June 30, 2013
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“Whatever they’re hiding up there, they sure don’t want us getting close.” -Major Strickland
Nomad is contacted over the radio by Major Clarence Strickland of the American military asking if he wishes to abort the mission since most of his team has been killed or missing; Nomad refuses, saying that he can still complete the mission. Nomad makes his way to Dr. Rosenthal’s research complex, where he has found a rare fossilized artifact predating humanity by two million years. The partially excavated artifact resembles one of the flying machines (designated “exosuits”) that has been attacking the team. Rosenthal also references other discoveries of similar artifacts in Afghanistan and Siberia, suggesting that the aliens have a global presence, and are not just confined to the island. While Rosenthal is running a scan on the artifact, it emits a powerful energy pulse that freezes Dr. Rosenthal solid. Nomad’s Nanosuit is able to maintain his internal temperature, saving his life. Nomad then rendezvous with a VTOL, after eliminating a Nanosuit-equipped four-man KPA special forces team near the landing site. He notifies his superiors about this, because the U.S. military had hoped to prevent the Koreans from acquiring Nanosuit technology.
- I once took the Rambo approach towards all FPS games, preferring to overwhelm opponents with gunfire and explosives. However, with all the foliage present, it is entirely possible to slip into the fields undetected, deactivate the jamming array and sneak out undetected. In other words, Miho’s Operation Sneaky seems to be a preferred approach here.
- For much of the mission, I alternate between the Precision Rifle and the SCAR. The Precision Rifle is decidedly less useful with only the assault scope, but it has excellent stopping power and is suited for engaging enemy snipers. Ammunition is relatively rare early on, but once enemy snipers are encountered, it becomes more common.
- This image remains one of my absolute favourites of all time, and is depicted at a lesser resolution, at medium settings, at my old website. I haven’t been updating there for a while, and will gradually phase out of updating it in due course.
- The last time I played this mission, it was the middle of March and the daytime high averaged around four degrees Celsius. Casually note that I’ve managed to keep my SCAR rifle all this time: for all of my gaming posts, I gather the screenshots over the course of a single play-through (i.e. without starting a new game for each level). By now, ammunition for the rifle is running low, even though I’ve been using semi-automatic fire to get headshots the entire time.
- I’ve seen YouTube walkthroughs where players would cloak, then fire their weapons while the cloak was still engaged, immediately dropping their suit energy to zero. The solution is simple: switch back to armour mode immediately before firing, then switch back to cloak.
- We’re getting close to the main excavation site now. The Precision Rifle comes in handy now: enemy snipers can blow away one’s suit energy in a single shot, so it becomes important to take them out first.
- After the alien artifact freezes everything in the room, it’s time to go for a long, downhill trek, through hordes of KPA soldiers and an attack helicopter. Grabbing a vehicle and speeding right by the KPA patrols is perhaps the best option: after this point, any amount of SCAR ammunition one has will be completely depleted. There’s a cache of missile launchers, FY-71 ammo and a FY-71 with underbarrel grenade launcher attachment in a shack on the roadside en route to the exfil point: pick up everything, blow away the gunship, grab a fresh missile launcher (if there are any remaining) and keep driving.
- The drive only becomes a little more straightforward down the hill. I suddenly realise that driving in a video game is only easier than real life because there aren’t other vehicles on the road, and that being in third person confers superior spatial awareness.
- If a player opts to leave the KPA patrols alone, it’s a reasonably quick drive down to the extraction point. A VTOL pilot will note that there are KPA Nanosuit soldiers down here. The trick to finishing them quickly is to get up close and personal, emptying an entire FY-71 clip into them to keep them down. If one engages them from long range with the sniper rifle, chances are they’ll regenerate and return fire.
- Taking down the KPA nanosuit soldiers will end what is perhaps one of the longest missions in Crysis and sets the stage for the next mission. Before proceeding, I note the importance of having all the attachments (grenade launcher, sniper scope, laser aiming module). The latter two are especially important, allowing players to engage targets with a far greater degree of efficiency, saving ammunition.
The third of the missions in Crysis, Relic is one of the longer missions and brilliantly showcases the day/night cycles in Crysis, beginning from mid-afternoon and ending by nightfall. Opening in a farmer’s field, the first goal of taking down a satellite jammer seems a bit old hat by this point. In previous playthroughs, I simply shot everything that moved, resulting in protracted firefights that lasted forever and left me low on ammunition. This time around, I cloaked and snuck in, then snuck out without firing a single shot. Perhaps unsurprisingly, this proved to be far more effective than going in guns blazing, and I soon arrived at the KPA base at the hilltop as sunset began. There is an image on my website on the Crysis page that I took immediately after finding the sniper scope. It is evening, and the golden-orange sunlight casts the land in a nostalgic glow. Of course, I’ll look out the window and get those exact feelings, so it was a real treat to come across this scene again, under the same circumstances (I don’t have mathematical proofs I need to complete for an assignment), in ultra-high graphics settings. The trek up to the research facility was a long one, and the trek back down was equally long, even with vehicles. At long last, I’d reached the graveyard for exfil, and was met with four KPA Nanosuit soldiers. Back on the old website, I suggested using the assault rifle and shotgun. The shotgun won’t be necessary, but the idea of close quarters combat is more important, given that these Nanosuit soldiers carry a precision rifle and SMG. At closer ranges, they switch off their rifles to the SMG, making them far easier to finish. Once Nomad is extracted, the real battle begins.