Sunday, January 30, 2011

‘Explosive Information’

Freedom's Force from the rear. Nice view.
The preceding story mission was:

The following story mission is: ‘Mutilator On Lustra’

The first story mission in a new system. If you don’t get a little thrill of anticipation from that thought then you may as well stop playing. This launches the Mizar storyline off in an unexpected direction (literally) and reintroduces a beloved enemy.

It’s more story than mission but that’s okay. After struggling through ‘Rise of Vendetta’, ‘Turret Threat’, ‘Project Detonation’ and ‘Operation Liberation’, it was refreshing to get through this at the first attempt. In fact it felt almost indecent, and who doesn’t love a little indecency.

You’re told that the artifact was sent here to a Dr Copernicus, and that you need to try and find him. This might be the first you’ve heard of this. I don’t like the fact that you can get to this story mission straight from ‘Operation Liberation’, bypassing ‘Imminent Detonation’ and ‘To The Mizar System’. Hardly an outrage but such plot holes niggle me. Anyway you get down to the surface and discover that the much lauded forests of Baumer seem to be missing. You are given an area to search, with the warning that the ‘Mantis are tough’.

After looking around the marked area for a while, a second much smaller one is identified. The Mantis are indeed tough and you’re probably still in a Gemini ship, so it would be best to stay out of trouble. Keep your finger on the Afterburner. While getting to this second area you come across some Baumerian Fighters in nicely camouflaged ships. Around here you will also find Ethan Copernicus, the son of Doctor Copernicus. You may well fall foul of a Death Squad here, but if so don’t panic as the Baumerians are capable warriors. Just stay behind them and add your guns to the fight, remembering to steal any loot that appears.

Ethan will tell you that his father is dead, tortured to death by Vicius the Mutilator. Then Natassia Ivanova lets it drop that you captured Vicius, who is now held prisoner on Terasa. This turns out to be the eponymous Explosive Information, as on hearing it Ethan swears to kill the Mutilator and launches into orbit. Blabbermouth Natassia sends you off to stop him, or at least stop him getting killed.

So you’ve just set foot on Mizar and now you have to jump back two systems to Terassa. Once on the surface you have to escort Ethan on his way to the Carl Sagan laboratory. He’s got a nice ship, named Freedom’s Force, and there are just the standard Terassa Mantis hanging around so there’s not much risk of getting podded. Once at Carl Sagan then the sticky stuff hits the fan.

Ethan gets to Vicius. How? Never mind, obviously we don’t need to know. Instead of getting killed, the Mutilator convinces Ethan that his father is still alive and held captive on the Mantis home world. Ethan brings him aboard the Freedom’s Force, but then Vicius overpowers him and takes over the ship. I started blasting at him without effect, but then realised that I was supposed to collect a pod. Turns out Vicius chucked Ethan out of his ship. Once you’ve picked Ethan up he explains what happened while the mutilator does a runner.

So that’s mission over. You are mostly a spectator but it’s a nice introduction to a new story arc. I was in a storm and you could probably be in any ship, but a tank might be best just to keep you alive. Enjoy it because I’m sure things get harder from here on.

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