Review by Braben
"Fails to deliver the promised goods."
I can`t think about anything silly to say as introduction this time, so let`s get the story straight. The so called Red Faction is a resistance group composed of slaves that one fine day decides that it is time to emancipates from the evil and ``blue`` colored Ultor corporation. Honestly, I am surprised the red ones aren`t the bad guys, considering this game wasn`t designed by a Russian bunch (at least as far as I am concerned). Whatever, they could have saved all that crap because those two or three cut-scenes scattered through the game are laughably bad, specially that one where have to find a guy named Gryphon of Grypus, I can`t remember his name but that sequence was hilariously cheap.
My biggest gripe here, aside from the horrible faces most characters have, is the lack of consistency of the scenarios, they look made of cardboard, which is something that, somehow, was inevitable due to that ``blow everything you want away`` gimmick I am going to talk later but still, that makes the overall look of the game way too prefabricated for my liking.
Even our weapons and enemies have the same feel now that I think of it and small effects such as water drops and stuff look cheap too. Finally, the scenarios seem a bit empty as well, but the overall look of the game isn`t as bad as I make it seem, in fact it is pretty good.
Sometimes there is some but it is always overshadowed by the grunts and explosions and such so you won`t even notice. The voice acting is slightly worse than usual in these type of games, but still pretty good.
The problem here is that none of the neat-looking and/or promising gameplay twists actually work. For example, we can lift dead bodies to hide them, but you`ll never have to do that, not even once, like most weapons` secondary fire mode, so similar to the first one they are completely useless. The vehicles are pretty pointless as well, their inclusion feels extremely forced, as if they were included in the last minute.
And of course, we can`t forget about one of the features this game is best known for (or wants to known about for), the fact we can leave craters in the floor and destroy the scenarios almost as much as we want. Thanks to something called GeoMod once we manage to find explosives or a rocket launcher instead of knocking the door we can happily make our way through the walls pulverizing everything we see in front of us... or at least that is what Volition (the masterminds behind this title) wanted to make us think, because soon you`ll realize that you can only do that about two or three times in the whole game, so don`t get too exited about it.
Definitely, all that GeoMod stuff looks neat on paper but the truth is that it gets old rather quick (I would say instantly, after the first unnecessary hole I made on the wall my interest was already below zero) plus, why make so much fuzz about it when we can only use it about two or three times in the whole freaking game?. And again, had actually worked it is a pretty pointless gimmick after the first two minutes.
I also have to say that the second half of the game annoyed me quite a lot. This one of those tedious FPS where the enemies kill us with only a couple of shoots (and when I say a couple I mean a couple) and we have no choice but to save our game every single time we kill someone without loosing too much health. I hate that.
As I said before the weapons look pretty lame but they are better than usual in the genre thankfully. The problem is that some of the best weapons only appear when we are about to finish our killing spree. What a stupid way to waste a decent arsenal.
Still, all the flaws describe above would have been passable were it not for one last surprise, the makers sure saved the best for last: roughly four hours of gameplay (I beat it in three and a half hours actually). Of course the multiplayer option helps a lot, but that is hardly an excuse, specially for people like me who only wants a decent single player mode and doesn`t give a damn about multiplayer options.
So, since the much talked about Geo thingy is there basically for nothing what we have left is a run of the mill and ridiculously short first person shooter that doesn`t deliver what it promised by a long shot. If you see it somewhere for less than ten dollars and enjoy this stuff do not hesitate and buy it, otherwise it is doesn`t compensate.
Reviewer's Rating: 2.5 - Playable
Originally Posted: 10/24/06, Updated 10/24/06
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