Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Terminator 2029: What?

Another mission, another briefing. Reese is brought up. Wait, the events of the original film have happened. This is definitely before the second film, as only two are sent back in time. I have to rescue Reese's team, defend them from some T-800s, destroy some uplink dishes and steal some CDs. This seems to be the penultimate mission, as the mission is about destroying Skynet's thermal imaging capabilities.
As an aside this seems to run counter to what Reese was saying about "we were winning" in the film, since its still no sure thing at this point. So the game turns Reese into some overconfident fool. Cool.

This is one of the least questionable situations I've found myself in.
 It doesn't take long before the game is laying the enemies on quite thickly. This game really likes doing that. Its less annoying now that I have the cycle speed up, but its still slow going. And since this mission isn't timed, for the first time in a while, I at least have the opportunity to clear out these fellows. Make my life less difficult as I return.
But it doesn't take long before I'm at the uplink dish...or so I think. Guarded by four towers, as explained in the briefing. A proximity mine and a fusion grenade later, and I've retrieved a data diskette. I guess I use this for something, since none of my objectives have been accomplished. More enemies every few spaces. I'm doing well enough that I'm not needing to repair, so the real problem is waiting for my guns to recharge. Of course I say that, and the overwhelming number of enemies gradually force me to retreat while taking far too much damage. This forces me back to the top of the map. Where enemies still spawn. This turns into a vicious cycle where every time I heal damage, I run into another twenty freaking enemies.

Despite having questionable visibility, this is better than fighting in an open area
Eventually, after dodging some enemies, I manage to make it to another four towers, this one leading to the bunker I was supposed to go to, but it uses an access card, which is in the tower in front of it. And while I'm fumbling with my inventory, another group of enemies pop up. Can't say this doesn't have balls to the wall action.
Despite how it seems like I have a million enemies behind me, at least they're behind walls
Inside its not much different...and I don't really know what I'm looking for here. Are there more data disks, or are there just ten million terminators? Operation: Actually Shoot Things in My Way is going worse down here than on the ground level. When I finally reach the third level, I realize, oh, right, the damn time machine. Yeah. I'll get on that if I can stop getting pinned down, repairing damage.

Damage to the head piece causes all sorts of GUI issues
This leads into the game's real problem. Currently, I have 9 grenades, but at full arsenal, I have 12, plus a refill, giving me a total of 24. That's not really enough for any random terminator I run across, especially since there are theoretically infinite terminators. Missiles have the same issue, except they're not useful against stationary targets. I don't have the resources to deal with actual threats in each mission. I kill two terminators down here, I need to repair. I still have four enemies, and the game likes to dump enemies randomly. This is not impossible, but it does make combat impractical for the most part. But combat is unavoidable. There are just too many enemies. And sometimes they shoot through the walls.
After some considerable amount of time, I've destroyed all the targets on the bottom floor. What does this mean? There wasn't any point to coming down here. Nada. Zilch. Gotta go slowly back up. And even if I am fully healed, I still have to deal with weapon slowdown. I'm really starting to hate that mechanic.
The end result, after finally getting back to the surface, is to find three uplink towers and take the data disks from there. Then I return...victorious. The debriefing happens...and the sound cuts out. Wouldn't be a Bethesda game if everything worked, now would it? And I also forgot about the final objective, which isn't clear in-game. As I make my second attempt around, I realize what it I'm supposed to destroy T.D.E., or Time Distortion Equipment. And I actually did win the first time.
I have no idea that message means I should do, but it keeps popping up
Still, after a second attempt I make it out again. Its surprisingly nerve-wracking, as throughout the bunker I hear not the sounds of enemies, but horrible static and noise. But when I reach the debriefing and all is well. Skynet's going to...launch more nuclear missiles? Eh? I guess they made more then. If anything, Skynet has more to be worried about than we do with nukes, even if they glass LA.
The briefing tells me nothing very interesting. I have 10 minutes to stop the nuclear launch by putting a virus in a computer. This could be the final blow to Skynet he says...ha...
One of the team members worked on Wing Commander, I guess this is his work

This mission is comparatively harder but less tedious and shorter, so it all works out for the best. The bunker only has one level this mission, but the exterior is about 3 areas, and is teeming with enemies. Its relatively simple once you get inside, walk to the three dots on the map, then use the virus you got. I guess the two things near here are supposed to be destroyed somehow, but I couldn't figure it out.

The final mission has space...? I have to destroy a space station. Huh. The mission sounds like a more mundane video game, find keycards, destroy a base, then return via the shuttle I entered. This is a strange turn of events.

We're really out in space
On-site I'm not really sure what's going on. This doesn't seem like something the briefing informed me about. There are less exits than I was told, which makes me think I'm missing something necessary to win this mission. The reactor is supposed to be taken out last. No, just go down...and then the most horrific sound comes out of my speakers. This continues throughout the entire mission. Or at least this attempt. It doesn't help that enemies just don't stop shooting through walls, and even if I can return fire sometimes, its still annoying as hell.
The final mission is both surprisingly early and incredibly long. Too long. This mission has both multiple floors and areas that extend out from those floors, like in the ground floors previously. And on this mission I don't know where those keycards are, so I spend quite a bit of time in an area with absolutely nothing in it, hoping to find something. But I never do. Its not clear where the game is hiding these keycards. Are they just lying around, or are they in turrets? This is something I'm going to have spend a lot more time on.
Target acquired...? Who is that?
Since winning the mission is a wash this time, I decided to see what happens if I fail. Soldiers killed, nukes fall. I guess the nukes were still a threat. Oh, well. Not really an alternate path...which is an understatement.

This Session: 3 hours

Total Time: 6 hours 30 minutes

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