I’m carrying on with expert mode for this level. This presumably means I’m going to actually have to succeed with being stealthy which could be a problem. It does start out with plenty of dark areas to hide in though and the mages aren’t as aware of noise around them as guards making them an easy target.
The layout of this level is relatively simple after the previous one. There is a central building with this large tower, a library, etc… and four connecting towers, each one representing an element.
The library has a small room with four talking statues that talk about me being ruined by my own greed, and betrayed. I’ve already guessed that much but I’ve got the eye to steal first which is a good few missions away yet.
The library contains a few documents I can read which offer minor clues of whats to come. I’m really in here looking for some jeweled spectacles which are a mission requirement in expert but I don’t find them.
I find a further set of clues in the lower library downstairs. These are a bit more significant. One tells me that I’m going to have to work my way through every tower to get the key to the next one. Another gives me an idea of where I can get out after the mission.
I head down to the bottom of the main tower next and find the dungeons. These have secret doors in a couple of the walls, but they stand out quite clearly.
At the end of the dungeons, I find the sewers and Garret points out that this would be a good place to leave after the mission.
There is nothing else down here so I make my way to the first tower instead – the water tower.
This tower is pretty much what you might expect and after a bit of a swim I get to an island with the next tower key.
The next tower is Earth. This one is a lot larger and includes a bit of platform hopping.
I get the key easily enough once again.
On my way back I pass through the central tower and nearby find the guard captain’s quarters complete with a medallion he has been keeping hold of. This is one of my mission requirements.
Next its on to the air tower.
This one is even more platform game like with moving platforms that I have to float around on. I’m not that keen on this sort of thing in an FPS but at least there isn’t too much of it and I suppose it makes sense in the air tower.
The chest with the key is suspended out of reach and I have to swing what look like telescopes to bring it down for a few seconds, quickly pick the lock and grab the key.
I pass through the central tower again on my way out and decide to have another look for the spectacles. I’ve completed all the other mission objectives by this point (other than the main one) and have had no problems whatsoever securing the 1800 loot for this mission. The spectacles are hidden behind a secret panel which is opened by pulling a particular book in the library. I find it easily enough this time but I get lucky to highlight the book when I’m looking around.
There is a bit of warning about the trials of fire before I enter the tower.
Sure enough it looks dangerous when I get there. The lava isn’t too convincing though I must say. The stuff in Underworld looked better than this. The whole lava slides around in a giant texture and it looks more like a disco light effect.
In addition to having to worry about not falling into lava there are metal panels in here which heat up and glow. They alternate between hot and cold, in another platform game style gameplay mechanic. I can cool them down with a water arrow but there isn’t any need most of the time. It hurts walking on them when hot though so I have to wait or jump over them.
There isn’t too much opportunity for stealth around here and I simply run through some of the rooms which works well enough.
I get to the final chest and I have to slowly pick the lock while avoiding the glowing panels. This nets me yet another key.
I have to go to the central tower again and right at the top I can use this key. In this room are a couple of mages and a load of fake runes. The real one turns out to be at the west end of the room. I just run in and out of here once I discover this and then head back to the dungeon to exit the level.
The next level will be The Lost City. This is the ruins of an ancient city which I can only get into with the key I found in a previous mission. It looks like another zombie level I’m sorry to say but at least this time it doesn’t have any particular loot requirements.
I’m really enjoying this game now I’ve gone to expert. It hasn’t made it particularly difficult, I wouldn’t say it’s any harder than before. It just means that I have to explore each level and can’t just hack my way through. Both of these are good things. The only downside is the amount of time it is taking me to play each level. I like to play each level in one go, especially when I’m going to blog about it so it means I need 2-3 hours free every time I want to play the game. This is probably going to limit me to 2 or 3 levels a week but I can live with that.