Red Faction Armageddon sees you back on Mars, 50 years after the last game, as Darius Mason, grandson of Alec Mason and Samanya, the heroes of the revolution from Red Faction: Guerilla, finding that the Mars surface has become uninhabitable thanks to a meteor hitting the planet and destroying the Terraformer machine which gave it the Earth-like atmosphere.
As such, everyone now has to live underground and Darius has been conned into opening a spooky temple which has accidentally stirred a race of Martian creatures who think he’s to blame for everything and so it’s you against the world… but underground.
That’s the basics out of the way, and so let’s get onto the best thing about this new title – a new weapon called the magnet gun. It allows you to fire two shots. First of all, you fire one at an object (which is known as the anchor), then another to a second one (known as the attractor). Once complete, the first item will be thrust at speed to the second. This is very handy for getting rid of aliens who can become the object and basically getthrown at the ground. For a time, this can be quite satisfying.
Other weapons include the Charge Launcher, the Shotgun and my favourite, Maul – an item which allows you to hack and slash at anything.
As for the not-so-good aspects of this, you can’t destroy everything as the game is quite linear in how it wants you to get from A to B. There’s also lots of short CGI sequences, so you play for a bit, then watch CGI for a bit and so on, which really serves to take you out of the action. In addition, there’s a weapon that allows you to repair destroyed buildings and structures, which at first sounds amazing – and does indeed look like that, but given the game’s linearity, all you seem to be able to do is destroy some things, repair them (or a handful of other things that are in bits by the time you get there, such as a bridge) and kill baddies.
Red Faction Armageddon is okay, but it didn’t impress me. Most of the time it’s too dark, so it’s like Alien Vs Predator: Requiem, which did much the same thing and just seemed to hide what it might’ve been capable of in the darkness. As such, it ended up driving me round the bend.
The graphics are okay, but would’ve been better if you could’ve seen them properly more often, while the sound is loud but, again, never feels like it’s really putting out for you. I have to say that I was getting bored while playing this, which is not a good sign for any game.
I’m not one for multiplayer, but an additional single-player element is the Ruin Mode – a challenge mode where you try to rack up destruction for lots of points. However, I really don’t know what happened between the release of Guerilla and Armageddon as THQ have really dropped the ball with this one. If there’s a further title in the series, let’s hope they can get back to full strength.
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- Publisher: THQ
- Price: £49.99 (Xbox 360, PS3); £39.99 (PC)
- Players: single player campaign, multiplayer: 32
- HDTV options: 720p/1080i/1080p
- Dolby Digital 5.1 sound: Yes
(first gameplay footage) (720p HD)
Director: Keith Arem, Michael McCormick and Robert Taylor
Producer: Jim Boone
Writer: Drew Holmes
Music: Brian Reitzell
Kara: Karen Strassman
SAM: Valerie Arem
Adam Hale: Gareth David-Lloyd
Cultist #1: Emerson Brooks
Cultist #2: Jonathan Kite
Cultist #3: Liam O’Brien
Darius Mason: Steven D Snyder
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.