Crusader: No Remorse - Origin
by Greg Wittel (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Coming to the Saturn, Crusader: NR is a port from the PC version released previously. Rated M, the game while not overly gory, is not for the squeamish. Although there are a few frustrations, such as a slightly complex control system, this is a solid title.
In this game, you play the role of a Silencer, a member of an elite police task force. Though you are not happy with the corrupt system you serve, so you go to the other side: the 'Resis-tance.' Of course, you must fight your way out as you are now a traitor. Crusader: No Remorse (CNR) is a 3/4 perspective game. This viewpoint can help the game by giving a good view of the area that surrounds you, but in the same effect the view can hinder your play by hiding certain objects. The designers of this game have done a good job to minimize such side-effects by carefully placing the objects in the game.
CNR is spread across 15 missions, in several different environments. What's really great is that one can interact with almost anything on the screen. Often, barrels of waste or other explosive objects decorate rooms, cameras can set off alarms, etc. This is really great, as one can take out a group of enemies in one shot via causing a quick explosion. Oh, and if someone was unfortunate enough to not be killed instantly by the explosion, they may just run around on fire screaming for a while <g>. Ammo, credits (for weapon purchase), guns, and other items can be acquired from the dead (if they weren't blown to bits), lockers, and basically from anywhere. Using the terminals also play a large role in the game, as they will give you pass codes and other hints that will help you make your way through the game. While progressing through the levels, you will gather a variety of weapons. Each of which has its own special use. You carry an inventory or items like: med kits, energy packs, spider bombs, DET-packs (big boom), and other high tech gear.
Graphically, the game is neither spectacular nor an eye-sore. For this type of game, they are well detailed, and fit the general atmosphere quite well. I was a bit disappointed that the FMV cut screens were not full screen. Truly, the intro film was letter boxed, and the between mission clips were confined to a square in the center of the screen. I suppose that can be attributed to the lower resolution PC animations, they probably didn't have a Saturn version in mind when rendering and filming the cut scenes. A minor artifact, as the rest of the game looks quite good!
The audio in this game is great! The explosions, atmospheric f/x, and other sounds are perfect, as are the surround sound effects. The music does not let down either. Instead of the now standard fare CD tracks, the game pumps out high quality digital audio through the Saturn's sound chip. The music borders between a true techno side, and a deep base pump to keep the game going. Overall the audio is well mixed and tasteful. Another plus is the ability to adjust the sound f/x and music volume separately at any time.
There are two controller modes: Relative (default) and absolute. After trying both, I find that the default control method is best. At first controlling your character can be a little awkward. Left and right control which way the player is facing, while up and down will move your forward and back respectively. A nice little cursor appears in the direction you face which is a nice touch that also helps with aiming. Although, after a while this becomes second nature. The L and R buttons allow you to select and use/pick-up objects nearby. The controls are quite configure able, but somewhat complex compared to most other console games. A missed feature is the ability to access the controller layout during a game. Once you get used to the directional control, the game plays smoothly and control is very tight.
Because CNR is a long game, it is vital to be able to save at any point. Save games take up about 90 blocks each, so if you have a memory cart you're set! Saving to internal or external memory is supported at any time. Anything and everything will be saved, inventory, location., whos dead and where. Not enough memory? No problem! As the game also has a built in pass code system. The pass code system will not save certain things such as your inventory, but at least you can pick up where you left off. Also the manual is well written and annotated in color. It provides examples of the objects that you will encounter, and explains what they do. Just another little touch.
In short, CNR is a superb action strategy game. This game is most welcome in my library. A great conversion from the PC version...
- + They are nicely detailed, and fit the game well.
- - The 3/4 perspective can get annoying at times.
- + Great sound effects.
- + The chip music is top notch!
Lasting Power: 7
- + Solid control, easy to use.
- - Directional control can seem awkward at first.
- +/- You probably will only want to go through this a hand full of times.
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