Crysis- Exodus and Ascension
September 8, 2013
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“What in the name of General Patton is that fucking thing?” ―Major Strickland
After Nomad and Prophet cross the bridge, they join a convoy set to leave the island and and rescue Helena, whose VTOL has crashed. Prophet leaves with Helena on another VTOL. At the U.S. evacuation point, one of the last VTOLs rescues Nomad from an unstoppable quadrupedal alien exosuit. Just as the exosuit is about to destroy the VTOL, Major Strickland draws its attention by firing at it using a mounted machine gun and the exosuit kills Strickland instead. As they leave the island, the pilot is killed and the engines are damaged.
“Hold on to your hats, gentlemen. Weather forecast: shitstorm.” ―VTOL pilot
Nomad flies the crippled VTOL back to the USS Constitution (CVN-80) carrier strike group while fighting off aliens along the way, providing ground support for the other units, who are leaving as well.
- The first thing to do after entering the makeshift command centre is to switch off the MOAC and obtain the gauss rifle. The larger alien scouts can be downed with two well-placed shots from the gauss rifle, and the shotgun remains effective against the alien troopers. At the ranges they’ll be encountered, the reflex sight is the best option.
- The American LTVs mount the 5.80 x 42 mm Chinese machine gun rather than the trusty .50 caliber rounds, but nonetheless remains quite effective against the alien scouts. As per usual, increased accuracy is attained when firing down the sights, and the fact that this weapon will overheat after continuous use means it is wiser to fire in short, controlled bursts.
- Helena’s VTOL goes down after taking heavy fire from the aliens, and a fracture in the road precludes the possibility of driving the HTVs all the way to the extraction point. It’s time to get out and leg it to Helena first.
- The anti-air artillery that has plagued the US Forces in earlier missions now becomes a useful tool for providing some serious covering fire while Helena is being rescued. The four auto-cannons have an impressive rate of fire and do not overheat, allowing them to be fired continuously until the target goes down. Surface-to-air missiles may also be used: these have a longer reload time but cause a substantial amount of damage.
- The alien exosuit is invulnerable: Nomad could empty the AAA’s entire ammunition supply against it and it would continue on its scripted rampage sequence. Once Helena is saved, the best option is to get out of there quickly and reach the extraction point.
- It’s time to board a VTOL and leave here: because of the exosuit’s shielding, nothing will work against it (even if one has cheats on for ammunition using the console). There is an opportunity to fight it later, but for now, leaving is the better option.
- The MV-24 VTOL has made numerous appearances in previous missions, dropping supplies and providing transportation for Nomad. However, it isn’t until now that Nomad is given the chance to pilot one. Its poor maneuverability and limited armaments reflect on the fact that the VTOL was designed for transporting soldiers rather than providing heavy firepower. Care must be taken in flying it, lest the VTOL hits the ground and detonates in a spectacular but painful fashion.
- Despite not being designed for combat, the mounted machine gun and missiles give it enough firepower to shoot down the alien scouts. The missiles have a limited capacity to home in on their targets: once the target is highlighted in white, fire a missile. It will find the scout and down it. It is imperative to provide cover for the other VTOLs, but a convoy of trucks won’t be savable, so focus on getting to the ocean, where the USS Constitution is.
- The video card I fielded for this playthrough was intended to be a test of its capabilities, although I daresay that this was hardly a sufficient test. Because it runs Metro: Last Light in high settings, and as mentioned previously, has no trouble running Skyrim in ultra settings, my current GPU’s capacities remain reasonable. I imagine said GPU should be capable of running Battlefield 4 at high (but not very high or ultra) settings with the 1920 by 1080 resolution, as well, so the question of whether or not I actually get Battlefield 4 will depend largely on how good the campaign is, rather than whether or not my system can handle it (I haven’t been able to say that for around five years now).
- Back to talking about Crysis: the VTOL’s hull integrity is capable of regenerating, albeit slowly. Ascension ends after Nomad reaches a stretch of open ocean and reports that they are around 10 minutes away from the USS Constitution. I have died here before after ice shrapnel from the alien scouts somehow hit the VTOL and totaled it, but thankfully, this hasn’t happened here.
There is an undeniable appeal about these two missions: things have now gone really bad, and all of the US Forces are preparing to evacuate the Lingshan Islands. The gravity of the situation is immense, and there is a sense of urgency to leave before the situation worsens. However, the appeal in Exodus and Ascension comes from the way it is portrayed: as a gamer, I am given a visual representation of the evacuation in force, illustrating the mindset surrounding the participants. The convoy to the exfil site, the subsequent use of an anti-air battery to provide covering fire, and the piloting of a VTOL back to the USS Constitution, serves as a brilliant analogy for those transitioning away from a decaying online community such as TV Tropes. Naturally, the aliens represent the pseudo-intellectuals, whose increasing presence threaten stability. Having fought them to near-exhaustion, members of the original community have opted to leave before things deteriorate further. While leaving, other members might be able to get off a few retaliatory strikes, although some members are unceremoniously removed before being able to leave. The parallels between Exodus and Ascension are solidly reflected in some of the online communities out there, especially TV Tropes. By being able to really depict such a situation in an interactive, visual manner, these two missions stand out as being the more entertaining ones towards the end of Crysis.