or--better yet--send in one or two roving spider mines, which will crawl toward targets then explode. Once the smoke clears, haul butt into the room and drop the remaining bad guys with your lasers or machine guns.
Fortunately for you. the facilities you visit in Crusader aren't the neatest places in the world--they're filled with stacked crates, barrels and other objects. And these obstacles make excellent shields from enemy fire.
When you enter a room--and before you get within range of the enemies--seek out any obstacles you can use for cover. Dash behind them then roll to the side and fire away at the bad guys. You can also shoot a hole through the crates to nail enemies without leaving the safety of your hiding place.
Keep in mind that enemy fire will knock away the crates, too. And be careful not to take cover behind a gas tank or other explosive structure. One stray shot from the enemy will send you into orbit.
- MANUFACTURER - Origin
- THEME - ACTION
- NUMBER OF PLAYERS - 1
In this shoot-em-up, you try to dismantle a global dictatorship during 15 deadly missions. Depending on your mood, you can set the 74-overhead view action for straight shooting all the way to easier combat combined with puzzle/strategy play. If you like a little real-time strategy mixed in with your destruction, Crusader offers a great blend of blasting (you can destroy just about everything you encounter - with full VGA graphics effects) and the opportunity to use your wits.
Deadly action/adventure awaits you in Crusader, a pulsepounding sci-fi game that combines shooting and strategy action gameplay.
You've defected from the Consortium to join the rebel forces. To prove yourself, you must survive mission after mission of ruthless combat. This flexible game allows you to choose whether you prefer gameplay that's more strategic or more straight shooting for each mission. To complete the missions, you'll have to explore realistic environments like refineries, laboratories, space stations, and military bases. Gain control of enemy vehicles and armaments and use your character's ability to walk, run, crouch, and jump to ambush enemies.
Crusader's 3/4-overhead view action includes rendered 3D opponents with individual combat styles, all in SVGA graphics with live-action video cuts for interaction with multiple characters.
Crusader: No Remorse, from Origin, is a "one-man-against-the-world" action-adventure game. You, the story's main character (naturally), are an agent of the Resistance -- the group vowing to bring to its knees the WEC, or World Economic Consortium. You'll do this the old-fashioned way -- you'll run around, kill whoever crosses your path, and blow up a bunch of stuff. Along the way, you must further the cause of the Resistance not only by demolishing WEC facilities, but by rescuing fallen comrades and gathering confidential information. There is also a Resistance traitor in your midst that must be found. But don't worry, you don't have to pay attention to the story to win. The story, conveyed via mission objectives, character interaction and video clips, is really only a backdrop to the action. In Crusader, therefore, to kill is to win.
_Crusader has a great look. The isometric overhead view is a nice break from the first-person Doom-like interface that is so popular nowadays, but it did take a little getting used to, especially the first time you tried moving your guy around obstacles. There are several nice graphical touches in the game ... spinning fans, lights and cameras that you can shoot out, rolling barrels, pipes that spray toxic steam, etc. Bad guys realistically scream like the pigs they are and fall over when they die. The colors are well chosen, with the Silencer (that's you) showcased in an easy-to-see shade of red, while most of the backdrop is in earth tones.
The video clips carry the lion's share of the plot work, and though they are sometimes distracting when you just feel like wasting some dudes, they often provide information that is critical to your mission. You could ignore them, but your success would be much harder to come by. The best video of them all is the opening scene to the game, where from a rat's view, you get to see some Resistance troops getting wasted by a robot, which in turn gets blown up by a grenade one of the soldiers was carrying ... nice.
The music in Crusader is quite well done. On each mission, a new type of music prevails (for instance, on the second mission, a surprising solo guitar accompanies much of the action). This music contrasted well with the backbeat used in the first mission. The sound effects are also effective (pun intended); especially memorable among them are the screams of dying WEC troops, the indignant engineers' "Hey, you're not supposed to be in here," and the numerous and varying explosions in the game. The audio portion of the videos often was poorly synchronized with the video, but I'm not sure if that was a glitch with my system or a defect in the game.
Game setup for Crusader is a snap. It only took about 5 minutes to get through the installation process. There were two related issues that were somewhat questionable, though. The minimum installation required 30 MB of hard drive space. Also, the swap file creation upon loading the game takes about 5 minutes, a frustrating period to wait when you've got an itchy trigger finger.
I was very impressed with Crusader's documentation. There were three manuals included, one being the player's reference and the other two literature on the story background. The latter two were nice to read through once, just to get a feel for the storyline. The player's reference often came in handy, with detailed descriptions and color pictures of all game objects, along with helpful suggestions on how to manipulate them.
The interface itself is fairly well designed. The keyboard controls were a bit tough to get used to, though play with the mouse is also possible. As I mentioned, the viewpoint is refreshing, and it helps to single out Crusader as a unique gaming experience. One of the most interesting and useful features is the "Weasel," a fellow Resistance officer from whom you can buy weapons and such, using credits taken from the corpses of vanquished foes (all right!). This makes killing more profitable, and is a more realistic and fun way to get weapons than the old Doom tactic of stumbling upon them.
486 DX/66, 8 MB RAM, SVGA video card, 2X CD-ROM drive, DOS 5.0 or higher
Crusader: No Remorse provided many hours of enjoyable gaming, especially once you got used to the controls and the overhead viewpoint. Overall, I would recommend it for action gamers who want a break from the Doom look-alikes that dominate the market.
Unfortunately, Crusader doesn't support head-to-head play; that could be a consideration for some of you, and it does affect my rating slightly. Still, Crusader: No Remorse has earned a score of 80 from this reviewer as one of the better action games of the year. Watch for the sequel, coming soon from Origin, called Crusader: No Regret.