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Red Faction: Armageddon Review

How many times have you been in a game and thought, “Man, I wish I could just bust right through that wall instead of running around to pick something up?”  Well, this being my first FULL play through of a “Red Faction” game, I’ve got to say, it’s quite refreshing.  Having only played a little of its predecessor, “Red Faction: Guerrilla,” I knew they were carrying over this key element and I was excited about this game.

The game takes place on the planet Mars.  It is set in the year 2170, fifty years after the events of “Red Faction: Guerrilla.”  The developers at Volition Inc. have done a great job at spinning a tale around the protagonist, Darius Mason, grandson of Martian Revolution heroes Alec Mason and Samanya, the main characters of “Red Faction: Guerrilla” and members of the Red Faction force that launch an attack on the group of Cultists, a splinter faction of the Marauders led by Adam Hale that attacked and captured a terraformer that controlled the weather of Mars.  Later, Adam disguises himself as a Faction member and tricks Mason into destroying the terraformer.  The destruction of the terraformer results in catastrophic weather, which forces the entire population of Mars to go underground.  Later, a disgraced Darius now works as a mercenary along with a former marauder named Kara. Darius was sent to do a mining job and learned that he was tricked again by the ever crafty Adam Hale and the Cultists to open a seal that releases an alien race called The Plague, and becomes trapped in the tunnels The Plague live in.

Ker-Splat via IGN

Now, these new species start off fairly easy and I like the way Volition introduced the new enemy gradually, because the weaker, smaller ones move quickly and are easy to shoot (or with my personal favorite method, bash with my giant maul), but as you move further and further along The Plague get bigger and nastier.  All shoot some kind of projectile at you, whether it be acid or some electro-shot, and there are even cloakers which keep you moving.  After making his escape from the tunnels you eventually end up grouping up with survivors and some Red Faction soldiers, escorting an ambulance convoy to Bastion, with the help of a “L.E.O” exosuit found along the way.

The exosuit makes you feel almost invincible with its infinite ammo and extremely high tolerance for punishment.  The only other vehicle-like mech you man is the “Walker,” which basically has an electro-shocking gun and uber-cool laser cannon that both make you feel God-like.  Darius then arrives at Bastion only to find the town was overrun by the Plague, with the injured holed up in the center of town.  You of course eventually find help out of the town, only to have them turn on you when they found out you are involved with The Plague because of Hale’s trickery.  After this, it’s all about redemption for Mason and stopping both Hale and The Plague.

From my understanding of what I did play of “Red Faction: Guerrilla,” “Armageddon’s” game-play is more linear than its predecessor, a factor that usually annoys me nowadays with sequels.  However, the story was so engrossing and the action sequences that have you shoot your vast array of weapons to eradicate enemies actually takes your mind off the straight path the story has you moving in because you can still explore your entire surroundings to scavenge for credits which are used for currency when you need to purchase an upgrade at the kiosks, or just roam with your Maul in hand or your plasma beam and bring down some structures just for kicks.

Though i haven’t tried the other game modes, this title offers such as co-operative Extermination mode, which has up to four players teaming up to fight against unrelenting waves of increasingly challenging alien attackers, and Horde mode as it’s called in “Gears of War,” and Ruin mode, which can only be accessed through a code if you purchased it (which I just recently did through Gamefly so I’m getting the code when i receive the case).  From the name of the game mode I’m guessing it’s just an all out free-for-all of destruction which i loved about the single player.  Destruction 5.0!!!  Now all I need to do is convince Moondoggie82 to rent it so we can do a little co-op Extermination mode.  A definite rental for any fan of third person shooters.

Final Verdict for Red Faction: Armageddon (based on story)

4 out of 5

All pictures from Syfy and THQ unless other wise credited.