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Red Faction
Preview By: Joe Rolfe
Developer:   Volition
Publisher:   THQ
Genre:   FPS
# of Players:   1-2
ESRB:    Teen
Release Date:   May 2001
Posted:   02-06-01

As more and more first person shooters flood the gaming market, the less unique and genuine they become. While many are of high quality, very few actually revolutionize a certain characteristic. Ion Stormís genre-busting game, Deus Ex, has been the only title since Half-Life to truly change the way we look at an action shoot-emí-up. Volition, creators of the brilliant space sims Freespace and Freespace 2 (and the under whelming Summoner), is looking to change all that with their upcoming shooter, Red Faction.

     

Red Faction, even at an early stage, is looking like it will set the standard for FPS games, just as Volitionís Freespace titles did for space shooters. While many developers today try to grab our attentions with updated visuals in their FPS games, Red Faction is looking to impress by means of a revolutionary gameplay design. Although the graphics will surely be fine on their own, Volitionís Red Faction will introduce us to the Geo-Modô Engine, a model that allows for real-time arbitrary geometry modifications, which permits complete environmental destruction. But what does this mean to you, Joe Gamer? In the most simplest of terms, it spells that, for the first time in recent memory of games, the gamer can now break down and destroy walls, barriers and whatever else may be a geometric obstacle in the game. Not only is this an insanely cool feature on its own, but the prospect of how it affects gameplay is extraordinary. Now gamers will not be confined to endless halls and tunnels, as with a simple click of a rocket launcher you can punch through the adjacent impediment, poke through and blow the hell out of whateverís on the other side. Pretty damn cool.

The best shooters have always had the best storylines, and Red Fraction looks to be no different. Volition created epic masterpieces out of Summoner and Freespace 2ís plots, so Red Faction appears as though itís sci-fi tale should keep most hardcore gamers enticed from start to finish. The official scenario line is this:

"The player assumes the role of Parker, a worker toiling in mines run by the Ultor Corporation far beneath the surface of Mars. The miners are suffering from inhuman living conditions and a strange, deadly disease called the Plague that is suddenly sweeping through their ranks. The miners' anger and resentment are ready to boil over, and the player provides the spark that starts a rebellion against Ultor. The player's goal is to stay alive long enough to bring down Ultor and solve the mystery of the Plague. This journey takes him from gritty subterranean mines to Ultor's pristine science and nanotech labs to the surface of Mars and even onto satellites orbiting high above the planet."

The game will be spaced over 20 levels, including the deep seas of Mars, underground caves and even the home base of Ultor Corporation itself. Volitionís hoping to expand upon different shooter formulas, applying multiple level approaches to the game. Objectives pertaining to stealth, action driven and cooperation involved will all be included into Red Factionís model.

     

Also being implemented into Red Faction is the use of transportation. Doing Starseige Tribes one step better, players will be able to hijack five different vehicles, being of land, sea or air traveling. Submarines, air fighters and even ATVs will be available, each equipped with their own weapons for an added effect.

On top of this, Red Faction will undoubtedly come readied with varied means of an arsenal. Features 15 weapons of mass destruction, each with its own secondary firing capability, the gameís lineup of firearms and whatnot will include rocket launchers, riot sticks, rail guns and heavy explosives. Along with the weapons, Red Faction shares a spot-on location based damage system, ala No One Lives Forever and Soldier of Fortune, providing for realistic enemy damage. While there is no online support planned for the game (mainly due to Sonyís broadband network will not be up and running yet), Volition is planning on instituting a 2-player deathmatch mode plus Geo-Mod specific objectives.

If Red Faction is the next evolutionary step in FPS is yet to be seen. Itís got the visuals, the story and, obviously, a very exciting and interesting approach to gameplay to warrant it as a "Must Have" PlayStation 2 title by default. Anyone looking for the next revolution in first person shooters or possibly just an exciting new action game would be foolish not to keep their eyes on Volitionís Red Faction.

Red Faction is also heading to the PC.

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