Review by KasketDarkfyre
"Total Recall anyone?"
Red Faction has long been touted as the game that offers more realism in battle than any other FPS game on the market to date. While the game is clean and crisp in most areas, and does offer up the long wished for environmental damage that gamers have been looking for, Red Faction does have it's fair share of problems. Though it does have some pretty impressive game play features, the game tends to drag on for quite some time, and you might lose interest if you’re not engrossed into story that has been painstakingly crafted for this title.
Set in the distant future, you play as Parker, a mis-lead mineworker who came to Mars seeking a future, and ended up getting the shaft instead. This is where you meet up with Eros, the leader of a resistance group trying to free the colony from the hands of the evil corporation. Through several missions and stages of fighting and overall subversion of the enemy, you’ll use futuristic weapons and be able to blow plenty of things up. However, you might wonder what the point of the game is after you’ve wasted several enemies and left them in bloody heaps throughout the stages. If you were to think of Total Recall, you'd probably get a good idea of what the story of the game is.
This is your basic run and shoot type of game using several different weapons that you can find and acquire throughout the games numerous stages. Keeping in mind that you're a lone resistance fighter, health packs are easy enough to find, and once you get into the later stages, you'll find that a certain amount of strategy is needed in order to complete said stage. Puzzle-wise, there really isn't anything here that you'll be faced with other than a little backtracking from time to time to find a switch you might have missed. With this being said, the name of the game is really endurance. If you can get through the stage without using up too much ammunition and getting yourself shot to hell, then you're doing pretty well.
Other places in the game require the use of a vehicle of sorts. You'll have a chance to either use a giant drilling machine, a flying gunship and even a submarine for the underwater stages. Each vehicle has its strengths and weaknesses, and even though you use them for a short time, you'll find that this only adds variety to the game. Multiplayer games are your usual assortment of kill or be killed. You can play against a friend in several of the games locations. Other than that, or opening up any other special items, stages, or functions for the game, don't press your luck. This is a one time through type of game. Its one saving grace is the fact that it takes so long to complete, and just blowing up walls is well worth the trip.
Easy enough to control and accomplish, you can move, jump, switch weapons and set off explosives with simply button presses. It may seem daunting at first to beginners who are not used to having the analog sticks as their main control, but with a little tweaking in the control interface located in the options screen, anyone can find a good control set up to use. Once you’ve got it all down, using the keyboard might take some practice in the multiplayer games and you might find yourself in need of a control pad in order to make it through to the end of game.
For once, there is environmental damage. One of Red Factions best qualities is that if you can't open a door, you can blow a giant hole through the wall and use that to get in instead. Most of what you're looking at as you plat is pretty well detailed, right down to the rivets in the metal floor that you're walking on. Character designs aren't the greatest, and you can see some instances of blocky designs, and image break up when the action gets intense. However, these small details can hinder you and make things difficult if you have a slower computer. The more damage you do and the more action on the screen, the slower the action gets until you end up with little more than an error screen.
A decent rock sound track, you'll be listening more to where the shouts of the opposition is rather than listening to the actual in game music. Voice-overs a plenty, you'll find radio transmissions, sequence dialogue, and enemies ordering you to surrender, or in some cases pleading for their lives, to come out with crystal clarity. A good stereo system will help to amplify this in 3-D surround sound movie quality and with some good desktop speakers; you’ll find it to be a good experience. However, some of the more vocal effects that the game has just doesn’t seem to match what’s going on during the game and you might get yourself a little lost if you move and the voice fades out before you hear what happens.
Red Faction is one of the first FPS games to offer up explosion damage as part of the game play. While the graphics could have stood to be tweaked just a little, and the control could use a little more work, Red Faction does have a fun quality that can be matched by Quake and Doom. With these small problems, you might find them to be a little daunting in the end and enough to make you play it once and then stay away. While not the cream of the crop, for die-hard FPS fans, it might be worth a buy.
Reviewer's Rating: 3.5 - Good
Originally Posted: 10/01/02, Updated 10/01/02
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