Red Faction
Game Info
Platform(s)
Playstation 2
Publisher
THQ
Developer
Volition
Genre
First Person Shooter
ESRB Rating
Violence, Blood
 
Grade
The Good

• Good voice acting
• Geo-Mod system lets you destroy just about anything
• Enemy A.I. is fairly decent

The Bad

• Repetitious enemies
• No in-game map
• Loading...

 
Grade
B+

In Red Faction, you play as Parker, a man from Earth who comes to work on Mars with the hopes of geting "his mind cleared up". Once there, he finds out that his employer, Ultor, runs a hard ship and there are rumors that they have releases a plague among the miners. At the end of his shift one day, Parker becomes involved in a miner revolt which quickly turns bloody. It's from that point, the player takes over and must locate weapons or die.

When I first heard that this was a First Person Shooter (FPS) with a story, I laughed. I recalled days of playing Doom and Duke Nukem where the story was go from level 1 to 2 without getting killed. In the early days, there was no such thing as a story. But, since the release of Half-Life for the PC, it looked as though telling a story in a FPS was possible.

But, the Total Recall-esque story is not really the star here. It's the Geo-Mod system utilized to allow the player to basically destroy or marr anyhting in site. Certain areas can not just be blow up, but blown through. If a door is stuff, whip out your rocket launcher or some explosives and start working away at the walls.

Graphics:
Red Faction has some excellent areas in which the player can blast around. Lighting effects are also well done and when you blast out a light, the room grows darker because of it. The design and animation of the enemies and NPCs are also well done, but do seem to get a bit repetitious after a while. After killing around a hundred of the blue-clad soldiers, they can get a little tiresome. While the enemies do vary some later on, it still doesn't feel like there are enough different enemies to change the pace.

Sound:
With a wide range of well done voice-overs and a good game script, Red Faction keeps the story-line pace going by having the player talk to NPCs or receive messages from other characters. The enemies even yell and taunt and beg for their life when you mix it up with them. Though, I will say that hearing the soldiers spout off the same three or four line over and over again got a little old. Everytime some one yelled out "Don't shoot me. I'm unarmed" it meant that he was going for help.

Gameplay:
The single-player experience of Red Faction is finely done and gives the player enough story to move along. The controls are fairly easy to use and the intelligence of the enemies actions can lead to a complex and challenging game. With the ability to drive or fly various vehicles or commandeer stationary weapons to attack the enmy with, a player may find any number of ways to complete the mission. The multiplayer experience, while not overly focused on, is still fun and doesn't detract from the overall game.

The Bad:
Except for the repetitious enemies and what they say, I only had two other gripes about Red Faction. 1 - No In-Game Map! Good luck finding your way around, because you have no way of figuring out where you're going or where you've been. Also, loading times are long. While I can forgive long load times, they seem to show up often. You can run from one series of rooms into another and have to stop to load once, maybe even twice.

Red Faction is one of the few FPS games that actually is better as a single-player. The greatest joy of Red Faction is finishing a gun fight only to see what carnage you've wrecked on the surroundings. The story is fairly good and any gamer should log in numerous hours fighting their way through enemies that grow in challenge and strength.

- - kinderfeld

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