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Red Faction 2

Developer: Volition Inc. | Publisher: THQ
Players: 1 to 4 Player Game | Release Date: 10/15/02 | Genre: Fighting

The sequel to the THQ's greatest hit Red Faction has finally hit stores. Many have compared Red Faction 2 to Halo on the Xbox. Red Faction 2 could not come out at a better time with the game's release date co-inciting with Eidos's Timesplitters 2. Does Red Faction 2 live up to the hype?

The original Red Faction for the Playstation 2 was one of the best first person shooters to be released on any next-gen console. Red Faction 2 is no different. The gameplay is fast-paced, exciting, and contains a deep story line which should appeal to most gamers. You play a character known as Alias who is a member of a rebel group, which formed on the planet Mars known as Red Faction. The single player mode for the most part is solid and contains a good amount of levels, which will keep gamers busy for quite some time. As you progress through missions, you will have teammates to assist you in achieving mission objectives. Each of your teammates has one area which they specialize in, which includes reconnaissance, explosives, stealth, etc. The one area, which might prevent gamers from purchasing this game, is how the game seems to get repetitive level after level. THQ has included vehicles such as planes and tanks, but you feel that your only objective is to kill any enemies that come in your way. Another problem that I had was that your teammates don't seem very bright and do not do much to help you. If you are taking cover behind a table and there is a group of hostiles are in front of the table, your teammates will shoot at them but not hit them accurately. Too bad THQ did not implement online capabilities for this game or a cooperative campaign mode. Another problem is that your teammates will never die either. Overall the single player should appeal to most gamers because of its length and great story line.

The game also features an amazing multiplayer mode, which allows up to four players to play with four bots enabled. There is a great amount of modes, which include deathmatch, team deathmatch, team arena, arena, etc. The game also features an impressive amount of levels that can be accessed during multiplayer and achieving certain objectives in the single player mode allows even more levels to be unlocked in multiplayer. The action is fast paced and fun especially when bots are enabled. The game features an overwhelming amount of weapons, which fits the game's action perfectly. The computer A.I. is quite impressive even when set on easy, but if you have a grenade launcher the computer usually won't stand a chance against you. That's assuming you know how to use your grenade launcher properly. The game plays quite differently then its predecessor.

The character models, cut scenes vehicles, and environments are average, but the weather effects are amazing. There is one level in which you fight in the rain, and the rain effects are done amazingly well with no slow down at all. The game has a solid frame rate in both single player and multiplayer. The guns look great, and there are no rough edges poking out from the environments. One of the coolest features Red Faction 2 built upon was the enhanced Geo-mod, which allows the player to destroy the level literally and find secret pathways and so on. Almost everything in all of the levels is destructible, and some may find amusement to this amazing feature.

The sound is done very well in the game. The sound effects for the weapons are crisp and accurate. The voice acting between characters has been nailed excellently, although the menu sound effects badly needed to go. They will often cause annoyance to the player or players.

The control scheme is much better than its predecessor, which used an invert pitch as default. The biggest improvement in the controls is the dual pistol action, which allows the player when having two guns to control each gun separately. This comes in handy when you are engaging in intense firefights.

The single player mode is not that re-playable unless you feel the need to complete secondary and bonus objectives. Where the meat of the game lies is in the multiplayer, which will have gamers coming back for more servings. If you have a few friends over, this games multiplayer will not disappoint. You can also play the multiplayer mode against just the bots.

Those who loved the first Red Faction may be surprised by the difference in gameplay but the gameplay is still great. I suggest picking this one up for those who loved the first Red Faction and multiplayer mayhem games as well. This is a title that is sure not to disappoint those who were fans of the original Red Faction. If you are having a tough time deciding between Timesplitters 2 and Red Faction 2, I would suggest renting both titles. Timesplitters will appeal more to those who were into Perfect Dark or 007 types of games. Red Faction 2 will appeal more to those who like games such as Halo. Either way whichever game you choose, you can't go wrong.

By Siddharth Masand - 01/12/03
ESRB Details: Blood and Gore, Violence
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Screenshots for Red Faction 2

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