Red Faction: Armageddon
Armageddon is the fourth game in the Red Faction franchise and my first taste of this popular third person shooter. You get to play the character Darius Mason, grandson of the protagonist Alec Mason from Red Faction: Guerilla. Unfortunately, you’re not living up to your grandpa’s great name. You failed to stop the terraformer from being destroyed by terrorists, forcing all of Mars’ human population underground. Things get worse however, when you’re manipulated several years later, triggering an event that unleashes a world of nasty critters into the subterranean world on Mars.
As far as action/shooter games go, Red Faction: Armageddon is a bit hit and miss, though mostly hit. On the surface it’s a standard third person shooter forced along a pre-determined route, killing many bugs along the way, and trying not to get killed.
But Armageddon has a few special tricks up it’s sleeves. Firstly is the repair skill, allowing you to repair bridges – so you can continue down your pre-determined path of destruction – or allowing you to repair cover so you have somewhere better to hide! Essentially however, this is never much more than a gimmick – though sometimes an essential gimmick if you accidentally destroy the walkway that leads to the only way out!
Where Armageddon comes into it’s own os through the weapons that you can wield, from the massive hammer that lets you destroy just about anything through to the Magnet Gun, which is the best invention ever. Coupled with destructible environments, the Magnet Gun is what makes Armageddon such and enjoyable game, and make you feel indestructible. The mechanics of the Magnet Gun are simple, fire the first magnet at object A, then fire the second magnet at object B, then watch as object A is pulled towards object B and increasing speed and towards destruction. This is great for destroying structures – which you will be asked to do – but it’s even better when you’re running low on ammo and you’ve still got a few big critters to dispose of. Fire a magnet at an explodable barrel, then at the critter and….. ka-boom! No explodable barrels left, not to worry, magnet to structure, magnet to critter and….. squashed bug. No structure left to destroy? Magnet to critter, magnet to cave ceiling…. you get the picture.
There is no weapon ever created that makes you feel like such a bad arse as the Magnet Gun. It’s pure, unadulterated joy, and it’s what makes Armageddon worth playing.
There’s enough other stuff to do, but the fun does dissipate when you’re on a level without much destruction, but then the fun ramps up when you get to try out one of the mech suits…
Whilst Armageddon does fall flat on some level designs, it’s quota of over the top destructible fun is such that you’ll soon over look any poorly designed or paced levels the next time the Magnet Gun comes out.
If the campaign isn’t enough to keep you going there is also the Geo_mod 2.0 mode where all the critters are removed and you have a set time to destroy as much of the environment as you can, and Infestation Mode where a team of four players hold out for as long as they can against wave after wave of enemies.