Red Faction: Armageddon 3 Years-Later ReviewGuest_Jim_* -
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Like the other games in the franchise, Red Faction: Armageddon is a shooter with a destructible world. This can have some interesting affects on gameplay as that destruction can be used to great advantage. If you come up against an enemy the size of a house, you can respond by throwing a house at it. If you come up against an enemy smaller than a house though, you can still throw a house at it.
For anyone concerned about running out of houses, or destroying needed stairways, there is no need. You have access to the Nano-Forge for almost the entire game, and it has the ability to repair almost any damage you or your enemies cause. I must admit I love using that tool and have actually used it to completely repair what damage I have caused, just because I can. Also it works very well with one of my two favorite weapons in the game.
The magnet gun is one of the first weapons you get after the prologue mission. It fires two projectiles, and once both are attached to objects, the first gets pulled to the second along with whatever it was attached to. You can hurl enemies into walls, walls into enemies, move enemies away from you, or pull them in closer with this one weapon. The best part, for me at least, is that it has unlimited ammo, and in just about every game, I do what I can to avoid wasting ammo. Without any way to waste this weapon's ammo, I can just have fun with it.
Despite my love for it though, the magnet gun is not very powerful, and sometimes other weapons are needed to take down large enemies. Red Faction: Armageddon has a good selection to choose from, including high-powered rifles, assault rifles, explosives, and some interesting beam weapons. Once the plasma beam warms up, it can cut through almost anything, from structures to enemies. The singularly cannon does not disintegrate enemies like the plasma beam, but it can take out a sizeable group of them. Neither of these are my other favorite weapon, by the way, but I will get to it later.
One thing that some may notice is that it does not take too long before you come across all of the various enemies. While repeating enemies can hurt some games, Red Faction: Armageddon has some ways to keep it interesting as you progress. First and foremost are the differing arenas you fight in, which force you to adapt your tactics. Sometimes you will be fighting in buildings, which provide plenty of mass to throw around and at your enemies, but its small size forces you to be very aware of your surroundings. Fighting out in the open is a very different experience as now you may have to hunt for cover and deal with enemies in all directions.
One tool that I definitely liked in the game is the radar in the top-center of the screen. At first glance it may look like a simple compass, pointing you toward the enemies, but it is actually more complicated as it gives you 3D information. Enemies that are above and below you will have their dots appear above and below the horizontal line. In dark areas this is very helpful as it will let you aim in the right general direction, before you can actually see the enemy.
Another very fun thing in the game are the different vehicles you get to drive, especially the walkers. Some of these are like powered suits of armor, with guns and rocket launchers, but others are large and very intimidating vehicles, with very destructive weapons. My other favorite weapon is one of these walker weapons and it is called the Napalm Laser. I am not sure about the reasoning behind that name, but when you fire it you can trace out a path with a beam, and soon explosions will erupt along the path. What makes the weapon even more enjoyable is that you can actually unlock it for general use with the in-game cheats. You can actually play through the game with that instrument of destruction.
As you may have noticed, I actually do not have many complaints about this game. I find it to be just a fun and enjoyable experience throughout. However, one complaint would be that it is a little short, as it only took me seven hours and 38 minutes to complete the review playthrough. To be fair though, that is the third or fourth time I have completed the game (though I have not played it for two years prior to this review) so I am well familiar with what it can throw at you. For someone less familiar with it, you may be able to expect closer to eight hours, but that is still not long. The New Game+ playthrough option and cheats do help with that.
It should be noted somewhere that not everything is carried over by virtue of the New Game+. Some things are actually just tied to you, so you will retain them when replaying the normal campaign. These include the salvage currency you have collected, the upgrades you have purchased, and the cheats you have unlocked. You can reset your salvage and upgrades, and disable the cheats, which I did, but you are still able to replay the normal campaign with benefits from previous playthroughs.
Simply put, I find Red Faction: Armageddon to have a very fun and enjoyable gameplay experience. It has been engineered to let you develop a play style and I never felt like it was too punishing. Really it is just fun.