Red Faction: Armageddon

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Red Faction: Armageddon


Hands-on with the single-player and the newly-revealed Ruin Mode

Hands-on preview

It’s interesting to note that Red Faction Armageddon, in a recent hands-on on session in London, felt like a complete game despite being two months away. Homefront, in comparison, is out this week and Kaos were still furiously tweaking the multiplayer. I can’t talk about Red Faction’s multiplayer just yet, but I can discuss the game’s new Ruin mode and go in-depth about how the single-player’s shaping up.

In short, pretty well for the most part. The first thing you need, absolutely need, to realise is that Red Faction is not a sandbox open-world game. If you’re still expecting that, turn away right now. Armageddon controls the same way as Guerrilla, but the game’s now a tight linear shooter rather than GTA-on-Mars. There’s still an emphasis on cool environment destruction, but you won’t be doing as much driving into buildings this time.

For many (who haven’t read any previews of the game) this will be a profound disappointment. Guerrilla wasn’t for everyone, but it was decidedly unique. Fortunately the fun value of blowing things up in an amusing manner remains. It’s also aliens this time rather than dirty EDF members.

Tools of the trade

I only got a brief taste of the story, but it is set 50 years after Guerrilla and involves Darius Mason being blamed by the miners for unleashing hidden alien hordes buried deep under the surface of Mars. Whether he’s guilty or not remains to be seen, but nevertheless aliens are on the loose and some kickass weapons have been provided to kill them with.

The magnet gun will definitely be a favourite. Attach one magnet to something, attach a second magnet somewhere else, and the first thing will be immediately pulled towards the second point. If you attach the first to an alien it’ll be dragged (usually kicking and screaming) to wherever you want it to go (and squished), but attach it to, say, a staircase and the entire structure will be pulled across the map – often to crush a poor Martian against the wall.

The basic assault rifle is pathetic and has a hell of a recoil on it, so your aim will quickly climb before you know what’s going on. A remote mine launcher was my personal weapon of choice, dismantling the scenery in various hilarious ways as much as it does the aliens. The sledgehammer’s back too, and even more devastating in close quarters. You also have a repair ray, so you can easily remake any structure you’ve felled – often just to break it again.