Review: Red Faction: Armageddon
Somehow, Volition thought it would be a dandy idea to go from the open world, fun loving destruction that was in Red Faction: Guerrilla, to a linear and almost on rails underground setting that takes away most of the destruction and replaces it with rebuilding for the most part. They couldn't have been more wrong. It wasn't so much the story that made me like Guerrilla so much. Rather, it was the fun I had in its open world environment. Driving around in different vehicles, destroying huge structures, and just exploring Mars was enough for me. Although I didn't get into the multiplayer aspect of Guerrilla, Kimerex did and he loved it immensely. Jet packs with a sledge hammer? Yes, please. So with all that fun I had with Guerrilla, I was hoping for more of that in Armageddon. What I got was the case of the itis.
Red Faction Armageddon's story is very loosely tied to Guerrilla so no need to worry about plot points from the previous title. Then again, no need to worry about the story at all. I couldn't help but get extremely bored with the storytelling Armageddon was trying to sell me on. All I know is that I had to kill someone and restore a Terraformer to save Mars. I liked that story better when it had Arnold in it. I figured that Armageddon's saving grace would be its weapons and destruction. Negative on that as well. The weapons at first seem like you could have a lot of fun using them. Wait about 5 minutes after using them and you will see the magic fade as you use what you thought were powerful weapons and unload massive amounts of ammunition to kill a bug. Don't give me a gun that can disintegrate any object it touches but when it comes to weak foot soldiers it takes too long to kill them. There is also the Nano Forge which this time is a device on your forearm that is used to repair destroyed objects that are needed to complete a section of a game. It can also be used as a weapon by either throwing down a shield that attacks enemies inside it, a blast of energy knocking back nearby objects and enemies and throwing nano grenades to repair objects just out of your reach.
There is an upgrade system in place that can help you become more powerful and add new abilities but it never made me feel like it made a difference. Maybe the health upgrade but that is about it. Vehicles are still in the game in the form of mech suits, a fighter jet and a huge spider mech. The mech suits are the only time I felt like the weapons actually worked the way I would want them to. Climbing into one of them was probably the only fun I had in the game. I wanted more vehicle sections since they are the points in Armageddon when my synapses in my brain lit up and I began to pay attention.
Multiplayer is here as well in the form of a survival mode and a points mode called Ruin. In Ruin, you have a time limit to see how much damage you can rack up with all the weapons at your disposal in sections from the single player campaign. Even though I had fun, it was very brief and not enough to keep me interested in coming back to play more.
It's a shame my thoughts are thin on Red Faction: Armageddon. I wish I could tell you more about the game but it just left me feeling like I was going through the motions of a generic 3rd person shooter. I hope that Volition learns from this and goes back to what made Guerrilla an enjoyable next time around.