Red Faction Armageddon Review: Magnet Gun FTW!!

Posted: June 22, 2011 in Now Playing (Video Game Reviews)

The Magnet Gun
Who doesn’t love destroying almost everything?
Fun co-op multiplayer

Storyline is weak and fogettable

So life does exist on Mars after all…and it’s out to kill you.

Since the inception of the Red Faction franchise many moons ago when I was playing this on my PS2, Red Faction told the story about the struggle of rebelling miners on Mars. In a way I was felt like I was Arnold Schwarzenegger in the movie “Total Recall” except without the sleazy and demure brunette tagging along for the ride. It made me want to spit out Arnold’s notable lines like “See you at the party Richter!” as well as a few others in what was a fun romp. Of course there was this other element that allowed you to destroy everything that made the deal even sweeter.

Now we have Red Faction: Armageddon. The storyline shifts from rebelling miners to the human race on Mars in a fight for survival underground against Benny’s kids. Remember, he did have a lot of mouths to feed. You are Darius Mason, grandson of Alec Mason from Red Faction: Guerilla, out to save what’s left of the human race from Martian terrorists trying to take back what they feel is rightfully theirs. You can’t blame them can you? The storyline as a whole is a mixed bag that goes from interesting to dragging, but let’s face the fact that this series isn’t known for its “epic” strories. This may a big departure from what Red Faction was known for. Then again remember Red Faction 2? I’m still trying to forget that one. Even though the storyline takes a big shift towards fighting aliens there is still one core element that survives. That element is to destroy everything and it’s still awesome.

Red Faction is popular for one main reason: environmental destruction. Using the now infamous Geo Mod 2 technology, Mason can destroy the environment at will with his arsenal of destruction. Sure you have your trusty hammer, assault rifles, shotguns, and rocket launchers at your disposal, but there is one weapon that trumps them all. Just imagine, what if there was a gun where you can take pieces of one area and use them to destroy another. Well that my friends would be the Magnet Gun! This weapon has two shots where you shoot two different areas and then let the power of magnetism take over. Dispose of those evil aliens by sending them into a spiked death or even take heavy metal and send it flying into them. The possibilities are endless and it never gets old.

Gameplaywise, Red Faction: Armageddon decided to go the route of a third-person shooter unlike the first-person shooters of the first two games and open world sandbox of Guerilla. Levels consist of mainly closed in underground areas which could feel a little claustrophobic, but open up from time to time to allow you to destroy everything so you can get your break stuff mentality fix. You also have the power to holographically fix what you or your alien enemies destroyed which is a big change from previous games. I guess you can call it the “Coca-Cola effect” where you decide to be a little friendly by saying “I’m sorry, I’ll fix it so that the world can be a better place.” You’ll also have moments where you get to step into a mech or other vehicles for some fun shooting moments that help break the monotany of running and gunning yet still destroy. Just like Guerilla, you need to pick up salvage which you can use to spend on upgrades. These upgrades are very helpful especially when you get towards the end of the game and the action really ramps up.

The main campaign is rather short clocking in around 8-10 hours, but Armageddon does pack a multiplayer punch that will have you coming back for more destruction. First there is the Ruin Mode where the object is to destroy as much as you can within a specific time limit. This is mainly only for leaderboard bragging rights (do people still use this?) You can also switch to free play and create as much beautiful destruction as you desire. Here’s a tip: Use the Magnet Gun! Also included is Infestation Mode which plays out like Horde in Gears of War, Firefight in Halo, and even Zombies in Call of Duty so there’s no need for me to discuss this if you’ve already played these other games. Co-op is the name of the game in Red Faction: Armageddon and online multiplayer works great.

Red Faction: Armageddon is more intended for the fans of the series. The story is rather weak and forgetable, but the destruction is top notch. It also gives us the fun of killing evil aliens. Just remember to use the Magnet Gun and let the fun ensue. I’ll also add that all the amazing looking explosions will even make Michael Bay have an orgasm. Overall, I consider Red Faction: Armageddon a good game for this summer or even a good rental because this game will become a mere afterthought this fall by the arrival of another Gears of War and Call of Duty game.


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