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GF! Archival Version Copyright 1995-2004

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by Origin

What the game is about:
Crusader: No Remorse is set in the future where the world is ruled by one centralized government. This central government is, of course, rife with corruption. Your standard corrupt government scenario applies. Merciless slaughter of citizens, high taxes in the name of prosperity, aka military spending to oppress the masses, etc. What corrupt government scenario would be complete without a band of scruffy rebels? "The Resistance" fills this role nicely as the fairly well organized and equipped protagonist of this story. This is where you come in. You are a "Silencer", a member of a supposedly incorruptible, super elite security force. You, in your nifty red battle suit, defect to The Resistance. This is where your mission starts: To mow down endless legions and battle your way to victory.

The Review:
When I first installed Crusader, I was not very pleased. I made the mistake of not doing a full install. Perform a full install of this game. It drastically improves your game load times. The other major problem that really annoyed me was the lack of Gravis Ultrasound support. Unless you have a supported sound card (Sound Blaster, SB Pro, SB16), you must come up with something else. Getting the SB emulator with the GUS to work with Crusader was not an option. Lack of sound did not make for a very exciting game so Crusader was soon removed from my hard drive. Fortunately for all of us, I reinstalled my Sound Blaster 16 and took another look at Crusader.

My second look at Crusader was much better than the first by a long shot. Having sound drastically improves the total gaming experience, as the sound in Crusader is decent. The shots and explosions are good and the screams of the burning people are especially satisfying. The voice-overs for the guards and civilians add a good atmosphere to the game. I would say the sound in Crusader is fairly good.

The graphics in Crusader are also well done. The 3D isomorphic view ala Ultima 8 is rendered nicely. One of the things I liked best about Crusader was the ability to shoot almost anything and have an effect on it. Barrels explode into nice balls of flame (good for setting guard flombe'). Boxes blow up, windows shatter, computers and equipment burst into flames. It is almost as much fun to just destroy things and cause chaos and destruction. Some other touches that are nice are flames and steam shooting out of holes in pipes.

The interface in Crusader actually works quite well. Origin has provided a targeting receptacle that flashes on your target when you are aiming close to it. After a bit of practice you get good at shooting your targets. Movement, however, can get a bit annoying. For some reason the Silencer's movements are jerky. I've played this game on several systems ranging in performance and the Silencer's moment remains jerky. The Silencer tends to "jump" around objects from time to time. This can complicate navigating some areas. The rest of the Silencer's movement functions are as you would expect. Some additions to the standard movement repertoir include quick turning, and the ability to roll left and right and come up in an attack crouch. This comes in very handy when in vicious gun battles. Being able to roll about allows you to roll to cover and then roll out again to deal death to your opponents. There have only been a few occasions when things went screwy with the movement system, mostly when behind walls and when jumping. While jumping the game seems to have problems figuring out where the Silencer is supposed to land. However this is a minor problem which does not affect game play too much.

The general game play in Crusader is not bad. All the levels are quite large and well designed. Unfortunately the size of the levels can be one of their drawbacks. The missions can get quite tedious at times. Jump around a corner, lay waste, move on. If you are any good at this type of game some missions can be a bit easy. You do not really fear for your character's life at all. I did not get really into a mission until the last one. The others, with a few exceptions, were mostly cake walks. The only other thing I would have liked to see was some interaction with the other characters. The acting of the other personalities in the game was sufficiently cheesy, but I would have liked to interact with them. Perhaps move the story along in different directions.

The Bottom Line:
In summary I would say that Crusader is an above average game. The graphics are good, the game play is decent and the action is constant. If you like action shoot-em-ups, look at this game. Even if you do not (like me), give this game a try. I found myself liking this game. The only things I have to complain about are the lack of sound board support, some idiosyncrasies in the interface, and some tedious game play. Overall this game is a good contender.

--Jack Ambrose