This is long overdue. Very, very overdue. Apologies to Airship Ballet, the author of this campaign.
Quinn Co. is split into two missions, La Banque Bienveillante and Chase Mercantile, but since they’re similar in concept I’ll review them both at once. The summer solstice has arrived, and our hero is intent on robbing some of the local banks, which are storing goods from merchant ships.
These are some of the more unique missions I’ve played on The Dark Mod. When you start up, you see the normal screen for buying weapons, but it’s different. Now you’re not buying equipment, but instead you’re buying equipment drops, keys, different loot drop-off points….Heck, you can even choose your own objectives here! The author stated that the missions were modeled after the Payday series, and this choice of “loadout” gives the missions replayability.
La Banque is the opening act and does a good job. It’s linear, admittedly, but an absolute blast to play through, with neat touches in the technology on display, such as a very neat bit of food storage in the basement. Chase Mercantile is much more balanced, and once the player gets out of the opening basement they can more or less hit the rest of the bank in any order they choose. Both missions can be considered rather easy for Dark Mod missions, due to the fact that you have no loot goal and thus can technically just do the needed objectives and finish the missions, but they do have a way of discouraging knock-outs: A penalty system.
Not-Garratt has hired cleaners to fix his “mistakes” and that involves bribing guards and hiding bodies: 500 loot for knock-outs, 1000 for deaths. While this doesn't sound like much, it adds up quick, though in fairness each mission is loaded with enough loot for ten thieves, so even the blackjack lovers will be able to get through. In La Banque, however, there are guards you more or less have to blackjack to get past, which is thankfully fixed (from what I could tell) in Mercantile. This penalty system doesn’t just affect completionists, since the loot from La Banque is used to purchase equipment in the sequel.
The missions are both very fun to play, mainly due to the constant gratification you get from all the loot. I ended my second La Banque playthrough with somewhere in the 20,000 range, and Mercantile has even more loot that it’s predecessor. Both missions have creative uses of technology, especially in the vaults, which are loaded down with security systems that you have to maneuver your way around. There’s a fair bit of characterization in the missions as well, shown by the readables. I actually ended up feeling bad enough for my “victim” in Mercantile that I left his own personal vault (mostly, man’s gotta make a living) untouched.
Still, the missions aren’t perfect. La Banque all but forces you to knock out certain guard to progress, and the linear nature of the mission might annoy. Mercantile also has a very irritatingly placed guard right before the vault, who can’t be knocked out (unless you’ve bought gas arrows, but the drop still forces you to run for it and then snipe quickly) and you haven’t arranged for him to be bribed from his post you’ll run into a sudden roadblock.
This leads into my other main gripe: While the loadout makes for good replay value, it also leads into going into the mission without the proper equipment, which could make the mission tedious, see: the alternate loot drop in La Banque, which is vital if you don’t want to make like ten trips back and forth. Mercantile is also a pain if you don’t think to/can’t afford to bribe the guards, and not having certain keys makes the mission trickier than normal. I fully understand that this is the point (and I’m sure most here will like that), but I find it a tad irritating that you can sabotage yourself without knowing about it.
All in all, my complaints are relatively minor. My only big complaints are that there isn’t a third mission, and that I wish it was possible to replay Mercantile without having to beat its predecessor. Obviously, recommended.