By sleeprockss 1 Comments
One of the major complaints with Red Faction: Guerrilla was the repetitive nature that came from its open world elements. Volition addressed this issue in the sequel, Red Faction: Armageddon, by removing the open world entirely and by going with a linear story focused experience while still including the destructible environments of the past Red Faction games.
The more I read about Armageddon the less I was getting excited for it because it seemed as if they were taking more things out of Guerrilla instead of adding or improving things. For example, recently Volition announced that Armageddon wouldn't have any competitive multi-player but would only include a horde type of mode called infestation. The competitive multi-player in Guerrilla ended up being really fun while still differentiating itself from other online third person shooters thanks to it's destructible environments and "backpacks". I was still cautiously optimistic for Armageddon because whether it reached my expectations I had after Guerrilla or not I still knew it had a really good chance of still being a good game considering Volition's track record of late.
After playing the demo for Armageddon I'm more optimistic for the full product than I was before but now I'm also worried about some issues I didn't even think about. The destruction in the demo is limited compared to Guerrilla's open areas but the destruction is just as impressive in Armageddon as it was in Guerrilla. For example when a section of a pipe falls from the ceiling in Armageddon it has just as much of an impact as when a two-story building crumbles to the ground in Guerrilla, due to the sound and visual effects they have added since then. Also In the demo there seems to be a much higher focus on destruction based weapons, 3 out of the 4 weapons you get are used more for destroying the environment (Magnet Gun, Singularity Cannon, Charge Launcher) rather than just killing enemies. The shooting doesn't end up suffering from that focus either, I can only speak for the assault rifle but it felt fine and had a good kick to it.
Destruction has been the big feature in all Red Faction games but Guerrilla suffered from it towards the end due to the repetitiveness that came from destroying the same looking building over and over. Armageddon fixes that issue with the addition of the Nano Forge and the Magnet Gun.
You can guess how a Magnet Gun would work and you would probably be right. It lets you stick one dart on a structure/enemy then stick another dart on another structure/enemy and whichever the first dart was attached to goes flying towards the second dart. As you can imagine this lets you send a wall flying at a enemy or an enemy at a wall and it increases the amount of destruction you can pull off while also giving you more ways to tackle a combat situation. It reminded me of Psi-Ops, an old Xbox/PS2 game, in which you could throw people around with telekinesis but the Magnet Gun lets you throw the environment at the enemies and it ends up being just as fun. With all of the destruction the Magnet Gun can cause the Nano Forge (A feature only available in Guerilla's competitive multi-player) is needed to repair any stairwell, ladder, etc. you accidentally destroyed to progress ahead.
Guerrilla only had a few structures in it that were complex most were the same two-story or one-story building but with the inclusion of the Nano Forge in Armageddon Volition can build complex environments that can be torn apart completely since you can repair them whenever you want. It also gives you the option to infinitely destroy things unlike Guerrilla where once you destroy something it stays that way throughout the rest of the game. I enjoyed the feeling of having no repercussions for the destruction in Armageddon where in Guerrilla most of the time I was thinking about how to make this building blow up in the best way possible since I could only blow it up it once.
Armageddon also has vehicles in it such as Mechs and Aircraft which is a change from Guerrilla's focus on off road vehicles. Mechs seem to have a bigger part in Armageddon since they now are more mobile and powerful than the few construction mechs in Guerrilla. The high point of the combat portion of the demo had to be the mech section towards the end which also brings up one of my worries for the full game.
The mech portion was the only part in the demo where I felt the enemies were actually a threat and that's not to say the mech felt underpowered, the enemies in that section actually seemed like they were swarming and trying to kill me unlike the earlier portions of the demo in which they would just hang on the cave walls and spit acid at me. Their A.I. wasn't very smart either for example I came across enemies getting stuck behind obstructions multiple times. It seemed as if the demo takes place early in the campaign so hopefully later on the aliens get harder and switch up their tactics, but if they stay the same in the full game it will hurt the combat portions.
My main issue with the demo that hopefully will be fixed in the full game is that the alien enemies in the game aren't much fun to fight. They just go splat when getting hit against a wall with the Magnet Gun and the same happens when they get hit with any object. When fighting human enemies in Guerrilla they would react in multiple ways when getting knocked through a building or being blown up and it made the destruction look even cooler when that happened, but with the alien enemies in Armageddon they just explode instead of having actual physics attached to them. The aliens might end up being a small portion of the combat in the full game but judging from the footage Volition has shown they seem prevalent throughout the campaign.
I'm still looking forward to Armageddon's release because I still enjoyed the demo and the destruction is still just as fun as it was in Guerrilla. The alien stuff they added in doesn't drag the game down much but I hope they at least improve upon the potential of the aliens in the full release. If anything the demo made me look forward to the Ruin mode (Watch the video above) the most and hopefully the game has a tolerable storyline while still being lengthy since Volition took out the competitive multi-player modes.