Day 191

I work through the next level until I get locked in a room with no obvious way out. Shepherd comes on the comm to help me out.

He tells me to blow my way through the air vent on the West wall. I can’t see a vent so I start blowing up boxes.

The vent shows up and I use a det pac to blast through it.

Shortly after I find a sneakily hidden keycard in the book on the table here.

This gets me access to an area with an energy recharger.

I then work my way through to the area with the network access terminal I was looking for.

I get a little video of my virus being introduced into the system, which I’ve entirely failed to get a decent screenshot of.

Then Shepherd finishes off whatever he was doing and tells me to take the tram out of here to get to the rebel base.

I have to fight through a load of troopers to get there but the tram is just a few screens away.

In a between mission cutscene, the news is reporting some of the problems being experienced on the moon mining base.

This doesn’t go down well with the director who orders her inept lackey to find me immediately.

I arrive at the base to find my old pal Denning polishing up his gun. He has still got the nasty (and unconvincing) cough that he’s been emphasising in every cutscene and says he hasn’t got long left after this many years in the mines but he is going to take a few people with him.

The rebel base here is a mini version of what we saw in Crusader 1. I can pick up some ammo and medikits and the like while I’m here.

Shepherd is in the North and I talk to him to get my next mission.

Torch and some other operatives have gone missing and are presumably being held prisoner somewhere. I need to go to the network access terminal so we can find out where.

I take the tram back out to get to the fourth mission. This next level is a bit more office-like as I search through the base for the terminal.

Shepherd is on the comm as before guiding me through. He tells me where I can get a plasma shield in a footlocker.

I pick this shield up. Its a bit more effective but I could also do with a new battery as the one I’ve got hardly stores any power.

Shepherd also warned my about some new enemies. These are morphing bots that look like part of the furniture until they morph into their more deadly form. Here the coke machine is morphing. They aren’t as dangerous as they sound actually, since you get a few seconds to aim before they start shooting. It’s a nice new enemy though and means I have to keep my eyes open. The animation for the morphing as ever in this game is very smooth

I get stuck for a while until I find a hidden switch behind this crate to get the lift doors open.

Shepherds back telling me that a load of bots are on the way and an inhibitor would be really useful.

“Coincidentally”, I happen upon an inhibitor almost immediately.

This inhibitor when used confuses any bot in the area making them helpless for a few seconds – easily long enough to take them out. It does use up quite a bit of energy but its seriously useful.

I start to see a change in scenery as I carry on progressing and we get a few of these radar dishes which must mean I’m near the terminal.

Sure enough I use the next screen I find, and it gets me details of two prisoners.

Shepherd sends me back to the tram which is just to the north and I get another post mission cutscene.

The news reports on Chairman Draygans visit to the moon – it looks a bit like the director is being set up for a fall to me.

Back at the base Shepherd gives me another mission. We know where the prisoners are so I have to go get them.

I see a new puzzle here where I have to depress two floor pads at once to open the door. I just use a detpac on one and it weighs it down.

The guys in suits with pistols are back in this level. They tend to be well armed but are not a big problem.

There is a hidden keypad here which using the code handily written on the wall opens the door….

and lets me get a new laser weapon.

That weapon will come in handy as I come across extra large bots later on.

I also find a safe in an optional area here which appears to contain just about every weapon in the game. In Crusader 1, I could only carry a few weapons. It appears that here I can carry as many as I like making this a very nice find. I prefer this system actually – one of the problems with finding weapons in Crusader 1 was that you just didn’t pick it up if you didn’t have room in your inventory. I couldn’t tell when this was happening at times meaning I missed out on picking up equipment. This system is the same as your usual FPS which is basically all Crusader is – a FPS using the Ultima 8 engine. The fact that it’s not in first person is obvious but the gameplay is the same sort of thing.

I’m actually enjoying this more than Crusader 1 although there isn’t much in it. There is just a bit more challenge in the combat and it’s balanced out by the levels being more linear and me not spending so much of my time looking for the next button to press. There seems to be at least as much gameplay in the 10 levels judging by how long its taken to get about halfway through the game. It is so similar to Crusader 1 though that I really don’t think Origin could have got away with a third sequel without coming up with something new.

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