I have always been a fan of the Red Faction games; since the very beginning. It offered innovation, and something different than the normal games I was accustomed to. Red Faction: Armageddon is no different, it still offers that innovation and a very different style and presentation that most gamers -including myself- have been accustomed to.
For the longest time, all I played was Armageddon’s predecessor, and I played it to the very core. Most of the achievements, a good online presence, as well as a ton of time spent kicking some EDF @$$. After it started getting dull, word circulated that Volition Inc. and THQ were working on a new Red Faction. Of course at this time, all of my sensors go off and I go into what I like to call “School Girl Puppy Love Mode.” I start jumping up and down, my arms flapping like a walrus who just came onto land; you get the picture.
I am going to take this review at a different approach and start with the things I was not too keen on for this installment. Firstly, I was kind of upset that Volition ditched the open world atmosphere that we came to love from Guerrilla. I understand time constraints, and budget and everything that goes into making a game; what I do not understand is why stray away from a proven approach. Sure the older Red Faction games did take the same Linear approach that Armageddon did, but maybe it is just my love for the open world environment? Do not get me wrong though, Armageddon does utilize the Linear gameplay pretty well; but those coming straight from Guerrilla might be a bit confused. This was honestly the only issue I had with the game, and after playing the game through 2 times from start to finish (once on Normal, then on Insane) I think it is pretty safe to say that I am over my qualm.
The one thing I do admire about Red Faction: Armageddon is the gameplay as a whole; if you sit down and break it up piece by piece I think you would too. The main thing I personally noticed was the entire Level Design; as a LD’er this is a kill or be killed aspect for me when speaking of a video game. If the game has horrible Level Concepts then there is no point for me to try and enjoy it; with the exception of a few games that have the worst level design concepts and still come out on top. Sorry to get off track; I can assure you that Red Faction: Armageddon is nothing short of an epic addition to the Red Faction.
Gameplay is something that is kind of touch and go; a very repetitive combat system with a lackluster AI. Usually this is a horrid thing that can usually make a game uneventful, but in this case it is a good thing. Since Red Faction: Armageddon’s main purpose is destruction, it is more than OK as it provides better and more unique ways to kill an enemy. For instance on occasions you will have enemies at the top of a building firing down at you; this is when you pull out Mr. Toots (the most EPIC weapon EVER MADE) provided you have beaten the game and unleash the chronic diarrhea rainbow from hell. However, if you have not yet beaten the game a simple Magnet Gun or Rocket Launcher shot will suffice.
Since I brought up the weaponry, this does offer the best chance to talk about the unique ways you can kill your enemies. I often found myself using the Magnet Gun to lock onto a Tower, and then to an enemies to give them a home-made enema. This might sound pretty unpleasant, but trust me it looks better than it sounds. Another unique way to kill an enemy is to utilize the surroundings; if you played the demo you should remember a level where you come across some crystals. These crystals are a good tool to utilize to either impale or maim some enemies. There was only one time that I successfully did this; wait until the enemy gets near the crystals that are on the ceiling and knock it down to impale them. Of course it will not impale them like go through their mouth and come out their feet (that would be insane) but it will kill them. So go and find a more unique way to slaughter your opposition.
Infestation is a new game mode, which is dare I say a “horde” mode and a defend mode. There are plenty of maps to choose from, along with some different objective types of games. This objective game mode usually consists of you defending a building (including repairing it) from waves upon waves of angry enemies. Infestation mode though is one of those types of things where you do not want to play alone, because with the addition of more players it is a lot more fun.
Ruin mode is by far my favorite mode and it is one we all have come to love. Destruction is the key to victory, destroy as much as you can within the time limit and rack up your points. So far I have all by 1 beat and it is one of those where I feel I need a certain rocket launcher from a previous game ::hint:: that can help me beat it.
Overall I am very pleased with Red Faction: Armageddon despite my criticism at the very beginning. Personal preference always takes a front row seat for reviews, but I am putting it on the back burner and telling you to GO AND BUY THIS GAME. If you do, drop me a line and I will get on and play some co-op with you!