Review by DarkVengeance

"An entertaining game with some flaws..."

Red Faction is the latest First-Person Shooter that tries it's hand at toppling the king of the genre: Half-Life. Does it come close? Not really. The are some significant downfalls to this little game... so why do I find myslef coming back for more?

Graphics - Red Faction's graphics are downright beautiful, no matter wether you're in an underground mine or a Mars spacehip, the visuals never fail to impress. Nice touches like lens flares, decals and particle systems are well done.

Vehicles - Another thing that makes Red Faction more fun than the average FPS is the incorporation of vehicles, like a sub, jeep and fighter. While not all of these vehicles provide the same aount of fun (the jeep sequence I found to be a tad boring) it's still a nice touch, and a good addition to gameplay.

Music - Of course, Red Faction's music isn't any that's going to get stuck in your head, but it really heightens the mood of the levels. When you're going into a stealth-oriented mission, for example, the music changes to a nice, quiet tune, staying constant with the level's theme.

Length - Bluntly put, this game is either horribly easy, horribly short, or a combo of both. On my first try, I beat it in under 4 hours on Medium difficulty. While it was fun while it lasted, it didn't last long.

Story - Don't even get me started. You're fighting a huge conglomerate, and trying to find the cure to a mysterious plague. The plot is anything but intricate, and you'll end up feeling more like a messenger boy, doing one task after another, without getting any real revelations or twists in the plot.

Characters - Other than Parker (the main character), all of the people in this game are pretty flat in terms of character. You won't really find yourself wanting to care about any of them. Masako, then ''end boss'' is one of the worst - when I face off against a last boss, I want to hate them, I want to want to beat them, if you get what I mean. No such luck in Red Faction, as Masako's character is about as deep as a puddle, much like the rest of the cast.

Geo-Mod - Most people would include this incredible peice of technology in their ''Pros'' section... and I would, if it were actually used in the game! I think, perhaps once or twice did I have to use Geo-Mod to get anywhere in a level, and it was just a matter of ''blow this wall open to continue,'' no deep Geo-Mod puzzles here.

Scripted Events - Here's what made Half-Life such a hit - the game was almost one huge scripted event - they just kept coming at you, keeping the game at it's well-known level of action. I count very few scripted events in Red Faction, and only one slightly memorable one - meaning this game isn't nearly as action-oriented as it could (or should) be.

Enemies - Finally, the enemies... if you've played the demo, you've already seen about half the cast of Red Faction. The sad thing about this game is that the majority of enemies are as follows: ''Human Grunt, Human Grunt With Lower Voice, Human Merc, Human Merc With Higher Voice.'' Oh sure, there's a few generic undead-looking thingies every so often... but for the most part, you'll just be fighting one grunt after the other. In terms of bosses, the game stinks - just keep shooting till they die, no problem-solvng required here... oh well...

Beleive it or not, I like Red Faction. Despite all these downfalls, it somehow manages to be fun, and i even played through it twice. But it's really brought down by the above shortcomings. It hurts me not to give this game a better rating, but the truth is, Red Faction is a good FPS that should have been a lot better.

Reviewer's Rating:   3.5 - Good

Originally Posted: 02/02/02, Updated 02/02/02

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