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Red Faction

Developer: Volition Inc | Publisher: THQ
Players: 1 to 2 Player Game | Release Date: 05/21/01 | Genre: FPS

First person shooters on the PS2 have a new king who goes by the name Red Faction. Borrowing heavily from classics like Half life and Nintendo's Goldeneye, Volition delivers a solid single player experience as well as a decent multiplayer experience.

Lets get down to business and discuss why this is such a great game. Lets start with the story. You are a miner named Parker who works for an evil corporation on Mars called Ultor who is not treating you and the other miners too well. A woman names Eos is forming a rebellion group called Red Faction to try to topple the evil corporation and find a cure for a mysterious plague, which is killing people in the mines. In the beginning of the game Parker witnesses a miner fighting a guard and he decides to get involved. This triggers a set of events that only get better the farther you go along.

The Gameplay in the game is extremely similar to the PC classic Half life in the sense that the world is non-linear. You just go where the course of events takes you. This adds a lot to the game and makes you feel like your not following a set path all the time. Also like Half life you will frequently wander into a scene where there is already action taking place. This is cool and it gives you the feeling that things are going on all the time with or without you in the picture. The missions are varied as well and include strategic elements as well as some stealth elements a la Goldeneye.

The game gives you a good variety of weapons to choose from so everyone will have a favorite. These include machine guns, rocket launchers, and more. Also like in Perfect dark each gun has two functions to it. One of the most innovative and fun aspects of the game is the addition of vehicles. You will frequently have to commandeer a submarine or air fighter to reach a new area. When you get into the new vehicle you are introduced to a whole new on screen HUD and new weapons.

Another innovative feature is the GeoMod technology, which allows you to destroy much of the area in which you are playing in. Can't find a key to a door? Blow a whole around it. Need a place to hide? Blow a whole in a wall and hide in it. Although this technology is not applied everywhere it adds a greater sense of realism to the game.

Ok now on to the stuff that makes this a great game but not a perfect one. First off is the multiplayer mode, which is the biggest disappointment I had with the game. There is no 4-player support, which is unforgivable in the modern world of console FPS games, and there is a only deathmatch mode. Even without all the features the multiplayer mode is still a lot of fun but it would have greatly benefited from the addition of a team play or capture the flag mode. Next is the control. Once again we are cursed to have a FPS game that doesn't support the mouse and keyboard. Why wont developers just include support for the two USB ports that are already built in to the PS2? Don't get me wrong the Dualshock 2 works great with the game but nothing beats the precision of a mouse and keyboard. The one aspect of the control that I found the most annoying was the auto aim feature. It's good in the sense that it can save precious seconds aiming but it is horrible in saving ammo by going for the ever wonderful headshot. With the auto aim feature turned on it is nearly impossible to get headshots without randomly busting off shots.

Overall the great story and gameplay elements make this game a must buy for FPS fans. Although the multiplayer mode could have used a little work, the single player mode alone is worth the $50 purchase.

By Carlos Diaz - 08/01/00
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Screenshots for Red Faction

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