Red Faction: Armageddon Review – Mars Impotent Rebellion

Red Faction: Armageddon brings the multitudinous and entertaining journey of iconic planet within our solar system back to the minds of audiences everywhere from its roots of Red Faction: Guerrilla. Volition, Inc. creates a journey into Mars which is linear in fashion but focuses on storyline and fast plot twists at the root of the past rebellions that insculpted Mars into the civilization it becomes from the consequences of the defunct Earth Defense Force (EDF). The Red Faction movement is exhibiting a new golden era that situates itself into the perspicacious nature of a science fiction title equivalent to the confines of a fiction novel. The characters have history, and the planet itself has that history flowing from the pages of the dialogue. The combat at times, however, feels a little unnecessarily stale especially given the linear nature rather than a newer and more innovative open-world sandbox nature, which Volition clearly stayed far from, in hopes to make players avoid wandering a barren Mars. Mars troubles aside, Red Faction: Armageddon still makes players want to explore the future of civilization on Mars to a point.

Red Faction: Armageddon finds its roots 50 years after the exposition of Alec Mason, the protagonist of Red Faction: Guerrilla. The planet terraformer on Mars which kept the area hospitable had been blown up by Adam Hale, former son to a captain of the EDF, raised by those members stuck on Mars post- Second Martian Revolution. From this point, the air became unusable while the surface of the planet was inundated with tornadoes and storms, causing the desperate Colonists to seek their refuge under the surface of Mars within an underground cavern society. Ten years have now gone by, and we are introduced to the all too eerily familiar Darius Mason, a demolitions expert who takes on jobs that others cannot perform given the landscape condition. The reason for him doing all of this is simple: Darius carries the Mason family name as the grandson of Martion Revolutionary hero Alec Mason, so he has a high bar set over him in his own mind’s capacity and the citizens. As a businessman to a trade commodity of demand, Darius manages several Bastion-centered activities such as mercenary tasks, scavenging, and mining on the inhospitable surface of Mars. Through all of this, Darius uses the NanoForge, making this family heirloom a tool into journeying beyond the surface for materials to carry the socioeconomic climate of the underground hub. As things go terrible during the latest scavenge, The Plague is released:  long dormant creatures with formidable eyes and a disease created from the labs of Ultor Corporation, the first and overthrown government before the First Martian Revolution to control all rebellious peoples under their watch. Yet again, the people of Mars need to be saved, and Darius along with his fellow allies Frank Winters and Kara will set out on a journey in Tharsis to prevent Armageddon from unleashing.

Red Faction: Armageddon single player-campaign finds its roots at the heart of the Geo-Mod 2.0 Engine. The concept of Geo-Mod involves the environment, as a sort of homage to the title Fracture by LucasArts. Players are able to recreate environments around them while using the environments as weapons or ammo themselves through the power of the magnet gun tool. Nano Forge comes with the primary abilities of Shockwave, Impact, Repair, Berserk, and Shell. All of these combine with various weapon types such as Singularity, Nano Rifles, Dual Wield Pistols, the Magnet Gun, and other weapons to affect the enemies for damage points. Abilities combine with weapons to create a two-weapon system. Shockwave hurls enemies around a constancy of energy around him. Impact implies the name along with Repair, as Berserk and Shell each overcharge while providing protective fields from damage. Each of these abilities when used in unison provide an incredible amount of effects and resonance in Red Faction: Armageddon, but they fall too short in terms of actual offerings in terms of switching between abilities and shooting in a linear fashion of limited levels in terms of design.  Repair is, however, an exciting ability, which allows players to rebuild parts of the levels while using destruction ability before, such as taking out an enemy on a bridge by destructing the bridge, and then reconstructing the bridge yet again. Recreation plays a strong role in the balance between chaos of the land and the repair of certain elements to their former glory, and it sparks a level of intensity to allow for further upgrades. With these missions, players gain Salvage, the local currency of Red Faction: Armageddon which is used to purchase upgrades to the Nano Forge and more. These ability upgrade points in single-player are done splendidly and make use of an enormity of the destruction situations. Red Faction: Armageddon creates a single-player design that is definitely limited and not terrific in terms of the linear faction when it comes to the true surprises around every corner, which some might be considered miniscule, but the Geo-Mod 2.0 engine truly does make the single-player campaign feel weightless at times and impressive.

Red Faction: Armageddon multiplayer game structure is divided into cooperative play between single-player campaign and multiplayer offerings with Infestation style and Ruin mode. While players cannot directly play the campaign with a friend, they can certainly use currency / upgrades from their campaign to unlock all the multiplayer level upgrades or vice versa. But in order to justify the scale, Volition has placed barriers on unlocks for levels to the following: Tier 1 Upgrades immediately, Tier 2 at Wave 7 of enemies, Tier 3 at Wave 14, and Tier 4 at Wave 22.  When all of these abilities are finished, the concept of the storyline for the multiplayer embroils a tale during the actual single-player campaign but from another illustration: every person plays as one of four members involved in often non-compatible rival factions of the game. Player character choices range from smuggler, to Marauder, Frank Winters, and a Red Faction soldier. The gameplay modes for infestation vary from 2 types of missions: Defend and Survive. “Meltdown” involves bringing a glacier melting station online so the pumps have something to work with. “Pressure” involves repairing steam generator powers, where Winters and his teammates enter an alien infested territory. “Dust to Dust” uses the town of Dust as a strategic element while “Harvest” and “Extermination” involves a monastery for the prior and an alien invasion at a cultist camp for the latter mode. The Survive modes of “Trapped,” “Black Market,” and “Heretic” are about survival rather than objective defense. All of these modes when combined together with the original single-player plot have a lot of depth, and is something which Volition, Inc. has done undeniably well. Start “Dark Mode” and all the lights are extinguished in all the modes, which is creative and crafty. The only downside to multiplayer is the one time pay-to-play (or preorder) Ruin Mode, which is essentially a challenge mode with scores and leaderboard offerings. It is definitely the least exciting mode and was perhaps better to be left out of the actual game. Red Faction: Armageddon’s multiplayer adventure tightly winds back to the single-player campaign, while using a different storyline that is exciting but nothing new or particularly innovative.

Red Faction: Armageddon and all of its political upheavals and threats sonorously achieve a level of fun to be had for players that are massive Red Faction fans. The single-player is relatively weaker than the multiplayer, but still offers a fair amount of entertainment despite the bland level designs. Red Faction: Armageddon has a storyline which is definitely compelling, and the multiplayer action itself is entertaining for a while. Multiplayer itself discovers a new way to look at a threat in a new light, but more so no light at all. Red Faction: Armageddon is not a title which is perfect or even worth a $59.99 MSRP, but fans of the series will not be disappointed to a degree and seasoned first-person shooter genre lovers will find solace in the amount of action Red Faction: Armageddon is willing to provide.

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