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N-Gage Reviews: Red Faction

I must admit that I thoroughly fell in love with Red Faction on the PC when it was released a few years ago and when I heard that the game was coming to the N-Gage, I was quite simply stoked. Red Faction is set in a futuristic universe where mankind has finally conquered the stars. The conquest of space has also led to the mining of Mars which has become an extremely profitable venture for Earth. 

You play the role of Parker, a Mars miner who is about to have the worst day of his life. With fierce government factions trying to conquer mars, the miners of Mars have decided to revolt against the current Earth government in an attempt to liberate and free Mars from the political turmoil. Fortunately for Parker, his current shift in the mines is over but unfortunately for him, he becomes entwined in a vicious battle that draws him into the deadly liberation of Mars.

The storyline behind Red Faction is a classic first person shooter storyline (finally a developer has concentrated on story rather than multi-playability) that has you playing the hero in the Mars rebellion. The gameplay of Red Faction is a standard first person shooter where you must explore, run and fight various enemies in an attempt to progress through the game. The storyline progresses nicely through the game with in-game cinemas that help tell the tale of the Mars inhabitants and hopefully bring you, the gamer, into the story. You also have access to variety of different types of weaponry that include grenades, sniper rifles, blast rifles, machine guns and even remote mines. Unfortunately Red Faction only saves the game after you have completed a level that I'm sure will frustrated gamers world-wide, next time... please incorporate a save-anywhere policy.

The control system of Red Faction is a little tricky at the best of times and I wish that the developers stuck to a Doom only view which means you can't look up or down, just directly in front. Although a little frustrating, the N-Gage d-pad is used to control your character within the mines of Mars with the 2 button used to jump, buttons 4 & 6 used to strafe, 5 is assigned to the fire button and 7 is used to toggle the free look mode. It took me a few hours to finally master the control system of Red Faction but once it was all figured out, I was playing like an online master in no time. It would of been nice if the auto-aiming feature of Red Faction was a little more forgiving because sometimes in panic, you push the wrong button or move in the wrong direction in order to terminate your opponent.


Graphically, Red Faction is a visual delight that uses the power of the N-Gage gaming platform to its advantage with true 3D environments, enemies and even explosions. Probably the most impressive feature of the title are the 3D gaming environments that have this harsh and rocky look to them that almost makes you feel like you are in the caverns of Mars. The texture details, whether indoor or out have been professionally implemented into the title and nicely add to the ambience of the game with high resolution.

The characters in the game all contain a fairly high polygon count that move with exceptional grace and realism that perform a variety of manoeuvres. Another impressive feature of the Red Faction are the special effects that have been assigned to various weapons in this title that quite simply look brilliant. The only thing that could have been improved in the title would be some anti-aliasing but I'm sure this will be available on the N-Gage 2. It should also be noted that the frame rate of Red Faction remains quite constant throughout the game, only chugging on a few occasions that had huge gaming environments.

Multiplayer fans will also enjoy the death match mode in Red Faction that flawlessly connects to other N-Gages via the Bluetooth but unfortunately (or fortunately), the multiplayer maps a little on the small size but it still makes for some excellent fun. Red Faction is probably the most entertaining "mobile" first person shooter on the market at the moment and although it does contain a few control issues, the graphics, gameplay and storyline will keep gamers amused for hours on end. Highly Recommended!

- Andrew B

The Final Say!

Red Faction -  
reviewed by Andrew B 
Review Date: January 2003
Review Score 8.7/10
Distributed By: Nokia

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