Red Faction: Armageddon 3 Years-Later ReviewGuest_Jim_* - May 21, 2014
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Being only three years old, it is not particularly surprising that the graphics are pretty good. You may be able to pick out some spots with stretched textures, but during my playthroughs, none ever leapt out at me. The same can be said of the models, which is definitely nice to see and say. Everything looked well detailed and designed to me, from the structures to the enemies.
One issue I did have with the presentation was that it was very often quite dark. This caused me to run around fairly often with the Nano-Forge activated, as it produces a strong enough glow to reveal the area. Of course the darkness is not too surprising, as much of the game takes place underground. Turning up the Gamma settings does help, but I personally prefer to avoid changing most settings like that, for fear that the change can lessen the graphics. However, that does not appear to be the case in Red Faction: Armageddon; I still did play it with that particular setting at its default. Fortunately a number of the enemies emit light, so spotting them and their projectiles will not be too difficult.
As the entire franchise is known for its destructive capabilities, it is important that the associated graphics look as good as possible. It may be necessary to suspend your disbelief as you see walls and larger portions of buildings ripped apart and thrown about so easily, but the actual appearance of them is quite nice. The inertia may seem off, but other than that it is a pleasure to watch as objects and structures crumble and fail because something was ripped out of them, or thrown into them. So many objects can be picked up and hurled about to great effect and great satisfaction.
The flip-side to that destruction is your ability to rebuild just about anything using the aforementioned Nano-Forge. This tool can be used to repair every structure and non-vehicle object you destroy, save two types. Explosives will never be repaired, so you cannot make unlimited use of them, and infected buildings. Besides that, you can rebuild whatever you wish, whether it is to explore or just to leave the world the way it was when you found it.
Speaking of explosives, explosions in Red Faction: Armageddon are very satisfying as they throw fire, debris, and heat distortion about. They may not last long, but they are impactful sights that look alive, if only for a brief moment. Burning fires look less alive, but do not look bad. The only issue I have with them is how wispy and thin they can appear. They are not lacking for detail, but being able to so easily see through them does fail to make them all that believable to me.
Time to talk about performance, so here are my computer's specs:
- Processor: AMD A10-5800K @ 4.40 GHz (44.0x100)
- Cooling: Corsair H110
- Motherboard: ASUS F2A85-M PRO
- GPU: EVGA GTX 770 2 GB
- PhysX: EVGA GTX 570 1280 MB
- Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws 4x8 GB (32 GB total) at 1866 MHz 10-10-10-27
- PSU: OCZ Fata1ty 750 W
- OS: Windows 7- Professional 64-bit
I played Red Faction: Armageddon at its maximum settings under the DirectX 10 & 11 option in its launcher, except for motion blur. It is my personal preference to have this disabled. That being said, the game performed perfectly and never dropped from 60 FPS that I could see. Even at times that a large number of physics objects had to be calculated, the game did not skip a beat. That is not to say it ran perfectly, though.
On multiple occasions Red Faction: Armageddon did crash. At first these crashes only occurred when starting cutscenes, and a fix suggested online is to set the game to run in a Vista compatibility mode. This did succeed in fixing that issue for me, but it still did crash a few times after this. The exact causes of these crashes I do not know, as they seemed to randomly occur during regular gameplay.
While these crashes were definitely annoying, the compatibility-mode fix did work for some and the others were not common enough for me to consider them a large issue. An issue yes, but not something I would say should deter anyone from playing the game.
Overall I found the graphics to be very satisfying and the handling of destructibles and their physics was no exception. Combined with the game's exceptional performance, the graphics are definitely a strong point for it. It would be nice if I could have diagnosed and fixed those random crashes, however.