Red Faction II
After the success of the futuristic miners strike that was Red Faction it was always a strong possibility that a sequel would be on it's way. Volition enabled the gamer to make their own way through a FPS in more ways than one. On numerous occasions you could simply blast your way through if a locked door was in your way. It may not sound like much of an innovation but when you think of the programming and physics model that volition had to come up with to make this possible, it's pretty incredible. Add to this the fact that Red Faction was also a good FPS and you have the ingredients for a very popular title.
The story for the sequel is as follows. The Commonwealth has been under the grip of it's dictator, Sopot, for the last 15 years and finally the people have decided it's time for a change. Sopot has relentlessly tried to unite the country with the United Republic and in doing so has spilt the blood of many of the Commonwealth's inhabitants. A squad of super soldiers set up to fight for the Sopot have become disillusioned and have decided to remove him from office, permanently. You play as one of these super soldiers who, at first works for Sopot but almost right away begins fighting for the Red Faction with the goal of wiping out Sopot.
Just as before most of the environment is destructible so again you can more or less make your own way through the missions. This time an autosave feature has been included to save your progress mid-mission which is a very welcome feature indeed. With a choice of around 15 different weapons and the ability to commandeer a selection of weapons it's fair to say that Volition have spiced up the gameplay. Multiplayer has half a dozen modes to keep upto four players happy. The only downside of the game from a technical point of view is that it's far too short and most will complete it within a couple of days.
In many ways Red Faction 2 is a great FPS, despite it's length. The controls are well mapped out and feel comfortable. Force feedback has been used well and the framerate is pretty solid. The graphics are probably not the best seen on the PlayStation 2 but they are OK and do the job well. The explosions have been done well too but you'll find that the disintegrating scenery is all a bit to angular to look realistic.
What does let the game down for deaf gamers though is the heavy use of speech in the game and for the most part there is no text to relay all this information to the deaf gamer. Pressing up on the direction pad will inform you of your objectives and you are notified onscreen if your objectives have changed. Some information is given onscreen but it simply doesn't compare to all the verbal conversations that are going on. Needless to say this damages the experience for deaf gamers, which is a shame because Red Faction 2 is very enjoyable. The game does use indicators to show where the enemy fire is coming from though which is always helpful.
All things considered Red Faction 2 will come as a disappointment to deaf gamers because of the lack of unsubtitled speech. In terms of gameplay only the length of the single player game let's it down, but with three difficulty settings and a host of multiplayer modes this can be forgiven somewhat. If only Volition had subtitled the game we would be looking at a considerably higher mark.
Game Rating: 6.0/10