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Red Faction Armageddon XBox 360 Review - -

Gameplay 8.2
Graphics 8.4
Sound 8.1
Value 8.2
Distributor: THQ
Review Date:
June 2011
Tyrone Williams


Red Faction Armageddon

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 aliens?

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.

To 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 your way.

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.

Brilliantly addictive!


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