Review by theOracle
"A good FPS but with some annoying aspects."
Based upon a unique Geo-Mod system (which enables holes to be blown in walls) Red Faction offers something original and unique to your usually bland FPS. For once gamers are offered the chance of creating real virtual damage to their surrounding environments, a concept that most possibly enticed many, including myself, to purchase this title.
However, although the Geo-Mod system is in effect this only occurs so often, generally at the start of the game; in this way the whole idea of being able to destroy anywhere and go anywhere (the Geo-Mod systems attraction) is some what undermined. Having said this I can not say that the Geo-Mod system is not fun to use whilst you are able to, it's just a shame that it is limited to some extent.
The controls take a while to get use to but they represent the standard control of a PS2 FPS: analogue sticks to control movement and direction, R1 to fire, triangle to reload and O to get to your next weapon. The L buttons allow you to jump and crouch, and if this setup does not quite suit you can customize the controls.
Once use to the control system you'll most probably find this a fairly easy game to get through, though this will depend on the difficulty setting you choose.
Being honest I can say that once I'd completed Red Faction the attraction of going back on a harder setting was unappealing, and in some degree I put this down to the story.
My initial reaction to the story line, a miners revolt generated through the harsh treatment and conditions of work and the spreading of a mysterious plague, was a nice way to kick off the story in this game - especially when the ignition for the revolt starts off in your area.
For me though the story never seems to progress or offer the twists or turns I would have liked. The story seems all too straight forward and the ending rather short and unfulfilling. You may feel that a story is not integral for playing a game of this type, but if you like a strong plot then this does not offer anything special.
The graphics stand out quite solidly but they do not represent the pinnacle graphical capabilities of the PS2. The in game character animation is disappointing, miners and guards move rather awkwardly, whilst the cut scenes are rather poor - I would have preferred FMV then opposed to real-time cut scenes. The surroundings always look natural and not out of place and all in all the graphics help create a good sense of atmosphere when accompanied by the music.
The music in this game is solid, reminding me strongly of the musical score from Total Recall and the sound is there to be heard clearly and satisfies. The voice acting of the guards and miners however during the game does become highly repetitive and because of this becomes rather annoying.
Weapons and Vehicles
During the game you get to use a variety of weapons which have secondary functions but there is nothing innovative or particularly unusual about the weapons(which you might have expected on a place like Mars); the rail gun offers the most advanced weapon but it is in essence a powerful laser gun. You'll also get to take control of vehicles on land, sea and air - the all-terrain vehicle being my favorite.
The opportunity to drive vehicles proved a welcome break from ground work, but some sections in which you get to use them proved easy to get through; with air vehicles you could probably get through to some of your destinations without hardly having fired.
As mentioned earlier the game offered little to me in re- playability of the central game but there is a multi-player mode which enables computer controlled characters to play with you.
To Rent or Buy?
In my view you should rent this game first before buying as I bought this straight away and was disappointed with certain aspects i.e. Geo-Mod technology, story line. It is also probably worth me mentioning that Red Faction will not take you too long to complete.
Reviewer's Rating: 3.5 - Good
Originally Posted: 05/03/02, Updated 05/03/02
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