Red Faction: Armageddon Single-Player Hands-on
Posted on Tuesday, April 26 @ 11:43:29 PST by Blake_Morse
This ain't Avatar.
Mars, the great red giant. A planet that, above all others has a special place in the vast library of science fiction. Although nothing ever seems to go right for our rocky friend, no matter who pens the story. Just read a book like, The Martian Chronicles or watch any number of films about space invaders and you'll know what I'm talking about. Even here in Red Faction: Armageddon, Mars still can't catch a break. Only this time instead of little green men in search of power, it's man versus giant bug monsters for control of the desert planet, and it's all your fault.
You play as Darius Mason, the grandson of Red Faction: Guerrilla's hero, who is somehow the cause of all the insanely fucked up insects wreaking havoc on the now below-ground settlers. But it's not like you meant to. You were tricked by someone with ties to a doomsday cult and were left hanging out to dry like a patsy. But whether you meant to do it or not, you've still got to take care of the problem. Fortunately, there's more than one way to squish a roach around here.
We've already gone over most of the weapons and plot though in Mike's preview from the last big THQ event, so go read that to learn more about all neat toys. I'm here to talk about how I just played the story mode all day out in SF and had a thoroughly good time Though it's no longer a sandbox-based game and a decent portion of the gameplay takes place below ground, the team at Volition does a good job of keeping the same vibe as previous titles in the franchise while at the same time offering up something new and creative.
The are a lot of subterranean missions, but the areas tend to be large and cavernous and despite what you may have heard, there are levels that take place on the planet's surface meaning that there is a decent amount of variation between dark and spooky, and dusty and scary as hell.
You still get to smash, blow-up and dissolve just about anything in the environment, in fact destruction is a mandatory part of most missions, as is using your nano-forge tech to rebuild all that stuff so you can still get up a staircase to reach your objective even if you accidentally blew said staircase up. On top of that new ability, Darius has a few other nano-moves that were just revealed during the demo: Shock wave puts enemies in a floating stasis field, much like the thump move in Bulletstorm, Impact lets you punch thing really fucking hard, Shell gives you a temporary force field, and Berserk cranks up the firepower of your arsenal.
You need to use everything at your disposal in creative ways in order to survive the massive onslaught of creatures you'll face. All manner of beasts that look like something you'd get if you mated TRON with a praying mantis and then fed the offspring nothing but human flesh and evil. Fending off the smaller grunts that you can head-stomp with your boot, giant acid- or fire-spitting behemoths and even bigger centipede-like things that tower above you and hurl chunks of debris at your face all at once while everything around shakes and explodes, is an enjoyably intense experience. And having so many options for how you want to handle such a problem is quite nice. There's a decent balance between all the weapons, so you can just spam with the one that suits you best to get out of the many hectic shoot outs you'll find yourself in.
With John Carter nowhere to be found, the settlers of Mars have only one hope for survival and that's you. Do you have what it takes to rise to the challenge, stop the doomsday cultists, and take back the planet? You'll get your chance to find out on May 31st, 2011 when Red Faction: Armageddon drops for 360, PS3 and PC.
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