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Red Faction: Armageddon Gamescom Preview

During our time at Gamescom, we were lucky enough to be shown a demo of the upcoming third person shooter and 4th title in the Red Faction universe, Armageddon.
The story is set many years after the events of Red Faction: Guerrilla with the player taking the role of Darius Mason, grandson of Guerrilla hero Alec Mason. The surface of Mars has become ravaged and uninhabitable due to years of conflict between the different factions on the planet after the removal of the EDF.

It's behind you

With civilisation being forced to re-locate underground, the process of which has awoken a dormant threat, deep within the caverns of Mars. The demo started off with Darius trying to escort a group of civilians through a dangerous set of caverns, clearing the way ahead to establish a safe passage for them. Unlike other titles, Armageddon is opting for an over the shoulder third-person view rather than the full body view we're accustomed to from playing Guerrilla.

The atmosphere was quite tense and unnerving, akin to the feelings one would get while playing a survival horror game, perhaps this is a new direction for Red Faction, but this mood quickly changed as Darius came under attack from some Greeders. While these are a minimal threat in low numbers, they quickly became a pack and swarmed around Darius, this gave the developer an oppotunity to show off some of the Nano Forge tech available to Darius. Using the Shockwave ability, Darius was able to launch a couple of enemies up in the air in a stasis field, very similar to the Pull biotic skill as seen in Mass Effect 2. This gave Darius some breathing space in order to finish off the swarm.


Now of course this would not be a proper Red Faction title without some wanton destruction, with the game utilising GeoMod 2.0 in the game, the developer was able to show off the destructive capabilities players can expect from the game. Walls came crashing down, cover crumbled under fire, the lighting also plays a huge part of the destruction as taking down a building obviously kills the associated lighting of that structure, therefore the overall lighting level of that area will also dim making it harder to traverse the caverns.

On the flip-side of this coin, your Nano Forge tech is capable of rebuilding these broken structures or cover, this was demonstrated by shooting part of a containter when Darius was ambushed by some Ravagers looking for their next meal, he then ran inside of this container and rebuilt the destroyed section allowing him to recuperate safely before returning to battle.

Nano Tech

We were shown a small handful of weapons, most impressive of which was the Magnet Gun. Now this puppy allows Darius to attach a magnet to almost anything, then fire a round where the magnet will then be attracted to. This allows so much scope of experimentation while in combat and with no time at all you'll be launching huge boulders at enemies or even just making them fly at high speed into walls or other spiky objects of death. Additionally the Magnet Gun will allow you to complete objectives such as moving power conduits into position or moving obstacles out of your path.

Up next for display was the Singularity Cannon, new from the Faction tech heads, a weapon that is so powerful that it will literally create a black hole infront of your very eyes. One used this will project a purple ball of death which will suck in all nearby enemies, and if you're not careful Darius will also be sucked into this vortex of oblivion so be wary of your distance before using it. Now we saw a glimpse of this technology back in Guerrilla when we were allowed to play with the Singularity Bomb, so players of the prequel will be familiar with the weapon mechanics of this toy.

The overall feel of Armageddon feels fresh enough to stand out on its own merits rather than trying to rely upon the Red Faction name to gain some user-base. Trying to aim for a more action orientated gaming experience with a touch of suspense seems to be a winning formula for the team on this title. With a goal of around 15 hours of single player game time for the average user this should be a game to grab once it arrives in the first quarter of 2011.

Wedgeh | 27th August, 2010

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