Saturday, May 14, 2011

What Red Faction Armageddon needs to succeed

Destruction is a beautiful thing. Whether it be by rocket, crazed mech, or old-fashioned sledgehammer, there's nothing Red Faction is afraid to present in pieces. In just about a month, Volition is taking us back to Mars to begin the demolition anew with Red Faction: Armageddon. Though the last Red Faction title, Guerrilla, was a fantastic return to form for the dormant series, there are a few key matters that Armageddon needs to focus on in order to surpass its predecessor.

Many dicey things went down last time we controlled Mr. Alex Mason. now that he's long gone, things have become far worse. With life support running out and the surface of Mars once again uninhabitable, the cavernous depths of the Red Planet are the only sanctuary left for humankind. Of course, it won't be easy; with fanatic humans and all sorts of angry beasts present they'll need both new equipment and augmented features to emerge victorious from such a debacle. Let's delve deep, and take a look into...

The Underground

According to THQ, around 80% of Armageddon will take place in the bowels of Mars. That's a pretty long time to spend in a single area, and it might become a little boring to look at. This brings us to goal numero uno - make the environments varied, not at all like those found in Guerrilla.

With a setting as alien as Mars is, there's an infinite number of ways to craft meticulously detailed environments for gamers to fawn over and explore. We've got to be able to stay interested as look for things to blow up. Guerrilla had some interesting locales, but the game was in large part completely brown from top to bottom. Volition, here's your chance to give us some shiny, crystalline caverns that just weren't possible in Guerrilla. We're tired of brown.

High Profile Targets

One of the best things about running about in Guerrilla was finding all the EDF's important buildings and structures, and leveling them. We aren't sure who the real threat is going to be in the new game, but I'll be damned if they don't have any important buildings down there. Allow us the freedom to move about and tackle these puppies once again and you'll gain some points with the crowd that really matters - the people reading this article.

GeoMod destructibility

Guerrilla was criticised by fans for the fact that its environment could not be altered. To me this is a minor feature that, while not essential, would be nice to have. What's more important is how the structures we attack come apart; we need more consistency. I can't tell you how many times a giant structure, after its architectural integrity was compromised beyond repair, would be standing up on a single beam of steel. It would eventually fall over, but this happened far too often to be considered acceptable. Make it more reliable Volition - this Red Faction needs it!


Remember those race-type missions in Guerrilla that would have you cross a large area? Remember how many times you got right to the end to have the timer run out on you? These missions need to vanish into the dark recesses of Mars, never to be seen again. Tie something more interesting, like high profile buildings and targets, into the mission structure. Rail-shooter sections in Guerrilla were tons of fun, and Demolition Master and Heavy Metal missions practically made the game. I am expecting some new ones, but damn you, Volition... damn you to hell if you rid the world of these excellent pieces of digital crack.


Initially I thought for sure that Armageddon would incorporate some type of story driven cooperative play. I was wrong. Infestation mode is just like Halo's Firefight, or Gears of War's Horde mode, but it needs to be different. I'm not against components like Infestation, it's just that a lot of the time waves of monsters become repetitive, and therefore becomes a mode no one cares about. This is especially true now that Armageddon will be missing the multiplayer component Guerrilla had. No, it wasn't the best multiplayer by any means, but it was silly fun. With that said, Infestation has some rather large pressure behind it now. If it fails, the replayability of this Armageddon will tank significantly.

Red Faction is a great series, and if its latest incarnation resembles anything like Guerrilla, it will be a ton of fun to play. With some small tweaks and minor changes, Red Faction: Armageddon could very well become the definitive game in the franchise. We only have to wait another month to find out.

What changes would you like to see to the game? Let us know in the comments section below!

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