My helicopter pilot can’t land where she expects due to the airport no longer being there. It appears that she hasn’t heard of the collapse which seems very suspicious. I suspect I may be dealing with some sort of AI but as long as she flies me around I have no complaints.
I make my way out of the helipad area and emerge into the Medina which appears to be a small marketplace. Cairo is very much like Seattle with your haves and have-nots split into 2 sections although here this is taken to even more extremes. A nano-plague is sweeping the area as a result of fallout from the collapse and everyone out here is wearing re-breathers. The rich live in an area called Arcology where the air is all filtered.
The owner of the bar in the Medina wants me to find some information for him. This is the sort of mission I’ll carry out if I find the person he wanted me to but I won’t go out of my way. Lin-May contacts me and is prepared to forgive me if I go straight to see Billie who is in the Order’s temple here in Cairo. Since I don’t know where I’m going I just keep exploring.
The first place I find is Nassif’s greenhouse. The WTO want me to go here and destroy Nassif’s work one way or another. The place is quite well guarded with automated systems and I have to sneak and dodge my way past various turrets and the like before making my way into the greenhouse itself.
Once here I take the direct approach and torch all the plants. The WTO now want me to look for evidence of where Nassif is.
Lin-May is not happy about the mission I’ve just done and sends a load of New Order soldiers at me, who I’ll meet as soon as I leave this area.
Finding evidence about Nassif’s location isn’t easy as all the security systems are on to me now. It turns out that I need to climb a ladder to reach an office near the hydroponics area. A message here puts me onto Nassif’s uncle who lives nearby and the WTO ask me to pay him a visit.
I head for the Order’s temple next. Lin-May sends the goons my way and I have to take them all out but she then forgives me and I can work for the Order again. This is a little hard to believe – clearly the game is going to continually stay on the one track until right at the very end. Whether my decisions have a long term impact or it will just be a case of pick which ending you want I don’t know but I expect the latter.
The order’s temple has a medical area caring for plague victims. The fact that the order is doing this says something about the likes of the WTO but there clearly isn’t a right side to be on in this game.
I meet up with Billie in the middle of the mosque. She has been put in charge of handling the epidemic but appears to be completely unsympathetic and doesn’t want the job. As soon as I warm to the order I’m put off them again then. Instead of taking the task on, she farms it off onto me and wants me to investigate rumours of the WTO having the technology to clear the plague up and not using it. If these rumours turn out to be true I’m not exactly going to be on the side of the WTO either and will be looking for a third option if it presents itself.
While I’m here Billie introduces me to Luminon Samin who heads up the Order in Germany. He appears to be on the verge of founding a splinter sanction of the Order (or attempting to take over) as he has differing views to it’s current leadership. He wants the Order to take a stricter approach to it’s guidelines. I’m sure I’ll be seeing more of this later.
Next I go looking for Nassif’s uncle. I know he is on the second floor of the local apartments. There is only one home here which makes it easy for me to figure out where to go but it turns out to be the headmasters office from the local Tarsus academy in the arcology section. More interesting still is that the headmaster appears to be in league with the Templars and I also find a key to a secret area off his office. I realise at this point that the American thing of 2nd floor actually meaning 1st floor is why I’m in the wrong place (they don’t have a ground floor apparently) so I head downstairs and try again.
I find Nassif’s uncle without problems but he isn’t very helpful. A less heavy handed approach in the greenhouse may have helped here. I do find out that Nassif has escaped somewhere but have to search his house for more clues.
I also learn that this mans daughter has gone missing in the Tarsus academy. The Tarsus academy here apparently has much younger students and the WTO want me to go there and see if I can learn anything about Nassif there. Maybe Nassif’s uncle will help me if I find his daughter also. I take his parents pass to get me into the academy and start to make my way over there.
A man outside wants me to go and kill the security chief in Arcology and even gives me a pass to get in when I agree to do it. Whether or not I carry out the mission is another matter but it means I won’t have to buy a pass in the Medina.
I use my new pass to get into Arcology and it really is another world in here. It’s a slick and modern building with a great view of the city and definitely no plague.
There is a Knight’s Templar recruiting post in here and they try to get me to join. I learn that they are wiping out anyone with biomods and they are not exactly fans of the Tarsus academy here for that reason. I’m given the choices of calling people with biomods scum and playing along or revealing myself in the conversation here. Not exactly offering me the middle ground. I can’t see any reason to make trouble at this stage so with those two options, I play along and they tell me they will be watching me and will contact me at some point in the future.
I head into the academy. The receptionist just assumes I’m a disgruntled parent and allows me to walk in. I learn that two of the children have gone missing, I expect I’ll have to find out what happened to them.
The academy is fairly small. I talk to some of the students who all have their own theories about the two missing students but no one actually knows anything.
One room has been sealed off and is under guard. Some greasels that were used for experiments have broken out and the specialist who is supposed to deal with it hasn’t shown up. I am of course offered the job if I want it and since I’m told there are biomods in there I don’t turn this down. There are only two greasels so it’s a quick and easy job. I have to pick the locks of some cabinets to get the goodies but it’s worth the effort.
There is a vent in this office and I know better than to pass up the chance to crawl through a vent in this game. I follow it through and discover the two missing children. They tell me that they have discovered a secret room off the headmasters office and that there is a note in there talking about terminating some of the students. They are hiding out until something is done about the situation and point me in the direction of the secret room through the vents.
I make my way through to this room through a load of steam and bots and it’s worse than I thought. The Templars have taken over the entire school and really are planning to kill some (if not all) of the students according to the note I find.
I head up the passage to the headmasters office and confront him. He says I won’t be able to prove anything and again I have no middle ground option and either do nothing or call him a monster and attack him. I choose the last option although it’s not entirely clear that this means I’ll have to kill all security in the building at the time I choose it.
From here I make my way back out of the academy and attempt to complete some of my other missions in Arcology on the other levels. The WTO now want me to look into a secret Apostlecorp facility that the Templars discovered around here + I have the assassination mission from earlier if I want it. I do a bit more vent crawling and find myself in the security office. I inform on the school here and they agree to investigate and pay me for the information. I’ve already solved the problem in a brutal fashion but I don’t mention that.
I manage to find the Apostlecorp facility and it is extremely well guarded. I do have a little help in the form of Klara Sparks who is along here also to make sure that Nassif makes it out alive for questioning.
She talks about staying back to guard the door but then heads in all guns blazing anyway. I hang back and let her do all the work but she doesn’t actually manage to kill anyone and its up to me to dive in kamikaze style and slice everyone down with my sword.
I’ve managed to get further in this session than any of my previous ones at least but the combat can still be extremely annoying. Ammo is incredibly scarce and I can go through it in no time taking out security cameras and turrets. This leaves me forced to use the sword wherever possible and I have maxed out my strength biomod now which is helping but I can still die very quickly and the reloads are not getting any faster.
According to my savegame timer, I’ve only spent just over 3 hours on IW so far. I would estimate that my actual gameplay time would be more like 7 hours which gives an idea just how much time I’m spending waiting for the thing to load. All the waiting is stopping me from getting into the game at all. As soon as I start to enjoy it, I enter a combat heavy area and spend ages reloading. If it was twice as bad as this on a 2003 machine I just wouldn’t have the patience to have got to this point. I’m probably only sticking with this now for the sake of finishing it off on the blog as the truth is I’d rather be playing some of the games I got in the Steam sale. It’s such a shame as the game itself has been pretty good so far. The combat has gotten easier since I maxed out my strength biomod anyway – it’s just turrets that I have problems with so I’m hopeful it won’t be as big a problem from here on.