Red Faction 13 Years-Later ReviewGuest_Jim_* - May 6, 2014
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While Red Faction can appear to be a straightforward, linear FPS, there is more to it than that. In many areas you can use stealth to avoid dangers instead of just jumping in, guns blazing. In other areas you can find alternative paths to advance, or make your own if you have enough explosives. That ability to reshape the world is required in some places, but is otherwise just integrated in the game. What I mean by that is that there was never a time I felt like the only way to advance was to exploit the destructibility of the world. (Except for those few times I was told to, but that is a different circumstance.) Honestly, that is how I want it to be because that feels natural. Do not force me to blow holes in walls, but let me do it when I want to.
As you advance through the game, you will pick up a variety of weapons, and each one distinguishes itself in one way or another. The assault rifle does not feel like the submachine gun, and the precision of it and sniper rifles also are separate weapons. Before long you will find yourself preferring certain guns over others, but you should try to be comfortable with them all. There is always the threat of running out of ammo, but you can also lose the weapons you have, as part of the game. This last part is somewhat interesting as the weapons are the only way your character directly improves. When you suddenly lose them all, it feels like you just started the game again, but the enemies are no longer that easy.
I do want to talk about one weapon in particular. The rail driver is one of the weapons you get close to the end of the game, which makes sense because of how very powerful it is. With this weapon you can shoot through walls and one hit enemies. To help you with that, its scope will highlight enemies behind barriers. It is easily among the most powerful weapons in the game, and that is true for both you and your enemies. Whenever there is an enemy with one of these, either start jumping around a lot or focus on that enemy, or both because one hit will kill you. Those enemies may also know how to use the scope, so be careful and expect to die a few times to this.
You can expect to die a few times more at certain points in the game. Specifically, the two boss fights and one rather annoying timed section. Both bosses have shields, which will go down eventually, but also they have very powerful attacks that can kill you in one or two hits quite easily. This other section may not be frustrating for other players, depending on their situation. At one point you will be racing to beat a timer and enter a facility with multiple well-armored enemies with rather large guns. When I got there I was in the unfortunate position of having low health and armor, making it quite impossible to continue. This led me to find the invincibility cheat to get through the area, but once I had done that, I turned off god mode and continued playing as normal. At no other time was something so difficult as to make cheating feel necessary.
There are multiple vehicle segments to the game, where you get to drive around in a jeep, a submarine, and even a fighter craft. These sections can be pretty fun, considering the amount of firepower they have. Be a little wary of the submarine, though. There are times when enemies surround the area where you need to exit the sub, and the sub cannot help you with that. Its torpedoes explode when they reach the surface of the water, and apparently do no damage above the surface. Just something I found annoying as those enemies can get a number of shots into you before you have a chance to kill them.
Altogether I found the game to be action filled, driving me onward and never really giving the player a break. That is not to say there are no segments that you can put away your gun; there are plenty of areas without enemies to shoot. In those areas I found myself wanting to search everywhere, find and do what I could, before getting back to the shooting.
The only real negative about the gameplay experience of Red Faction is that it only lasts about four hours. That is really short, but it did not feel like it was over too quick. Still, once done I must admit I feel no cause to replay the game, except maybe with cheats. Unlimited explosives and every weapon in the game from the beginning sounds like a fun way to keep playing.