Red Faction Armageddon was the first game Q&A that i sat down for at the MCM Expo, and I also got the chance to play the game later in the day. Anyway, I took my seat at the Gamespot UK stage, and waited a while until a couple of Gamespot reps came to the front along with one of the game's senior designers, David Abzug, at which point things began.
The first thing that we were told was that this instalment of the series is a third person action game and it's unique selling point is destruction, as David Abzug pointed out:
Anything man-made is destructible.
He also said that this time around the developers were "Big on the boom!". In response to this somebody in the crowd commented that it sounded a bit like Angry Birds, to which Mr. Abzug responded with the following:
Picture Angry Birds with five storey buildings and giant plasma cannons!
This seems like a good point to go over the things that you'll be using to cause widespread destruction in the game; the weapons, the look of most of which were inspired by the alien weapons featured in District 9.Hit the jump to see how Red Faction Armageddon is coming along...
Red Faction Armageddon's multiplayer is going for a co-op angle this time around, similar to the Horde mode in Gears of War. Teams of four players will face off against 30 stages of enemies for each of the eight maps. Expect lots of tighter arenas compared to the last game's open multiplayer deathmatches on the surface of Mars. We're going to miss those epic jetpack battles.
The main map we got to try out was the underground Black Market. For the most part this level was made up of fairly narrow tunnels with low ceilings, making for some claustrophobic chaos. There's a small square decorated with lots of neon signs which all too often distracts you from looking out for the alien's bioluminescent glowing parts. The area of play seems to loop around in a circle. With the terrain including slopes and staircases.
Magnet guns can be used to pull panels off walls or even send whole concrete pillars towards enemies. The heavier the object and the faster moving it is, the better. As that all affects how much damage it will inflict on the Martian knife-jawed horrors. In a different level, set in a cave, you can throw huge rocks ripped from the walls or even throw the sharp stalactites at them. The geo-mod engine is going to be huge in the single-player game, but you'll have to be very quick with the magnet gun playing Infestation if you don't want to get swarmed while choosing anchor points.Click here to read the rest of Brendan's hands-on preview.
The demolition minigames from the previous Red Faction game have been reworked into a stand-alone Ruin mode. Rather than being more of the same though, it's set to be a big improvement thanks to the addition of the Magnet Gun, which if you read my recent preview of the single player game, you'd know is the new toy that every big kid should want.
The object of Raid is to destroy as much as possible in the time limit and score big by destroying structures in combo chains. Beat the par score to unlock the next stage, or keep hitting retry to climb the online leaderboards.
I got to demolish just the one stage during my hands-on with this mode. Unlike what I played of the story mode, this took place outside, on the surface of Mars at what looked like some sort of power station. Lots of chimney stacks, buildings, bridges, car-sized gas canisters and pylon-like steel towers are all used to grind the stage into dust.
Mastering the magnet gun is the key to success. Use this mad terrorist version of the gun from Portal to fire an anchor at one target then an attractor at a second to send the first object crashing towards the second point. If the object is heavy enough, it'll destroy anything in its path. Destroying multiple structures in brief periods of time is the way to really rack up those combo points. Some objects, like the gas canisters are really sensitive, so make sure they won't clip a fence on their way to a targeted building, unless you want a premature explosion in no man's land.
Release date: May/June 2011
The level begins with the game's star, Darius Mason (grandson to Alec Mason of Red Faction: Guerilla), fleeing for his life. He's just been duped into unleashing an alien horde from a mysterious underground shaft in a Marauder temple, deep underground on (in?) Mars. We never see any people, but we can hear them cursing Mason in the tunnels ahead as they flee from what he's let loose from the planet's depths.
The aim of this mission is to reach the surface in one piece. Even though Mason's only just popped the cork on the alien nest, they've managed to get everywhere ahead of him and made a good start at destroying everything and wasting miners.
The aliens might have a bit of a Dead Space look to them, as does the darker, claustrophobic setting, but seeing as they generally go down easily the comparisons don't last long. Red Faction: Armageddon is maintaining a heavy action vibe in place of any leanings towards survival horror. Your weapons will cut through most aliens so easily they're not scaring anyone to be honest.
Early on, a fine variety of monsters can be seen gnashing their way towards you in the dark. Standard greenish ones scuttle towards you (leaving them open to a context-sensitive melee strike), red ones like to hang off walls and spit fire at you, while another will teleport around you and charge up an attack with red lasers warning you of its imminent intent.
THQ and Volition Inc. have announced a firm release date for the next chapter in the Red Faction Franchise. Armageddon will be hitting UK shores on June 3rd, providing us with a very different experience than we're used to from the long-running series.Click here for more Red Faction: Armageddon details!
It's almost time to bid farewell to 2010, a year in which Bioware delivered space-opera at its finest with Mass Effect 2, where Rockstar reinvented the Old West with Red Dead, with Bungie shattering yet more records via Reach, and Black Ops finally proving Treyarch a worthy custodian to the franchise. It has, by and large, been a great year.
However, let us not dwell on the past, and instead look to the future. What should we begin hoarding pennies for and donating organs on the black-market to afford? With Spike's VGAs proclaiming Portal 2 as their most anticipated game for the forthcoming year, we thought we'd take a look at some of the other contenders and come up with our own list. 2010 was great, but 2011 looks even better. Don't believe me? Well, may I present the Top 10 Games To Look Forward To In 2011!
Origins' prolonged gestation resulted in a wealth of content but a distinct lack of polish. Dragon Age 2, on the other hand, with a fresh visual palette and updated combat, looks set to sidestep that particular accusation, as you shape the story of Hawke, a refugee, a soldier, a legend. You can't fault Bioware's ambition, and if Origins didn't prove them capable of spinning an epic yarn, Mass Effect 2 surely did.
Now I'm not much of an MMO man. Not by nature, but by choice. I know if I even set foot in Azeroth or whatever, in no time at all I'd be sat in a chair, nursing a paunch and atrophied leg muscles, one hand flitting across the keypad, the other wrapped around a can of Monster. However, I can't hide my excitement for Star Wars The Old Republic. I've even forgiven Bioware for not making a true sequel to the original KOTOR on the Xbox. I can't wait to shape my Bobba Fett bounty hunter with a penchant for Han Solo-style tomfoolery.See which other games Felix is looking forward to next year...
Bioware, the legendary RPG developers behind the Baldur's Gate, Mass Effect and Dragon Age games, has warned Japanese studios that their failure to innovate will cause their market to collapse. Speaking with Industrygamers, Bioware's Greg Zeschuk has thrown down the gauntlet: stating that Japan's reluctance to stray from the tried-and-tested JRPG formula was responsible for opening the RPG genre up to western developers in the first place...and we'll soon witness the evolution of the typical cliched Japanese RPG experience.
“I think what happened is they got very complacent for a very long time. They kept making the same thing... and, in a sense, almost provided an opening for all of us to jump in with our style of games. I think the other thing, too, is that the Japanese market has gotten quite a bit weaker and weaker. I think the traditional, very structured, old-school structure RPG wasn’t selling anymore; so now, I think we’re going to see some changes.”
“Any group, not referring to any particular one, [but] any studio or group, or any country that has certain development aesthetics, you know, from past times, that doesn’t continue to innovate will get left behind.”
That's a serious truth bomb from the Canadian masters of the linear RPG... but it's also a little hypocritical. Dragon Age was as generic as fantasy games can possibly get (seriously, there's a poetry-spouting Ent in there), and Bioware has produced practically identical games since the Infinity Engine days.
A small group of quirky, characterful heroes against a horde-based apocalypse? With slightly weak combat that's made up for by intensely powerful characterisation and stat building? That's every Bioware game ever (just with a different coat of paint each time around). With all due respect to one of my all-time favourite developers: they've got a good point, but I think they need to stop calling the kettle black. [IndustryGamers via VG247]
GameTrailers has granted us the first look at THQ's latest iteration of the Red Faction Series: Red Faction Armageddon. Considering Guerrilla's surprise success, you'd expect that they'd follow in it's footsteps- but nothing could be further from the truth.
Instead of expanding on Guerrilla's semi-freeroaming sandbox mechanics, Armageddon's trailer takes place in claustrophobic mine shafts, with players fighting off what appear to be a swarm of deadly aliens. Whilst there's plenty of time for Armageddon to impress us, it's a little worrying that Volition have potentially swapped their trademark Geomod environmental destruction for Dead Space-style horror. We'll be keeping a close eye on this one. [Gametrailers]
Square Enix has expanded on its frustratingly short teaser trailer with three solid minutes of epic CGI. The new trailer features cyborgs, mechs, riots and more gravelly-voiced generic badasses than you can shake Sam Fisher at.
Don't get me wrong: there's not a shred of actual gameplay here... but it's a great window into the Deus Ex 3's bleak future and tone. For my money, Square seem to have taken their cues from Shirow Masamune's Ghost In The Shell franchise- with a greater emphasis on overt cyborg augmentation and built-in weaponry (built-in minigun arms, anyone?). Oh, and some guy punches through a concrete wall to snap a guard's neck. Worth the price of admission alone.
So there's no gameplay and it's cheesy as hell... but if you're even a little excited for Deus Ex 3, you'll probably be foaming at the mouth in three minutes' time. Hit it!