Crusader: No Regret (CNG) continues the hyper-violent tradition of death and blood letting that the game's predecessor, Crusader: No Remorse began a year or two before it. If you've not played either game (and shame on you if this is the case), a bit of explaining in relation to the story is in order. CNG focuses its gameplay around a solitary character only known as The Silencer. In the original game, the Silencer broke free from the bonds of the W.E.C., the World Economic Consortium. In the first game, your Silencer broke ranks with other Silencer's due to a conflict of morality. Being a member of the W.E.C.'s top military organization, the W.E.C. tried, at all costs, to stop you.
The story of the original game had you taking out a new weapon from the W.E.C. that might have given it global supremacy. In this game, which takes place almost directly after the original, you've sneaked onto a freighter bound for the W.E.C. moon base. Once you arrive at said moon base, the fun, and the slaughter begin, as a new chapter in the Silencer's reign of terror begins. One must be warned of the highly violent nature of this game, and suggest that those of younger age don't play it.
The game itself is played from a top-down three-quarter perspective that many games such as Diablo, X-Com, or Syndicate have used successfully. Through use of either a keyboard, mouse, joystick, or gamepad, one controls the Silencer through ten huge levels of traps, enemies, and puzzles. The controls for this game can be somewhat complex, what with twelve weapons and a multitude of movement commands to chose from. Luckily it's somewhat intuitive, and before long, one will have their Silencer rolling, strafing, and crouching with the best of them.
While the Silencer might be the official star of the show, it's the weapons that really steal the spotlight. There are twelve weapons within the game, and each can have different effects. There's the gun that turns people into ice sculptures, the gun that lights people aflame, and so on. The weapons and their effects are quite astounding to watch as one plays the game, and the effects they have on their victims are usually quite humorous.
A good character and lots of violence do not a good game make, however. Good level design is also a key to a good gaming experience, and CNG has great levels to kill and be killed in. The great thing about the environments in CNG is their level of interaction. There might be lots to look at, but it can all be blown up real good too. Explosions and fire effects in this game are phenomenal, and really make you want to break out a stick and a marshmellow. Objects and people all have great ways of being destroyed, and this only adds to the atmosphere. The levels themselves are laid out in quite a logical manner, which objects, barriers, and puzzles usually making sense in their placement and use. The levels in this game are quite huge, all with multiple levels and rooms. That being said, while ten levels may not sound like a lot of game time, the levels themselves are big enough to keep you going for a while.
The difficulty of those you'll encounter in these levels is configurable when you begin the game. There are four levels of difficulty, and each makes the game progressively harder. The enemies you'll encounter are no slouches either, as they'll use rolling and crouching techniques to avoid fire while setting off the alarm to call their friends. Whether this is AI or scripted behavior is uncertain, but it works well.
The story of the game itself is of typical fare. One must shut down the moon base to help put a stop to the W.E.C. Been there, done that, right? The story is presented quite well, however. The game makes use of Full Motion Video (FMV) for NPC communications and mission briefings, and the acting is actually quite well done. The video itself is also well done. The game also has computers with little bits of information strewn out across the landscape, giving more insight into the story.
What this all boils down to is one highly enjoyable, very violent gaming experience. This is a fun game for those who like lots of action...and blowing lots of stuff up too. If you have any interest at all in action adventure, and don't mind a bit o' violence, Crusader: No Regret is highly recommended.
Graphics: Even after all this time, the graphics look great.
Sound: Fantastic sound effects and voice acting highten the experience.
Enjoyment: This game is as fun as any other action/adventure game out there, if not more so.
Replay Value: The campaign is very linear, but difficulty options can make you come back for more.
Crusader: No Regret is a direct sequel to Crusader: No Remorse, its events starting 46 hours after those depicted in the previous game. The protagonist of the game, a silencer known as the Captain, manipulates his escape pod into a WEC freighter heading towards the moon. There, WEC has established itself as the sole power, overseeing mining procedures and using the moon as prison for dissidents. The Resistance members are forced to work for WEC, extracting a precious radioactive component, Di-Corellium. The powerful corporation is not happy to see the Captain on the moon, and he has to use all his wits and skills to survive as WEC, led by Chairman Draygan, is trying to hunt him down.
The game looks and plays very similarly to its predecessor, being an isometric shooter in which the Captain can also jump, run, roll, and kneel to avoid enemy attacks. A few new weapons and death animations have been added. The game's structure is somewhat more straightforward compared to the previous installment. In No Remorse, the Captain was limited to carry five weapons; in No Regret, this limitation has been removed.
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