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Xbox 360



Action / Shooter






Volition Inc.



M (Mature)



June 7, 2011



- Destruction, destruction, destruction (and reconstruction)
- Looks great
- The nanoforge capabilities
- Ruin Mode is a happy place to play
- Ridiculous weapon unlock for finishing the game



- Out of the dozen weapons I stuck to five
- Killing bad guys and working through each level is average



Review: Red Faction: Guerrilla (360)

Review: Brink (360)

Review: Knight's Contract (360)



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Red Faction: Armageddon

Score: 9.0 / 10


red faction armageddon          red faction armageddon


Rather than traversing the surface of Mars in the open-world setting of Red Faction: Guerrilla, developer Volition Inc. have taken Red Faction underground with Armageddon. Only small sections of the game happen on the surface. The bulk of the game is spent moving through subterranean locations in a linear fashion through the story points, which really kick-offs when Darius Mason performs the sci-fi cliché of "Sure, I'll remove the plug from a big hole in the ground! What could go wrong?"

The Martian colonists, already on-edge because they live underground, don't have enough water and food, and the Terraformer on the surface has been taken off-line




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(which means the colonists need to stay underground), go into lynch mob mode when scaly monsters and tentacles start sliming their way through the colonies.

Yeah, that's what the plug was for.

It falls to Darius to clean up the mess, which means he has to use an arsenal of wholly destructive weapons to


prevent Mars from being completely overrun.

While the number of weapons reaches close to a dozen, I found myself relying on only a handful of them through the game, like the Magnet Gun, which can level a building before you can finish saying, "rocket launcher." The first slug out of the Magnet Gun attaches to the thing Darius wants to move; the second slug is the anchor point, which the first slug races toward. This means enemies can be launched to distant locations or into bottomless pits, or a building section can be grabbed then "connected" to an enemy, which brings the building section crushing down on them. Since so much of the environment is littered with interactive debris and buildings there's hardly a time when the Magnet Gun wasn't my go-to gun once I acquired it.


red faction armageddon          red faction armageddon


And if the ready made debris is used up, Darius can use his nanoforge wrist gauntlet to instantly rebuild/repair buildings and other objects in the environment. Besides this repair functionality the gauntlet can also be used (and upgraded) to launch enemies into the air, punch close enemies into goo, create a protective energy shield, or activate Darius's "Hulk" mode which grants him increased speed, firing, and melee damage temporarily. If it recharged a little faster, Darius wouldn't need the Singularity Cannon, shotgun, nano rifle, Rail Driver or Energy Grenade Launcher. And if that isn't enough fire power, there are a few ground and air-based vehicles/mechs to pilot through the game.

It feels a lot like Red Faction: Armageddon was built so gamers could blow things up, tear things down, rebuild things, then do it all again. Fortunately, it does this extremely well.

The single-player campaign does a fine job showcasing the destruction but to fully realize its potential, Volition has included Ruin mode. Either subset of Ruin -- Challenge and Free Play -- is like playing around in a massive sandbox with high explosives. No indigenous Martians here, just plain old destruction.


red faction armageddon          red faction armageddon


Multiplayer co-op, called "Infestation," allows up to four players to fight together against waves of indigenous Martians. The setups for each scenario -- broken into Survive and Defend objectives -- take cues from the progression of Darius in the single-player campaign. In other words, the co-op scenarios take place in the background of main events of the game. That's a neat touch. And so far, it has been a lot of fun. Working together brings a whole new strategy to the destruction!

Without the creative destruction elements that Volition's Geo Mod 2.5 engine allows, Red Faction: Armageddon would be an average shooter, but because it revels in twisting and snapping almost every object throughout and integrating it into the overall strategy of the game, Armageddon is not to be missed.

- Aaron Simmer

(June 1, 2011)

Additional: To access Ruin Mode players must enter a one-use 25-digit download code, which is included with the game. This is interesting to me because it's the first time in my memory that single-player content is locked away behind a code. Usually it's multiplayer content that's locked away. There's a "demo" mode to entice people that may have purchased a used game.


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