|Red Faction: Armageddon|
|Engine||Geo-Mod engine 2.5|
|Release date(s)||June 7, 2011|
|Platform(s)||Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, OnLive|
|Media||DVD-ROM, Blu-ray Disc|
Red Faction: Armageddon, also known as Red Faction 4 (RF: A), is a third-person shooter developed by Volition and published by THQ. It is the fourth installment in the Red Faction series, released for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360 in various countries around the world between June 7th and June 10th, 2011. Armageddon is also the last Red Faction game to be developed by Volition, Inc and published by THQ; future installments are to be developed by Nordic Games.
Like the first and third games of the series, the game takes place on the planet of Mars. The storyline occurs in the year 2170, almost a half a century after the events of Red Faction: Guerrilla. At the beginning of the game, the surface of the planet becomes uninhabitable after the massive terraformer on Mars which supplied it with its Earth-like air and weather has been destroyed, causing the atmosphere to turn to chaos with super-tornadoes and lightning storms engulfing the planet. In order to survive, the Colonists are forced to flee to the underground mines of Mars, building a network of habitable caves under the surface of the planet.
The main playing line game begins five years after the relocation underground (the tutorial takes place immediately before the destruction of the terraformer, which the MC had a direct *albeit unintentional* hand in) and follows the story of Darius Mason, grandson of Martian Revolution heroes, Alec Mason and Samanya who were the main characters of Red Faction: Guerrilla, who runs a lucrative series of businesses based in Bastion, the underground hub of Colonist activity, including mining, scavenging and mercenary-work. Only a few sane people venture to the now-ravaged surface of Mars, apart from contractors like Darius and smugglers who smuggle goods between settlements. Darius is tricked into re-opening a mysterious seal in an old Marauder temple which releases a long-dormant evil race of aliens known as the Plague causing an Armageddon on/in Mars. The Plague are related to the first Red Faction game and were first discovered by Ultor Corporation. Axel Capek was driven insane by his studies of the creatures, but he was able to confine them to the cave system which Darius uncovered before completely losing his mind. (Note: The Creeper aliens look quite similar to the 'dog' aliens of the first game, first encountered in Capek's caves. There are differences, the ones in the first game do not glow, and have less spikes, but this could be due to the graphical design generation gap). Colonist and Marauder settlements alike are torn apart by the new enemies with Darius and the Red Faction having to save the Martian population once again.
The game takes place in the underground regions of Tharsis.
A group of Cultists, a splinter faction of the Marauders led by Adam Hale, attacked and captured a terraformer that controlled the weather of Mars. Red Faction forces, led by Frank Winters along with Darius Mason, made an assault on the terraformer. Unfortunately, Adam, disguised as one of the Red Faction, tricks Darius and destroys the terraformer. The destruction of the terraformer results in catastrophic weather which forces the entire population underground.
A few years later, Darius now works as a mercenary along with former marauder Kara. Darius was sent to do a mining job and learned he was tricked again by Adam Hale and the Cultists to open a seal that releases an alien race called the Plague, and becomes trapped in the tunnels where the Plague live in. After falling in a cliff that left him unconscious for three days, Darius, guided by SAM (Situational Awareness Module) escapes the tunnels into an underground mining colony, to find the Plague attacking the miners. Grouping up with survivors and some Red Faction soldiers, he escorts an ambulance convoy to Bastion, with the help of a L.E.O. Exosuit found along the way. Darius then arrives at Bastion only to find the town overrun by the Plague, with the injured holed up in the center of town. Darius helps out, only to have them turn on him when they find out he is involved with the Plague. He escapes to the surface, as the pursuers followed are attacked. The Red Faction, along with Frank, shows up and arrests him, but are attacked, and Darius joins the Red Faction and fends off the Plague. Informed that Hale is involved with releasing the Plague, Frank informs Darius where the Cultists are hiding, and Darius assaults them in a walker with Kara, and discovers Hale, trying to tame the Plague. Darius is then discovered trying to kill Hale, and tries to escape in a mine cart, but Hale attacks in a walker. The walker is crippled by a landslide, and Darius uses his Magnet Gun to drop pieces of the ceiling on him, decapitating Hale. He and Kara escape in the walker to a Marauder city, when they try to learn more about the Plague. They discover a secret entrance that is filled in with lava, so Darius and Frank pilot a ship to a machine used to raise the lava, and destroys it to lower the lava. Darius and Kara then assault the tunnels to find the Queen, but Kara is killed when they get out to repair a leg. Darius then makes a personal vendetta against the Queen. He finds her, and in a fight, badly weakens her, but she starts to escape and destroy Mars. SAM discovers that the Plague cannot withstand pure air, and Darius follows the Queen to the surface, and finds and repairs the Terraformer that Hale destroyed, killing off the Plague.
Red Faction arrives at the terraformer and SAM warns Darius of high concentration of radiation incoming: sunlight.
The only online Multiplayer mode featured in Red Faction: Armageddon is Infestation Mode. It's a mode similar to Gears of War 2's Horde Mode where players must co-operate against wave after wave of Plague. There are a total of 15 maps, comprised of 30 waves. Of the 15, five are locked but they can be played if the host has unlocked them. Objectives vary from map to map. One will require to simply kill all Plague to proceed while others will also have you defending buildings or generators. The game tells you how many "troops" are left to kill on the right top corner of the screen. Also, players have lives which they will lose after their health is depleted. Once all lives have been used, the player who lost them all is permanently eliminated for the entire game.
The final mode called "Ruin", is a mode where one player must cause as much destruction as possible in the set amount of time. However, "Ruin" mode will only be available to players who pre-ordered the game or purchased a code online. The code is also available to those who bought a newly-made copy of the game.
The game was announced in the form of a short teaser on June 4th, 2010 on GameTrailers TV. The game was also showcased at the E3 2010 from June 15th to 17th, 2010. During Comic-Con in San Diego, 2010, a promotional comic titled Red Faction: Armageddon 0# was presented as a free giveaway. A downloadable vehicle-based multiplayer game called Red Faction: Battlegrounds was released in April 2011. Additionally, the SyFy network produced a direct-to-television film that bridges the story gap between Guerrilla and Armageddon, titled Red Faction: Origins. It was released on June 7th, 2011.
A playable demo for the game was announced in April, and was released on May, 3rd, 2011 for the Xbox 360. The playable demo for the PlayStation 3 was released on June 2nd, 2011.
Downloadable content entitled "Path to War" has been released for the game. It features four new single-player missions, new weapons and achievements.
Red Faction: Armageddon received mostly positive reviews. Aggregating review websites GameRankings and Metacritic gave the PC version 75.93% and 75/100, the Xbox 360 version 73.78% and 71/100 and the PlayStation version 73.76 and 71/100. GameSpot gave the game a 8.0 out of 10, saying "Red Faction: Armageddon returns to the linear roots of the series with great success. Thanks to an enjoyable powerful arsenal and remarkably thorough destructibility, tearing your way through the alien-annihilating adventure is a blast. The campaign and infestation mode offer a good amount of content, and the arrival of the magnet gun should be celebrated by everyone with a hankering for havoc. It's one of the most powerful, inspiring, and downright hilarious gameplay mechanics to come along in a while, and it makes Red Faction: Armageddon immensely appealing." While IGN gave it a 7.0, saying, "Despite it's forgettable story and pacing issues with the campaign, Red Faction: Armageddon is good fun for letting out your inner destructive child." Joystiq scored the game with a 2.5/5 rating. GameZone gave the game an 8.5 out of 10, stating "I wasn't sure whether I would like the game's change from Guerrilla's open world formula to a more linear mission-based one. However, this wasn't the case. The storyline is gripping, if at times a bit cliche; the controls are spot on; and leveling all that's around you never gets old. Red Faction: Armageddon is a blast to play through."
GameSpy gave Armageddon a 2.5 stars out of 5, stating that "The main campaign has gone from an open-ended, Grand Theft Auto-style game to a strictly linear, close-quarters, and poorly plotted mess" and describes the 'ruin mode' as "...incredibly fun in short bursts, but without any overarching goals or real sense of awards, it's really more of a time-waster than an honest-to-goodness game in its own right." However, it did praise the new weapons available, saying, "...you got some pretty nifty gear with which to do said dealing".
Despite the games positive reviews, it failed to meet THQ's sales expectations and resulted in them dropping the franchise, 20 days after the games release.
Weapons & Vehicles
These are the known weapons for Red Faction: Armageddon as it currently stands, though it is highly likely there are more - a THQ employee that was interviewed, mentioned a figure of about 30. So far the tally stands at 20-ish.
- Red Faction Arc Welder (DLC Only)
- Red Faction Assault Rifle
- Convergence Laser (Cheat Weapon)
- EDF Enforcer (Requires Level 20 in Red Faction: Battlegrounds) - Same as the one in Guerrilla
- Banshee Pistol
- Laser Pistols (DLC Only) - Sustained beam pistols which do damage over time but are prone to overheating.
- Dual Wield Pistols
- Lava Barge Turrent (Cheat Weapon)
- L.E.O. Machine Gun (Cheat Weapon)
- L.E.O. Rocket Launcher (Cheat Weapon)
- Magnet Gun
- Mr. Toots - Acts the same as the Plasma Beam but with different effects. (Can be obtained in an easter egg or upon beating the game)
- Marauder Nano Rifle
- Napalm Laser (Cheat Weapon)
- Plasma Cannon
- Plasma Beam
- Plasma Thrower (DLC Only) - Like a flame-thrower but powerful against buildings.
- Pulse Grenade Launcher - Timed explosive which destroys organics with minimal structural effects.
- Red Faction Rail Driver
- Charge Launcher
- Rocket Launcher
- Singularity Cannon
- Red Faction Shotgun
- XNG-5000 (DLC Only) - A type of Nanite Grenade Launcher
Vehicles known to date include the following:
- It should be known that unlike the previous games, Armageddon does not involve a revolutionary socialist undertone. Instead, it is a more linear experience, largely moving through corridors and caverns from objective to objective like RF1 and RF2. Armageddon, which features more of an alien invasion. The dropping of the revolutionary undertone has possibly gained negative feedback.
- Armageddons "Ruin" mode is similar to Guerrilla's "Wrecking Crew" Modes, where it is the same objective but Guerrilla's "Wrecking Crew" mode allows players to control a walker to cause destruction, while Armageddon did not.
- At the end of the game, it is possible a vast majority of the Plague population remains underground. Either this means they will return in a possible sequel to Armageddon or this will be the conclusion to the series. These theories are yet to be confirmed.
- Following poor sales, THQ CEO Brian Farrell announced that the company would not be pursuing the Red Faction series further.
- On December 19, 2012, THQ filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy leading to an auction of THQ's properties that was held on January 22, 2013. While developer Volition, Inc. was picked up by Deep Silver along with the Saint's Row IP, the Red Faction IP was not a part of the transaction. On April 22, 2013, Red Faction was purchased by Nordic Games in the final transaction of THQ's assets.