Crusader – No Remorse was a big enough success for Origin that a sequel was always going to happen. Crusader – No Regret came out just a year after the first game and offered more of the same as I remember it. No Remorse was a decent game but did suffer from a lack of variety. Despite this, it never got boring but I hope there is more originality in this game than I can recall after the 5 or 6 years since I first played it.
This is the final DOS game remaining from Origin as everything started to shift over to Windows 95 – it’s also the final game that doesn’t use 3D acceleration which was taking off around the same time. It only has ten levels but I gather they are all much larger than before so there is no less gameplay overall.
The game starts straight after the end of the previous one. I’d just blown up the Vigilence platform and escaped in a pod. The intro shows me drifting in space and been tractored in by a giant space ship. The people on it are conducting a search for survivors of the crash. At first they think I’m dead but I spring into life and immediately murder both of them which seems a bit harsh. I head out through the nearest door, through some guards and straight into the game. The intro is short but nicely done and the CGI characters are more convincing than the real life ones were in Longbow.
Once in the game, at first glance things appear to be extremely similar to before – its all the same old graphics and enemies and even the music is familiar. Its possible that the guards move around a bit more – I don’t remember them rolling around so much in Crusader 1.
I run into a resistance member. He tells me that I’m on some sort of mining ship and that I need to one of the other levels. He then shoots out the alarm system speaker and runs off.
This is something I don’t remember from the last game. I can turn a valve here and freeze someone to death. I can then shoot the body and they shatter into pieces. The crusader games definitely revel in death and destruction so I’ll be expecting to see a few new ways to kill people and blow things up along the way.
The recharge chambers have changed a bit. They are bigger and curvier but otherwise work in the same way as before.
This area has containers which I can shoot through to reveal stuff on the inside – I find a hidden chest in one of them this way.
There are new types of security camera. These rotate through a full 360 degrees so are much harder to hide from.
Denning contacts me through my data pad. He tells me that I need to destroy a plasma relay to destroy this ship.
I work down through the levels – the same system of lifts is used as before. Denning comes on the air again and tells me that a load of bots are on the way and to take the grenade launcher he has stashed nearby in a footlocker.
The grenade launches makes short work of all the bots.
A little later and Denning is back again telling me that I need a blue keycard he has hidden in a panel in the next room.
The panel takes a little finding. It’s behind these crates in the NE corner.
This gets me to the next level and I get a cutscene while I travelling down showing the mining ship I’m on nearing the moon. Denning says we need to destroy it before it reaches there so I’m running out of time.
I find the plasma relay on this level and start shooing it.
It blows up after enough hits.
Denning’s pretty happy about this and sets me up with a teleport pad to escape to a mine on the moon. He says one of his friends will contact me there.
I escape just in time as the spaceship is blown into little pieces.
The chairman from the last game just happens to be visiting the director of the moon mining station and is not happy about either the destruction of the ship or the fact that a silencer is rumored to be behind it. These cutscenes do look a bit better than Crusader 1 although the outfits those guards are wearing are seriously embarrassing.
At the start of the next level my contact gets in touch through my data pad. He is called Torch and is a miner here. Whatever is being mined is radioactive and rotted his arm off after the first two years. He tells me to go to level 4.
This second level does actually look a bit different to anything I’ve seen before. It’s about time we got a change but its nothing too major. I notice that I’m straight between levels this time with no return to a base in between. This is fine, although I did like the option to buy things – collecting money is not an issue in this game and I just have to find the weapons as I go along just like your standard FPS. This removes a bit of a RPG type element from the game but it should make it easier for the level designers to structure things appropriately to whatever equipment is available at the time.
Torch tells me that the ore that is mined here will damage robots and I can take them out by blowing up the green containers. It will also damage me so I need to keep my distance.
I don’t find his advice on the ore to be much use but I make it through to another message where he tells me that a highly radioactive area is ahead and I need to use the conveyor to get through.
I find the conveyor. Its covered in flames but I get away with just running straight through them – if I take any damage its minimal.
I make it to the lift at the end of the level and there is another cutscene. The chairman and director are getting briefed by the president who wants this whole situation sorting out. He wants them to work together but the director manages to talk her way into handling it on her own.
I emerge out of the elevator to meet up with Lt. Colonel Shepherd. He wants me to introduce a virus into the tubes (I think this is some sort of transport system). He hands over a disk and sends me on my way.
The level looks marginally different again – I hope this is kept up for the rest of the game.
Shephard is working his way on hacking into the system. He pops up with advice every now and then as I work my way through.
I don’t have any major drama getting through this level but I do struggle to get through the last locked door. I have the keycard but I can’t drop a force field in front of it. I wander around a bit and find this area which I can get to using a light bridge and jumping up a load of boxes. This nets me some goodies but I’m no nearer the end.
Eventually, I discover this hidden switch – this kind of puzzle is a little silly as it would be in plain view in real life. It was avoided in Crusader 1 but I’ve seen quite a lot of hidden switches and items now so I’ll have to keep my eyes peeled.
This gets me to the lift and down to level 3 where I need to use this disk. Shepherd reminds me, incase I’ve forgotten in the last 10 minutes.
I’m enjoying my return to Crusader again so far. It’s still fairly mindless stuff but somehow the formula never seems to get stale. It doesn’t appear that Origin did anything revolutionary with this sequel – it’s very much the same again with some new weapons, baddies and scenery thrown in. Its so similar to Crusader 1 that the game feels a bit like an expansion pack really but the new cutscenes add enough gloss that it justifies the full release. The cutscenes are shorter so far but more frequent, and give me little goals to accomplish which guide me through the levels. I can’t say this is any better than Crusader 1 yet – I could even argue its worse with the money/shopping aspect being removed but it’s a hell of a lot more entertaining than Longbow was.