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Save Mars from invasion

Red Faction Guerilla was no Citizen Kane. It was a straightforward game that allowed players to embark upon mental destruction sprees levelling everything in sight.

india Updated: Jun 20, 2011 17:47 IST
Avinash Bali

Red Faction Guerilla was no Citizen Kane. It was a straightforward game that allowed players to embark upon mental destruction sprees levelling everything in sight.

With Red Faction Armageddon (RFA), developer Volition games has retained the blow-stuff-up vibe; only this time they’ve axed the open world experience for a more linear one.

RFA takes place on Mars, nearly fifty years after its predecessor. Players step into the boots of Darius Mason, the grandson of Alex Mason (Red Faction Guerilla’s protagonist). He gets tricked into unleashing a horde of hostile creatures and now must send them back. The game tries sporting a survival horror tag on its sleeve this time round, but it’s not scary at all — unless you get freaked out by alien bugs.

Destruction is no longer the game’s only USP. A new repair mechanic has been thrown into the mix to a nifty little device called the Nano Forge. This means you can repair all the structures that you break intentionally, adding a whole new dimension to gameplay. Unfortunately, this is a dual-edged sword in narrow, cluttered buildings as you’ll be wasting a lot of time repairing stuff you destroyed because you need that railing to progress forward. Your enemies mainly consist of ancient Martian creepy crawlies that are generic in variety. You have your fast-moving but relatively weaker grunts, the tougher but slower behemoths and the projectil spewing ones. Besides the run-of-the-mill assault rifles you’ll come across innovative weapons like the Magnet Gun.

The gun allows players to fire two powerful magnets on any surface. The magnetic force pulls them towards each other, so you can tag a bug and watch it get pulled towards a structure. RFA offers players a diverse way to tackle their enemies keeping gameplay fresh even though level design is repetitive. Multiplayer in RFA has been axed in favour of a horde mode called Infestation, where up to four players team up. Besides Infestation, players can indulge in wanton destruction through Ruin, a mode that lets players blow stuff up in a stipulated area.

Verdict
Visually, RFA won’t win any awards. But it makes up for it, by allowing you to crash structures or battle Martian bugs. It is not a perfect game but like its predecessor it’s not meant for people looking for a story driven fix. If you like your bugs big, your action frantic and your destruction completely over-the-top, RFA is just what the doctor ordered.

Rating: ****