A year later, Origin’s sequel to Crusader: No Remorse in 1996 arrived to spread more ultra violence in space. Lots of new weapons and effects were packed in such as a gun that froze enemies leaving them open to the next shot that would shatter them. Another weapon boiled the flesh off of enemy skeletons, and one just set people on fire. All in a day’s work for a former corporate hit man turned freedom fighter.
It’s the 22nd century and the WEC, the Worldwide Economic Consortium, controls the world with a corporate glove. Having blown up their space station superweapon in the last game, an elite WEC super soldier working for the Resistance escapes in a pod. Events pick up 46 hours after the end of the first game when the pod is picked up by a passing WEC freighter and taken to the Moon where our red armored friend is ready to wreak even more havoc against “the Man” who turns out to be Chairman Draygan.
He taunted players at the end, swearing revenge, but now he’s on the Moon overseeing the WEC’s Di-Corellium production. The element is a key energy resource, and whoever controls it controls the world and the WEC owns the largest mines dedicated to digging it out. That’s all about to change, though, thanks to his unexpected guest.
No Regret has bad intentions written over every piece of its isometric, third-person arsenal. It also didn’t feel so much like a full sequel than an extension of the first game which still wasn’t so bad – I liked it a lot when it came out, but it was certainly different in certain ways. Buying weapons is no longer a part of the gameplay and the story had a lot less meat on it with more of a focus on stomping through the WEC’s moon base than in chewing the fat with the Resistance and looting corpses for credits.
Everything you need will be found on the way to the final fight with the Chairman who pulls a Wolfenstein Hitler by coming at you in a giant, powered mech. He doesn’t break out to the tune of dual chainguns if you beat him down, though, and there’s a bit more fighting to do before it’s all finished.
The ending finishes things off with a happy message of congratulations for a job well done from the Resistance with a hint that the next game would have put you up against the WEC’s President. Unfortunately, it never came to pass. In a great interview on Good Old Games, Tony Zurovec relates how he left EA and Origin after how they had treated him regarding royalties from the first game in which he received nothing after being promised that he would. And No Remorse was a huge seller for Origin at the time.
He also explains why the game might have felt a little more streamlined in comparison to the first – namely that he was given several fewer months to work on it than he did with No Remorse. As a result, he didn’t feel that, per Marketing, this should have been called Crusader II because it didn’t have the kind of changes that would have made it deserving of being called a real sequel.
The ad was a bit more graphic than the last one and much more to the point, but if you were a fan of the first game, it really didn’t tell you anything that you already knew was going to be there – namely, the destructible environments, deadly firepower, and multiple paths through the obstacles that were going to be thrown at you. Aside from the thinner storyline and streamlined action, all of the toys were still in place from mines to remote controlled mechs of death.
A great action game that, in ’96, would also be the last in what had unexpectedly turned into a near-trilogy of shattering sci-fi.