Jun 15, 2011

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Review: Red Faction Armageddon

Review: Red Faction Armageddon

One thing that is always interesting about sequels is seeing where it goes. Most times we simply see continuations of the story line like infamous 2 and other times we see a brand new game. For those who have never played Red Faction Guerrilla; it is an interesting game where your objective is to break things over killing. Since people’s interest in Guerrilla faltered, Armageddon hopes to bring the series back to FPS glory. The only question is… did it?

When you boot the game and get past the brief data install there is the Sci fi channel logo (sorry I’m not calling it Syfy!). Upon seeing the logo, I was  interested in seeing where the story would take us, but I set myself up for a big fall. The story starts with Red Faction member Alec Mason and his operation to stop a bug loving cult. Upon stopping them, there is a flash forward to where Mason is now just a freelancer working on a mysterious job. This ends with him unleashing the sealed bugs and from here the story really starts to move. The only problem is, there is not much development. The game feels like a television sequel for Starship Troopers than a Red Faction game title.

After you get past the lack luster story, you are greeted to a rather bland game play setting. While the guns are interesting, most of them are wildly impractical. The magnet gun is cool, but later on using is going to get you killed. The same can be said for many of other weapons as enemies are way too frequent! While none of them are hard to kill except the large ones… the enemies lack of diversity is rather reminiscent of a Dynasty Warriors title. Thankfully, the missions do branch off past killing enemies, but they are just killing them with a new item. It is not much, however it is enough to distract you for a little bit. Thankfully, the game has a snap-to-target sighting system where finding enemies is easier. Some gamers will be put off by its auto aiming, but I found it to be helpful in those close situations.

When you complete campaign you are offered cheats that allow you to change the game slightly and demo download total unlocked Mr. Toots. Playing another cycle does not offer you anything new, but being overly powerful which is moot come the end. Thankfully, there is more than one mode to play.

For those uninterested in story, you can play infestation mode which is the game’s answer to enemy wave mode. This mode basically mimics later stages of the game, but allows you to co-op with others. Here you fight the most common bugs (no cult members) and try to survive until they are all gone. Unlike a true wave mode, after you finish the stage you can freely start from there. Also contrary to common sense, the game goes in cycles for difficulty for example stage 7 – 10 is harder than 21 – 25. If you choose to finish every stage you are rewarded with nothing. Thankfully, there are also defending missions which change focus from you to another object. These are not too different than simply staying alive though.

When I play with others, there should always be a point even if it is big or small. No matter what, RFA gives you no reason. Once you complete a wave, you are not given spots based off how well you did nor any bonuses for most kills or anything like that. Worst of all, there is no spot for assists which I cannot help but feel kills the teamwork aspect as you get less salvage.

In THQ’s latest effort to make the game a winner they adopted the EA pass system. If you never saw a game that used a pass basically it is a system to screw over gamers who buy used reward buyers that support the company. If you do not buy the game new you will not be allowed to use the wreckage mode. However, if you want a taste, there is a build in the demo. Going off the demo, there appears to be a total of 5 stages and the point is to break stuff. On the stage I played, your goal was to use guns and make large objects fall. By doing this you will get points and if you hit the minimum before time runs out you can start the next stage. Personally 1 minute of breaking stuff is rather meh and the removal of the iconic series hammer puzzling.

Overall Red Faction Armageddon could use some polish. There should be more to the game than later on fighting seemingly endless waves of enemies and then making multiplayer the same thing. There could have also been more tasks like breaking building online, killing a hive, fighting cult members, or really anything at all. There is some enjoyment to be had, but this game has bargain bin written all over it.

 

Red Faction Armageddon
Platform: PS3 (Reviewed), XBox 360
Genre: Third-Person Shooter
Release Date: 6/07/2011
Developer: Volition, Inc.
Publisher: THQ
ESRB Rating: M (Mature)
MSRP: $59.99


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