The first person shooter has come quite a long way from the beginning days of the genre and it has seen some interesting additions to its mode of play. Although one might argue that on the one hand that FPS games are fundamentally the same as they were back then, new titles on the market like Red Faction II introduce new and better features which keep the genre fresh and exciting.
Players can pick up Red Faction II out now for their Xbox video game console and experience some down right fun bl…sting away at walls, troops, and vehicles. With 17 different weapons, four types of grenades, and several vehicles capable of being piloted, gamers can expect some serious fragging to happen out on some inspired landscapes and levels.
The Xbox videogame console is capable of pushing some solid textures when its called upon to do so and, at the very least, it seems that the developers did some good work here in RFII. Players will find themselves out in some spacious areas doing battle, but the majority of combat is still regulated to the close quarter fighting which is synonymous in other FPS’s.
The textures, colors, and objects used in these areas are well done and interesting however. As was the case in the first game–Red Faction on the PS2–players will have the ability to pilot several types of vehicles from submarine to hover craft. The environments these vehicles take to are done fairly well and offer their own set of polished graphics.
If there is anything to really drag the title down on, it’s that it is somewhat industrial in its look and feel. Where the first game had players running around mine shafts and labs on the planet Mars, this time out we see a band of fighters battling it out in military/industrial facilities and demolished towns. Not that these areas don’t look well done, but it’s just the whole military/industrial combat areas in a First Person Shooter has been done a lot–the effect here feels like a rehashing of many levels played in numerous other games.
Surprising is the fact that Red Faction II lacks any of the higher end sound options which are becoming more commonplace in video games these days. Just plain stereo sound will greet you once you start playing the game. It presents well enough though and it does the job adequately.
Actor Lance Henriksen voices the role of Molov and he does a good job of it. Music is of the standard fare and is also presented in stereo alongside the sound effects and spoken speech.
This time around, the plot behind Red Faction II has changed significantly from the original game that debuted on the PS2–where players had picked up the role of a slave miner named Parker and battled it out on the red planet. Gamers will see a plot and game with virtually no ties to the original storyline. Instead, RFII has players assuming the role of a demolitions expert named Alias who teams up with five other mercenaries to overthrow the government in place. Indeed, the whole game has a “civil war in a socialist country” feel to it.
Not that there is anything wrong with that, but it’s quite a departure from the feel and pace of the first game in the series. Some gamers may like the change in venue and others may not care for it. The choice is really up to you. Rest assured though that the Geo-Mod technology–the ability to blast holes in walls and rock–that made the first game such a hit has been redone here and on a much grander scale.
Players can destroy almost everything in the levels and use the new found spaces for cover or as alternate routes to a destination. Also making a comeback are the several vehicles which can be piloted. This time out, players can even use a walking battle mech which is equipped with two machine guns and two grenade launchers. The destruction can be wide and varied while driving one of those babies.
Yet, basically, RFII is all about the First Person Shooter and there is much of that to partake of here. There are varied missions in the story–such as you acting as a sniper to take out hidden enemies in a destroyed city–and players will pilot vehicles, use team tactics, and even some stealth sneaking to complete the missions.
Red Faction II has a solid multiplayer option built in with it, yet no LIVE support which is puzzling. Online play would have given this title the extra legs it will need to go the distance against other FPS’s on the market.
Nonetheless, there is some good action to be had with Red Faction II and the combination of several flyable/drivable vehicles, enhanced Geo-Mod technology, and varied weapons should keep your interest in it for at least the summer.