Review by robcram

"Let the onslaught begin."

Red Faction was released a few years ago on the PS2. Featuring unique Geo-mod technology which enabled players to blast through walls and terrain to reach hidden areas or just to blow up hiding enemies. It certainly was a cool feature which was not used enough. Red Faction 2 has been released on all formats now. Does it improve on the original or not?

The story of Red Faction 2 takes place sometime after the first game. A whole new cast is present, so if you have not played the original then that wont pose a problem for you.You take control of Alias (a super enhanced human soldier) . As part of a hunted group who have had to go underground as the evil dictator Sopot has pledged to kill you and your buddies. It is here that you join the cause of the Red Faction who are attempting to overthrow Sopots regime. Your unit of 5 has the job of assassinating the dictator.

Red faction 2 plays like any other first person shooter, so you will feel right at home with the control method. The play style is definitely all out action, so no stealth antics here .At times you will be fighting alongside one of your squad. Sadly there are no epic battles with your entire squad. The story is broken down into sections which the game saves for you. The sections or checkpoints are relatively short, so frustration wont be a problem here. Also you begin the game with awesome firepower to unleash on your enemies. The flow of the game cannot be faulted as you have no need for key cards and the like. You will also not need to backtrack to areas already visited which keeps the action fresh and constantly engaging. This is all down to (in part) to the Geo-Mod system, where if confronted by an obstacle such as a wall or secured doorway then you can place charges and blow your way around it. Here lies the main fault of Red Faction 2 . You see there are many walls doors in the game which are indestructible thus making all the points of using the geo mod , forced. This means you cant just go blasting through walls in any levels to reach your goals . I was left feeling that this was a wasted opportunity with the level design and something I thought they would have improved from the first game. The game does have its geo mod moments and surely it impresses. One moment of this is when you are manning the turret on a tank which is plunging through a city. The destruction here is great even though your route is linear. Overall the single player game plays well and will keep you hooked until the end. The story mode is quite short and will take skilled players a few days ( if that) to complete.
This problem is addressed with an interesting multi player game featuring bots. This seems to be a standard with most FPS these days. The edge Red Faction 2 has over its peers is the Geo Mod. The game features a huge array of maps to fight in (60 or more). The usual game modes feature also and the inclusion of 5 programmable bots. The geo mod works really well on most maps and will make for some intense battles. These modes and maps are generally good fun although lacking in detail.

Red Faction 2 is a good blaster in single player with some nice action set pieces. Graphically it looks reasonable but maybe not as good as it should on Xbox. I also found the musical score quite mundane and well below par compared to the action on screen. Comparing to the original, Red Faction 2’s single player is not as good due to lack of invention with the geo mod. A much improved multiplayer makes up for this. Red Faction 2 is still worthy of your time but just don’t expect a Halo killer of a game.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 04/08/03, Updated 04/08/03

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