Red Faction: Armageddon Preview
Red Faction: Armageddon is a direct sequel to last year’s hit, Red Faction: Guerrilla. Time has fast-forwarded a bit, as you will play as Alec Mason’s grandson, Darius Mason, and there’s a whole new threat to the embattled Martian civilization. It’s not so much about an oppressive government; rather, it’s about a sea of nasty creatures that were unleashed when the humans began to dig deep into the planet’s interior. Hence, the world of Darius Mason is filled with uncertainty – and lots and lots of death – and despite his heroics, the raging infestation may prove to be too widespread to conquer… You won’t know if other colonists have survived the unfortunate unleashing of beasties like creepers and ravagers, but you have the heavy responsibility of leading those who have survived to some sort of relative safety. Returning will be the destructible environment that has been the trademark of this franchise, and a little extra incentive to blow sh** up.
That “extra incentive” comes in various forms. Firstly, part of the infestation comes in the form of a red vine that actually seeps the strength out of certain structures; if you don’t want the baddies to grow stronger; those structures have to come down. Secondly, the path to freedom for both you and the pack of survivors must be cleared. Your map will point out certain buildings and obstacles that must be destroyed if you wish to progress through the underground mines. In other words, you needn’t concern yourself with official government intervention when you blow up the wrong thing…essentially, there may be no reason to leave anything at all in your wake. And boy, you’ll certainly have the requisite tools and weaponry. You’ve got the magnet gun that slams two targeted objects into each other with brutal magnetic force, and even a special singularity gun that opens up a small black hole and sucks in nearby objects and then flings it outward to destroy most anything in the vicinity. The possibilities are almost limitless, aren’t they?
The Nano Forge will be back, too, so you may want to repair some structures to use as cover. You could even create new obstacles that might stop your enemies from following you as you press forward. The Nano Forge will also have the capability to fire a shockwave that can temporarily disable any alien it hits; it forces them to pause and fall back, which gives you more time to deal with the mess. By combining the Nano Forge with other unique weapons, you can always find new ways to dispatch those that wish to stand in your way. Be creative; use your imagination! Given what you have in your inventory, you can choose to be more offensive or defensive (depending on the situation), and the very distinct aliens will force you to adapt on a continual basis. Also, we’re wondering if we actually have to babysit the colonists we’re leading to safety…hopefully, we don’t. It could be intensely annoying to have to deal with stupid civilians while attempting to clear a path and kill aliens at the same time.
It’s all the more daunting of a task when you get a good look at your opponents. We only know about the more common ones at this point, but even those sound challenging: there’s the creepers, which are sort of like Martian spiders and have both long-range acid attacks and the ability to leap about. Obviously, they won’t have high HP but a swarm of these things could prove to be outrageously irritating. Then there are the ravagers, which are much larger, stand upright, and have their own tactics and strategy. They will use the walls and even the ceilings to defend their alien structures; you will probably have to deal with them before you can set your explosives (or whatever). Larger aliens will most certainly require more effort to kill but of course, Darius will continue to find upgrades that will help him deal with the increasingly difficult hordes. The only downside? Well, it doesn’t sound like the open sandbox-style game from last year. But that’s okay; we really like this new focus on straight-up action.
Red Faction: Armageddon is slated to launch some time in March, and being fans of Guerrilla, we’re definitely looking forward to this sequel.
7/20/2010 Ben Dutka