NOLF2: Entering Siberia

After Japan, we get sent to a remote Soviet outpost in Siberia, to plant bombs on things and get shot at by Russian soldiers and snoop-read comical files complaining about Soviet bureaucracy. It’s worth noting that the shooty bits change significantly on the basis of what weapons and ammo you can scavenge from your fallen foes. Ninjas carry katanas and shurikens: quiet precision weapons, ideal for stealth kills. Soviet troopers carry AK-47s.

I also find it notable how sparse the enemies are. In part, that’s to help justify the use of a vehicle, a snowmobile that you can drive around the hills and valleys, making an awful racket. I find the snowmobile unpleasantly difficult to steer, and so have been leaving it behind a lot when is isn’t absolutely necessary, which presumably enhances the sense of sparseness. But even bearing that in mind, a lot of the player’s time is spent exploring, searching for things, and interacting with the environment in various ways (such as picking locks or blowing up bridges to discourage pursuit), rather than fighting.

Unfortunately, I’ve started to hit problems with saves. Sometimes I’ll go to load my quicksave and it’ll just produce an error popup, and I have to exit the game and restart it to snap it out of it. More insidiously, sometimes the act of saving starts failing silently, so that I don’t know anything’s wrong until I die and discover that my last successful quicksave was 20 minutes ago. Restarting the game fixes that as well, but I can only restart so many times before I give up in frustration. I tried fiddling with compatibility settings a bit, but that just made the game refuse to run at all. After sleeping on it, I’ve decided to give it another try tonight, after a system reboot and without so many other programs running in the background. I could easily believe that all the problems are really memory issues. We’ll see if it helps.

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