Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Red Faction Armageddon Preview

Some games are just mind numbing fun; Red Faction Armageddon is just that. It’s not the tightest shooter, the controls are loose and the main character is the bald space marine cliché we’ve seen all to often this generation.

That said, it may only be a demo, but it was damn fun, damn good fun. Red Faction has always been about destructibility. Armageddon takes that to a new level with the Nano-Forge. The Nano-Forge allows you to repair and rebuild anything you’ve previously destroyed. Speaking of, the level of deformation is astounding. Almost anything you see can be ripped apart, and not in a canned animation. Everything crumbles and breaks dynamically; no building or structure will collapse the same way.

Well you can destroy most things you see by melee; the Magnet Gun is where the game gets its fun-factor from. Just shoot the Magnet Gun to one object, then another, and watch point A suck to point B. The magnet gun pulls almost any two structures towards each other, sandwiching them in a beautifully destructive display.

I spent 10 minutes just destroying a room with the Magnet Gun. Attaching stairs and walls to each other and watching them slam together didn’t get old. It may in the final game, but it was definitely fun at the time. After making a complete mess of the room I rebuild it good-as-new with the Nano-Forge, putting everything back into its proper place.

Ripping things apart with the Magnet Gun then reforming them with the Nano-Forge is joyful, sure it’s a gimmick, but many great games start with simple concepts…mind you the level of destructibility in this game isn’t simple, it needs to be seen, it’s really a sight when an entire room is destroyed then put back together like nothing happened.

I briefly mentioned how loose the shooting mechanics feel. That may just be personal preference, as I like my 3rd Person Shooters to have more weight behind the character I’m controlling like Gears of War. I didn’t even want to use the standard assault rife and other mundane weapons that we’ve seen it so many shooters. I found just using the Magnet Gun was the way to go. Attaching enemies to walls, or attaching them to each other and watching them squish together is just satisfying. 

The Nano-Forge lets you rebuild almost any structure you've destroyed

My favorite thing to do was shoot the Magnet Gun at an enemy then at the ground to bring then crashing down from the ceiling, then melee their helpless ass. Stupid bug things!

Like Red Faction Guerrilla there’s a mech section of the game where you can unleash a crazy amount of devastation on the surrounding. It may be shallow but shoulder-checking enemies in a giant mech is as fun as it sounds.

The fact of the matter is when this game comes out on June 7th will it be sixty bucks worth of fun. Who can say right now? Red Faction Guerrilla was surprisingly fun; Red Faction Armageddon seems to be headed in that same direction.

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