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Red Faction: Armageddon Preview

Mike_Bryant By:
GENRE Action 
M Contains Blood and Gore, Strong Language, Violence

What do these ratings mean?

Destruction of biblical proportions.

Mars, the red planet. The Red Faction planet. Yes, it seems that this dusty rock cannot go more than a generation without destruction and despair. Just when the miners get back to work, free from the tyranny of the Ultor Corporation, or the EDF, or whoever, tragedy strikes. The massive transformer that gives Mars breathable air gets destroyed, causing the kind of chaos and storms that would give The Weather Channel wet dreams. To add to the problems, the surface is then smashed by a meteor, forcing everyone to live underground.

click to enlargeIt's here we meet our hero Darius Mason - yes, from the same family as in Guerrilla. He is busy down in the Mars mine shafts when he is tricked into opening a long dormant shaft which releases a race of evil aliens (oops) which brings about a veritable Armageddon on Mars (hence the name).

Anyway, the point of this game has little to do with that; it is simply the total awesomeness of being able to blow up everything that isn’t rock or terrain to bits. Walls, sheds, stairways, giant towers - you name it, it blows up. That being said, yes, you can accidentally blow up the very stairs that lead you to where you need to go. That is why the developers at Volition Inc. wisely added the Nano-Forge, which fixes anything and everything that can be destroyed, kind of like an “undo” button... but it’s a gun. Blowing up every building in a level and putting it back together is almost a fun game onto itself. (Humpty Dumpty should have requisitioned one of these.)

Also totally rad: the magnet gun. Fairly self-explanatory, the first shot is fired at whatever you want to magnetize, be it junk on the ground or an entire wall. The second shot is pointed at whatever you want to get creamed by the pile of metal you magnetized. One of the coolest moments is watching a horde of hard-charging aliens get swept aside by a wall flying in from the side.

click to enlargeYou think that between the Nano-Forge and the magnet gun, there is enough to work with. But, no, there is also a ray gun that will slice giant towers in two. Yeah, it will kill aliens in a pinch too, if that’s all you care about. Plus, the Exo, a robot suit/exo-skeleton thing. Climb up, strap in, and feel free to crash through walls and make an alien race your bitch.

Multiplayer will be available online in the form of horde mode, er, uh… extermination mode, or whatever. Team up with three other players and fight of aliens for as long as possible.

Sure, there is a story to go along with all the mass destruction and rebirth (or is that the story?), but if you are that interested, you can watch the Syfy Channel exclusive movie, Red Faction: Origins. That will give you some background info without the fun of shooting things or blowing stuff up. To actually blow stuff up, you will have to wait until Red Faction: Armageddon is released in stores on May 17th, 2011.

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