For me, there is usually not a game I can pick up, and play, at any time, for any reason, after I have beat it a handful of times. Granted, I have only beaten this particular Red Faction once, I still pick it up all the time and play. Let’s begin with the story. You are on Mars (No, there are absolutely no aliens, nor any sort of hint towards aliens), and you are a miner, as is everyone else on the planet. Except for the EDF (The Earth Defense Force). Simply put, these guys are the baddies. They shoot you. In the beginning of the game, you go to collect scrap metal with your brother (scrap metal is a form of currency on Mars. What a great economy, right?), and the EDF come along and kill him in a completely emotionally devoid scene.
I am a very emotional man, but I shed nary a tear for this unheart-wrenching scene. The rest of the game is rather devoid of a good plot, but with a game like this, it is not that necessary. The goal of the game is to defeat the EDF, so Mars is left in the control of the rebel mines, the Red Faction. This is a sand-box game, where you can run or drive to missions, and complete these missions to gain control of certain areas, unlock new weapons, areas, or gain scrap metal. Missions also allow you to raise the morale in a certain area, and decrease EDF control in an area. When morale is high, the rebel forces on Mars are always willing to join your side in a battle against the EDF, no matter how big or how small. When the morale in an area is low, it’s just you out on that battle field, buddy.
The missions are somewhat repetitive, but the game throws many things into the mix to keep you on your toes. There are always new weapons, vehicles, or enemies to contend with. You can only carry four weapons with you at one time, and one must always be a hammer of some sort. This leads me into my next point. The hammer, and all the other various weapons allow for quite a fun time destroying buildings, cars, people, etc., around Mars. The ability to destroy an entire building is quite a feat, and very entertaining at that. I find myself picking up this game a lot just to enable all the cheats and run around destroying buildings, cars, bad people, good people; basically whatever I can find that can be turned into a pile of rubble or body parts.
The cheats in this game are unlockable, and wonderful at that. Of course, you cannot enable the cheats and expect to be allowed to save the game, that would just be silly. The cheats allow you super human strength, super health, unlimited ammo, and max morale. This makes for a wonderfully fun time, because you are given free control. You can kill who you want, do what you want, and destroy what you want. It’s a great way to let loose when you’re tired of actually doing what the game asks of you.
The driving is wonderful in this game. I have actually played this game before on a lazy Saturday afternoon just to drive around. High speeds can be reached, and hitting jumps, or people, is always entertaining. You can take any car you want, even one that is driving. Just hop in front of the car, and when they stop, get in, and they’ll get out. You can take enemy vehicles, as long as they are not occupied. There are controllable robots in the game that are capable of smashing and flinging anything that gets in their way, which is possibly one of the most entertaining things in the game. Up until a few days ago, I assumed that as a player, you could not drive a tank unless it was part of a mission. I was wrong. All a played needs to do so is find the weapon that allows them to see through objects, and snipe out the driver. I felt like I had watched my own child be born when I figured this out, but 100 times more elated. The tank can destroy anything with a large barrage of missiles. And explosives are always fun. The actually game play is very entertaining; and missions range from assisting the Red Faction in defeating EDF forces, to following a car and killing the passenger as he steps out.
The game has a pretty diverse range of missions, that never fail to entertain the player. At points, the game can be frustrating. On the final mission, I most likely died at least 100 times. The game balances everything out very well, making for a wonderful game. The story may be lacking, but the game makes up for it with an amazing array of weapons and vehicles, and a very interesting landscape. The characters in the game are pretty well thought out; especially the marauders: A secluded group of what seemed to be crazed escaped scientists. They produced my favorite weapon in the game; the shotgun. The shotgun also may be the best weapon on the Red Faction live.
The online play for Red Faction is great. Allowing for different types of play, such as destruction or just flat out killing, the online play offers a great variety of weapons, levels, and options. All in all, the online play is very entertaining and well thought out. Well, that about covers it. That’s my opinion on the game. I would give the game around 7 and a half to 8 stars out of ten. An awesome game, and on Mars too!