stingingvelvet's Red Faction: Armageddon (PC) review

Old-School Alien Shoot-'em-up With a Good PC Port

Ignore the Red Faction title of this game as it has very little to do with the average FPS from a decade ago or the open-world destruct-a-thon from a couple years ago. Red Faction: Armageddon is a straight-up alien blasting good time with great weapons and great environment destruction, end of story.

Here's the rundown:

Pros:
+ Fast-paced alien shooting that might remind you of older games like Quake 2 or Half-Life but with a third-person perspective.

+ Unique and fun to use weapons like a magnet gun that flings objects together (including enemies) and a plasma gun that charges up and then destroys entire areas with swirling gravity.

+ Impressive destruction where every building is able to be destroyed. While not a core gameplay elements like the last game this still adds a ton of weight and spectacle to every firefight.

+ Pretty passable story with some funny lines and interesting locations. Design is generally solid with well-defined character outfits and unique locations.

+ Upgrade system that lets you improve abilities you like and buff up general stats like health and weapon recoil. You upgrade through finding "salvage" which is spread out in the larger environments. Though still linear the game does have a strong exploration elements due to this.

+ Online modes add some fun like a typical hoard mode where you stay alive through as many enemy waves as possible and a mode where you cause as much destruction as you can in a limited time. Leaderboard support for both.

+ Better PC port than previous Volition games in the last few years. Good framerate and smooth mouse control. Lots of video options (though sadly no option to increase pop-in distance).

Cons:
- Enemies can get repetitive to fight as for most of the game you will be killing the same type of bugs in new environments. I'm so used to fighting humans lately though that I think this repetitiveness is lessened somewhat.

- You can only carry four guns at a time, a limitation likely forced by the console versions, which dampens your ability to experiment with the fun weaponry.

- Destruction could be used in mission objectives more often.

- Story videos are in a low resolution with a lot of compression, which is typical of games lately but still annoying. Switching from 1080p gameplay to a 720p compressed video is really jarring.

- Steamworks DRM might be off-putting to some customers.

All in all RF:A is a fun game for people like me who like relatively linear shooters with solid combat. The faster pace and alien enemies give it an old-school feel compared to the "realistic" human shooting we see most of the time these days and the graphics and design presents a vivid and fun to explore Mars of the future. The PC port is good showing only the typical signs of multiplatform development with no real issues. If you're looking for a good 10-12 hours of alien shooting fun I would go ahead and purchase RF:A when it hits a price you can accept.

5 Comments
Posted by HeroesDieInVain

Thanks for the review! I can't wait to try it out, and your cons don't seem that big of a deal. I'm definitely ready for an unrealistic shooter after Black Ops and Crysis.

Posted by StingingVelvet
@HeroesDieInVain said:

Thanks for the review! I can't wait to try it out, and your cons don't seem that big of a deal. I'm definitely ready for an unrealistic shooter after Black Ops and Crysis.

Honestly if this sort of game was more common right now it would probably not be as fun, but as it stands it's a real throwback to some older gaming styles and that really added to the enjoyment for me.  Tastes will differ of course... Jeff and Brad seemed to long for human enemies in the quicklook.  It's all subjective!
Posted by Niccoles

Great review! I was going to write one up for this game but you had the exact same opinion as I did (I adored the old school feel of the game and even though the enemies could have been more varied, it was still a blast to play). 

Posted by StingingVelvet

@Niccoles said:

Great review! I was going to write one up for this game but you had the exact same opinion as I did (I adored the old school feel of the game and even though the enemies could have been more varied, it was still a blast to play).

Honestly I think the aliens feel repetitive because you fight all of them the same way. If they had some that forced you to chance tactics it would have felt more varied.

Posted by hmmisee

I agree with your reviews, tis annoying trying to shoot enemies from cielings but otherwise i think its a solid game.

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