Thursday 10 March 2011

Red Faction: Armageddon

For those of you who have played Red Faction Guerrilla, Armageddon may be quite different to you. For starters, the game has ditched the open world feel and is now a strictly linear third-person action-adventure experience, and it also pits you against Martians rather than rival colonists in one of those rebellious uprisings that have become the norm for Red Faction. These changes are for the better though, as our hands-on with the game clearly proves.
I was able to play two sections of the game, one level from the single player campaign, and one level from the newly announced RUIN mode. The first noticeable improvement is that the graphics are much better, thanks to it being set in a linear environment and not having to focus on creating an entire sandbox to play in. I also liked the varied alien types that were on show and how good their AI was when it came to trying swarm you. Hopefully, there will be more varied aliens available, though, as the action could become stale if there aren’t more varieties of monsters later on.

The best improvements come in the form of the game's weaponry, though. Whilst Alec Mason (the hero from the previous game, and not be confused with Alex Mason of Black Ops fame) still has use of the usual grenades, shotguns, machine guns and his trusty maul from Red Faction: Guerrilla. He now has access to all new ways of destroying aliens and the surrounding environment (a staple of the Red Faction series).

The best gun comes in the form of the magnet gun, which allows you to tag some scenery, and then tag a bad guy and watch as the scenery is pulled on top of the creature, crushing it completely. There is also the singularity cannon, which creates black holes that destroy everything in its surrounding area. Chuck in Exos (mech suits) and nanoforge powers, which gives your characters ram attacks and you have a nice and diverse array of different weapons and abilities.

However, probably the most useful tool at Alec’s disposal though is the ability to repair the area around you. This is beneficial in a number of ways. Firstly, it allows you to recreate areas you destroyed, so you can create cover for your character, or more ammo for you to use your magnet gun with. Secondly, if you make a mistake and accidentally destroy a walkway whilst fighting the Martians, you can remake the walk way and still continue through the mission. Finally though, is for puzzle solving. Can’t find a way up to an area and the ladder is destroyed; simply remake the ladder to progress forward. These puzzle elements, whilst simple, show a lot of potential if used to its fullest in the final game.

So what is the game's RUIN mode I hear you ask? Well, RUIN mode is a mini game that gives you a minute to destroy as much as the game arena allows, and gives you time bonuses and multipliers depending on how efficient you are in dealing your destruction. Whilst the initial premise is fun if a little shallow, the concept of racking up high scores to unlock new arenas and an online leaderboard to see who can deal the most damage is appealing. However, whether this will end up being a mere forgettable mini-game or become really addictive as players try to be at the top of the leaderboard can only be told by time.

All this in mind, and with more modes to be announced for the game on the run up to it’s June release date. We can be sure that the Red Faction series can still pack a demolishing punch, and Armageddon could potentially be one of the strongest games in the franchise yet.

Words: Blake Harmer


Marchlands is the enthralling story of three families linked across three decades by the chilling mysteries locked inside their home. The tragic death of an eight year old girl in 1968 sets in motion the haunting story of Marchlands; a remote house in the North of England.

In 1987 we meet the house's new residents, the Maynards, whose own little girl appears to have a connection to the tragic ghost.

And then, in 2010 a young couple's dream move to the idyllic countryside is once again disturbed by the lonely spirit. An all star cast including Alex Kingston, Jodie Whittaker, Denis "Wedge Antilles" Lawson, and Anne Reid feature in Stephen Greenhorn's (Doctor Who) ground-breaking supernatural drama; marking the first ever creative collaboration between ITV and Twentieth Century Fox.

Thanks to our friends at ITV Studios Home Entertainment, we've got a copy of Marchlands on DVD to give away! For your chance of winning, send your name and full postal address to before midday on Thursday 17th March, making sure to put "Marchlands" as the subject. The first entry out of the electronic hat after the competition closes will receive a free copy!

Don't forget to put "Marchlands" in the subject line. Incorrectly labelled or blank entries will be discarded.

Entries limited to one per household. Offer open only to postal addresses in the UK and Ireland.

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