reviews\ Jun 13, 2001 at 8:00 pm

Red Faction - PS2 - Review

The back story basically states that our soon to be hero voluntarily signed up to work in corporate owned mines on the planet mars and then realized that it was a bad idea.  Poor work conditions, mysterious illnesses, little food and sadistic guards all contribute to make the mines what any science fiction fan should have immediately expected them to be.  The corporation's name is Ultor and the opposing force, which you soon find yourself allied with, is Red Faction.  

Many nights of playing "Golden Eye" on the N64 prepared me somewhat for the extensive use of the analog controls.  However I would recommend playing a few rounds of multi-player with a friend until you get the hang of them.  I was wary of the analog controls because I was unsure that they would provide a comfortable level of sensitivity unlike many other games I've played using them.  This is especially important in a game that relies fairly heavily on aiming (though guns will lock on and the range is adjustable through the options).  I was also skeptical of the games claims regarding interaction with the environment.  I was pleasantly surprised however to see its claims completely verified.  The package says, "If you don't have a key then you should make your own door" and as long as you have a rocket launcher or explosives (neither of which are hard to find) its just that simple.  There are areas that cannot be destroyed but for the most part you are faced with a hugely malleable environment.

The graphics were good and I would expect nothing less from a high end game but there were times particularly when traveling through tunnels that it became extremely difficult to figure out where you were going.  The sound however is where the game really shined through.  An extensive soundtrack that goes far beyond the traditional filler music entertains at the same time that it enhances the atmosphere of certain game sections.

I found the overall concept was nothing special.  Undoubtedly influenced heavily by movies such as "Total Recall" and games such as "Half-Life”, Red faction offers little in the way of new ideas.  The characters are not particularly interesting but the game does not bore you.  It is a great first person shooter and undoubtedly one of the best I've seen on a console system.  The multi-player aspect can get a little tedious but the addition of several well-trained bots to the mix can easily heighten the action.

Red faction is a great game because it takes interaction with your game environment to a new and remarkable level.  But it doesn't stop there.  It goes on to provide you with an intricate and entertaining shooter.  


Install: Easy
PS2 game

Gameplay: 9
Complicated but easily handled control system utilizing the analog controls as well as an amazing engine that allows for and unprecedented interaction with your play environment make red faction a revolutionary game.

Graphics: 8.5 
Well done movies as well as detailed environments and characters combine for an excellent showing. 

Sound: 9.5
Great soundtrack.

Difficulty: 10
Four difficulty levels offer everything from "easy" to "impossible"

Concept: 7 
Not terribly original and at times hard to swallow let alone follow the story while not terrible is probably the games weakest point.  This game is a cross between "Half-Life" and "Total Recall".

Multiplayer: 8.5
If it supported four players it would be a ten.  The multi player can get a little boring when you spend all your time trying to find your friends in the often-enormous levels.  The addition of bots changes this but nothing is a substitute for live opponents.  Bots don't get angry when you laugh at them.

Overall: 9
A revolutionary engine combined with a concept which has been tried successfully by other publishers sets the stage for a great game.


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