Red Faction: Armageddon is the fourth installment from Volition and takes place, you guessed it, on Mars. The year is 2170, which is set fifty years after the previous game Red Faction: Guerrilla, and a lot has changed since then what with Mars being Liberated, but things have gone from bad to worse. The Terraformer that helped make Mars habitable was destroyed in a focused attack by Adam Hale, who you will meet many times in the game along the way. With the machine taken out of action the inhabitants of Mars have been forced underground as the surface is ravaged by lighting storms and powerful winds.
At the start of the game you will find yourself trying to stop the forces of Adam Hale from taking down the Terraformer. But Adam Hale has it all planned out and you soon find out that your actions are in vain, as an arrogant Adam pretends to be an injured soldier who you, Darius, over looks and with the area clear, Adam simply walks out and detonates the bombs which destroys the Terraformer.
A few years pass and you start the the main game as Darius. He has now turned his hand to being a mercenary for hire along with his long term friend and love interest Kara. Darius soon finds out that the job he has just picked will change the direction of what is happening on Mars.
Gameplay is very much how you would expect to play a 3rd person shooter with the over the shoulder style of gameplay. I also found the controls very simple and effective, I didn’t have to battle with the controls, the same can also be said about how the missions are given.
The graphics in the game are very well done, the different environments you visit along the course of the game truly look amazing and you really get a feel for the place you’re in. I really found myself trying to explore as much as I could while I played along with the game. Alongside the environments what was also great to see was the detail of the buildings in this game. As everyone knows Red Faction is famed for it’s destroyable environments and this game is no different, but it’s the little things like going into a building and seeing tables, chairs and boxes and being able to smash it all up was great for me. However, the buildings and their contents are somewhat dwarfed in comparison to some of the mechs you will get to pilot, not only do they look amazing (especially the big spider-like mechs!) but they also pack a major punch with some of the weapons they carry.
Talking of weapons that’s another thing this game does very well, you have a whole arsenal of guns at your disposal and some of them are devastating when used in the right way. For me the most used gun was the Magnet Gun, which is great for destroying buildings and also for sending enemies flying around the area. To use it all you really need to do is fire the first yellow marker and select your target and fire the blue marker to where you want that target to go. Much fun can be had killing the aliens with parts of a falling building or whatever else you can think of to do with it. However, it’s not all about the destructive force of your weapons, you also have other powers as well which come in form of the Nano Forge which is a wrist computer. It has the power to repair most things in the game which can come in very handy when you are fighting enemies and your cover is destroyed. At first you can only repair things very close to you, but as you collect scrap you can perform upgrades which let you fire some nano bombs, allowing you to repair things from a distance. You can also upgrade other things along the way as you pick up more scrap such as buying more health and a shield dome as well as many others.
Red Faction Armageddon also comes with a great multiplayer option where you have games styles like horde mode. Here you can play with up to 3 people who you will be attacking or defending, but to my surprise I also found that they had linked this into the storyline as well, which stayed in the Red Faction Universe even though I was playing with other people. There is also a mode called Ruin Mode which, like in Red Faction Guerrilla, is a game set on how much destruction you can do in a set amount of time, which is great fun although, after a while, it became a bit of a slog to keep playing.
Overall Red Faction Armageddon is a great game, although there are some points in the story where the cheese creeps in and while the vast array of weapons is great I only found myself using a few through the game. But if you can overlook this then what you have here is a great game that will leave you with a good feeling of “oh what’s next?”, just like when you walk out of a good film at the cinema. If you haven’t played any of the Red Faction games then this is the one to pick up to see what makes makes Red Faction so good.
In my opinion this is the best of the Red Faction games to date.