To quote Quaid/Hauser (Arnold
Schwarzenegger) from the excellent movie Total Recall "Get your ass to
Mars". These memorable words mirror my opinions about the latest Red Faction game,
Armageddon which once again sees players returning to the red planet.
Best of all, I don't think there has been a bad Red Faction game and
this current instalment is no exception to that rule.
However, the eight hour
campaign goes down a different story path as opposed to the previous
stories which revolved around rebellions and mass killing and
destructions. The former two points are still here but story wise,
players are now taking on aliens which is definitely a well needed
change to the pacing of the series. Hell... who doesn't like taking on
Set several years after Red Faction: Guerrilla, gamers take the role of
Darius Mason, the grandson of Alec Mason who helped lead Mars to
freedom. Obviously freedom fighting runs in your blood because you're
just as eager to pick up a weapon and fight for your freedom as your
grandfather was. Your job is simple, prevent the outbreak of aliens on
Mars from destroying everything that mankind has achieved.
compliment the story, there are some nice cutscenes thrown into the mix
which creates a rather fun science fiction third person shooter. I know for one that I'm a little over the Call of Duty of
series and I've been hankering for a good science fiction
shooter since the last Halo game. It seems like I got my wish and
thankfully protagonist Darius Mason is just as good as his grandfather
as leading hero. Maybe more so?
As soon my virtual feet touched the sands of Mars, it was like coming
home again but when I was given my first few guns, it was like whoa...
let's destroy some things. Nothing is more fun than using the environment to
your advantage as you destroy buildings in order to thwart the alien
outbreak. The aliens also remind me of those from the classic James
Cameron movie Aliens but distinctly different to ensure no copyright
breaches. Add in elements from Starship Troopers and the latest Red
Faction game has it all going for it.
Needless to say, destruction has always been the key to the
Red Faction series and fans of mass destruction will thoroughly pleased
with the latest title and unfortunately I don't want to spoil some of
these environments that you can wreak havoc on. Let's just.. it's bigger
and badder. Thankfully just about
the entire environment (in reason) in the gaming world can be destroyed. Apart
destroying things, you do need to embark on missions from walking to
running and jumping in vehicles to spice things up. Vehicles in Red
Faction Armageddon is actually just as fun as the previous game,
especially when you've aliens swarming all around you.
The control system of Red Faction: Armageddon uses the same control
system from the previous game and has been well mapped on the
controller. Combat ranges from ranged to melee attacks, thanks to the
sledgehammer from Red Faction: Guerrilla to more powerful sci-fi gadgetry
like the plasma cannon that not only booms when you fire it but makes a
blooming big hole in your enemies and the buildings who happen to stand in
Our protagonist is also powered by nano technologies and thanks to a
device on your wist, this allows you to upgrade your abilities such as
increasing your weapon powers or just punching someone into the sky.
There are limits to its use and thankfully the difficulty of this game
is moderate as opposed to easy so it's a careful balance of ammunition,
melee attacks and nano forge abilities. One cool twist is that this
device can also repair buildings which is not only a cool effect but
does help in the overall strategy of the game, especially when the enemy
is trying to kill you.
My favourite weapon is the magnetic gun though. This weapon allows you
to shoot two sticky magnets which basically retracts into each when both
have been fired. For example, you can tag the ceiling, than fire the
other one at the enemy which in turn will cause the enemy to by drawn to
the ceiling with devastating results. It's a clever item and does add to
the gameplay because there are so many ways that this can be used. The
use of Salvage returns in Armageddon that requires the player to collect
useful metals that does assist in your upgrades and is like a currency
system in the game. It is a little arcadish however.
Once you have completed the campaign, the title offers some great
multiplayer content such as Infestation, a four-player online co-op mode
and several other modes. With leaderboards and future DLC, Red Faction
Armageddon definitely has the X-Factor when it comes to multiplayer
excitement and yes, XBox Live is a lot more sturdy than its competitor.
Graphically, Red Faction: Armageddon uses its predecessors engine that
has dated quite well. The environments, although quite Spartan at times
does has this real sense of Mars to it and all the characters, vehicles
and buildings look quite realistic, especially the great physics of
blowing them all up. The destructible environments are pure gold here.
Add in a great soundtrack and the sounds of fighting and background
noises and Armageddon comes together quite well, even with the clichéd
voice acting and cinemas.
In conclusion Red Faction: Armageddon gives fans of this series what
they want... destruction plus mayhem and it works on so many levels. The beauty of
the destruction is that it is not put in as an afterthought but rather,
part of the gameplay which must be used in conjunction with your
strategies. Thankfully developers SyFi Games did not rest on their laurels
(that much) and have included some much needed additions to the series
such as the new alien enemies and the clever use of the magnetic gun
which has shades of Portal 2. If you enjoyed any of the Red Faction
game, than I strongly suggest you check this title out.