Terra Nova – Day 2

After completing nearly half the game in one sitting last time, I find myself a bit more rushed today so I’m aiming to do another 5 missions.

The Hegemony have attacked a clan village so we need to go in, clear them out and rescue the villagers.

There is yet more new technology for this mission, in the form of a Thermal Disruptor. This sounds like an interesting weapon that can possibly be used to finish opponents off.

I try out the thermal disruptor although I don’t have huge success with it. When fired it creates a sphere that distorts the light around it. It looks like the pixel shader effects we got with DirectX9 games. It’s interesting to see something like that in a game this old. I fail the mission on the first attempt but then swap my team into heavy armour on the second attempt and manage it this time. I’m finding that heavy armour is always the best option at least in any mission like this where the mission is simply to wipe out all the enemy. More armour is always a good thing and movement speed is largely irrelevant.

Something else I’ve noticed is that I’m finding it far easier to take out the enemy when I lock onto them with my targeting system. This shows me a little square with their armour status, but most importantly appears to engage a slight auto-aim. Given that I’m always shooting at quite small opponents this is a big help.

Despite the heavy armour, I take quite a few hits which actually earns me a medal. As long as I make it back, I’m not worrying about sustaining damage any more as it doesn’t seem to affect anything. I think my team mates may be unavailable for the next mission if they get injured but that’s all the more reason to put myself in the way and take the damage.

There is a cutscene showing more antics at the bar. The bar tender suggests more tactics for taking out the opposition with EMP grenades. This guy just gets more and more suspicious. If I was watching anything else, I’d say he was too obviously the mole for it to actually be him but in this game I’m not so sure.

It turns out that the village in the last mission was home to some important research scientists who have been kidnapped. We have to intercept the convoy they are on and get them back. This is another “kill everything” mission so I go for all my weapons guys in heavy suits and complete it on the first attempt.

The next mission proves to be much more of a challenge. I get some new equipment for this one, although I never get chance to try it out.

The mission is to protect a supply convoy but when I get dropped in the place has already been hit and the truck is disappearing off into the distance.

I chase after it but it goes into the enemy stronghold in the mountains before I can catch it (probably because we are in heavy suits). We manage to recapture it for all that only to be ambushed and the truck blown up again when we escort it back to the pickup point. The key here is to leave the truck behind on the return trip and just get to the pickup and clear it of the enemy.

Someone has captured an enemy clone soldier . There isn’t much of it left  but it’s still alive until Walker take offence to it. This sort of thing is typical of the issue I have with the cutscenes and story of the game. We don’t get to see her motivation for this, or the consquences. It’s as though it never happened when it gets to the next scene. I’m so disattached to the characters in the squad that half way through the game I don’t even know the names of most of them.

The Hegemony (aka the hogs) have been building their own watch station on the moon and we need to go and take it out. The interesting part of this mission is the aerial assault we suffer on the way in. The low gravity combined with the high altitude of the telescope means that we suffer and artiliary barrage of grenades on the way. Other than that, it’s a straight forward mission and I complete it first time.

The next mission proves to be an interesting one. I’m briefed for a solo mission where I need to intercept an enemy convoy.

However, instead of the usual launch fmv, I get to see my dropship getting shot down and I’m captured.

I’m taunted by the Ambassador once more, who tells me how he is going to use my body parts to patch up his clone soldiers. He also confirms that there is an informer on the squad but he doesn’t let on who it is.

Thankfully, I’m rescued by my team and the mission now becomes getting out of here alive.

The mission is a simple case of running for the pickup point.

Unfortunately, one of my team mates is killed in the process.

The bald guy blames me for the death and leaves the funeral since I’m there. I don’t see how he blames me for my dropship getting shot down, he should be having a go at whoever was piloting it. What we really need to do is find this traitor whoever they are.

That gets me through another 5 missions. Apart from the fourth mission, I’ve completed each of these within a few minutes. The missions may be getting a little harder but for the most part they are extremely short. This isn’t too big an issue since there appear to be plenty of them but it does mean the gameplay never gets too involved. It’s very much a case of go in and shoot things, with the occasional exception despite all the apparent complexity with drones, different types of troops, etc… It could be that the option would be there to play the game differently if I wanted, which is typical of Looking Glass games but I’ll stick with whatever works for now. I perhaps like a game that is a bit deeper than this but I’m still enjoying it this far. It does feel that with all the good elements going into this game it could have been a lot better though.

2 thoughts on “Terra Nova – Day 2

  1. So far, for what you have been saying this game seems to have one of the problems I dislike the most. Characters that don’t have much of a personality.

    That was what in my opinion made the WC games stand out that much, when someone died in those games the player really cares about those deaths, here (and in a lot of other games), you don’t even get to know the characters that much.

    Technically, the game looks impressive. Those enviroments were probably very difficult to do when this game was released. It does not surprise me, both Origin and Looking Glass were always doing impressive games. Sadly, this one seems to lack a good storyline.

    • The big problem with the story is that you only get a 20-30 second FMV once every 3 missions or so and it’s just not enough. I was getting to know the remaining characters a little by the end, the potential was there. It would never be more than a B movie but that could still have been fun. Given all the background info in the games encyclopedia, it looks like they went to all the trouble of creating the universe, hiring the actors and writing the script but then held back and only filmed about a quarter of it. I expect that there was more ambition than budget.

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