Red Faction: Armageddon has been called the fourth and final title in the Red Faction series. The series are a group of third-person shooter video games that places a strong emphasis on aliens, space travel, advanced technology, and most importantly, destructive environments. Red Faction: Armageddon takes places entirely on the planet Mars, where humans have learned to live comfortably despite the rough terrain and hazardous weather. In the game, you play as the protagonist Darius Mason, grandson of Red Faction: Guerrilla star Alec Mason, who hasn’t exactly lived up to his family’s illustrious name.
The game begins with Darius’ section of the Red Faction army, led by Frank Winters, being sent in to protect the largest Terraformer on Mars from a terrorist attack. The Terraformer is the device that allows the surface of the planet to be hospitable, and when the group fails to stop the attack, the remaining survivors are forced to seek shelter underground. The story then leaps forward 5 years, and you see that the Martian settlers have managed to recover from the nearly catastrophic incident and develop a nice mining colony in which to live and prosper. Darius takes on a rather obscure job that is actually a hoax by the same man who destroyed the Terraformer so many years ago, Adam Hale. Darius realizes this too late however, and he unleashes a dangerous alien race known as The Plague. The rest of the game follows Darius and his companions as they try to put a stop to the alien invasion and take down Hale.
Red Faction: Armageddon’s story has a few large plot holes, and it definitely leaves you scratching your head a few times. The game does a poor job of developing characters and their relationships outside of the Darius and Frank Winters bromance and Darius’ obsession with stopping Hale. Even Darius and his love interest in the game seem to lack much passion or caring for one another, although you could argue that is actually realistic. The dialogue in the game isn’t too bad though, and you’re sure to laugh at quite a few of Darius’ and Frank’s animated one-liners.
Red Faction: Armageddon doesn’t have the best graphics or soundtrack either, but you will get over that when you realize that the game is just simply fun to play. The destructive environments are fun to play with, and the Nano-Forge now allows you to rebuild any man-made object that is destroyed. These two game mechanics combine to make a game unlike any other. You’ll have a variety of different weapons to cause carnage with including a magnet gun that allows you to take nearly any object, including enemies, and instantly send them hurtling towards another object. The campaign in the game does a really good job of mixing up objectives on you as well. One mission may be straightforward shooting everything in sight, while the next may having you pilot an enormous walking tank as you make a daring escape.
The game also comes packed with a couple of nice multiplayer modes too. Ruin Mode takes the destructive environments to a whole new level. You will be thrown into an enemy-free arena with a timer, and your only objective is to cause as much destruction as possible before the timer runs out. Infestation is Red Faction: Armageddon’s cooperative survival/horde mode that every game seems to have nowadays. However, you and up to three other people will not only have to kill waves of enemies, but a building from being destroyed by the enemies. Both modes are pretty fun, but Ruin Mode stands out as something that’s never really been done before.
As seems to be the case with most Volition’s games, Red Faction: Armageddon has quite a few problems, but it is still incredibly entertaining to play. This game doesn’t have as much hype surrounding it as some of the other titles from this year, and you can see why with its lackluster storyline, but this is still a game that everyone should play. Blasting away alien hordes with guns is fun enough, and this game takes it a step further and gives you even more incentive to play. If nothing else, you should play it just to see Mr. Toots, the magical, rainbow-farting unicorn. No, I’m not joking.
Release Date: June 7, 2011
Genre: Third-Person Shooter
Platforms: Playstation 3, Xbox 360, PC