After only a short time of making a big name for itself on the PS2, Red Faction has arrived on the PC. Unlike the shoot 'em up genre on the PS2 the PC has a good amount of top quality titles and it's going to have to be pretty special to attract gamers' attentions.
So Red Faction is up against some stiff opposition then, so what's it got that's so special? Well the answer to that is Geo-Mod technology. In case you're wondering Geo-Mod technology is the ability to modify the geometry with your weapons (or in plain English the ability to blast your way through walls and doors whenever you like). To a large extent this works well but there are limitations as to what you can blow up so you could say that it's not 100% realism but it is a step in the right direction and a big improvement on current FPS games.
The story behind the game revolves around the Red Faction's resistance to the sinister Ultor Corporation in the mines that are beneath Mars' surface. Your character is Parker and it is your job to find the Red Faction leader and eliminate the Ultor Corporation. On the whole the quality of the story is quite good and encourages you to progress through the game.
The gameplay is of a high standard and it has to be said that Volition have paced the game well. The difficulty is also graduated extremely well. In the first couple of levels the enemies are not too challenging but as you move into later levels you'll notice a realistic amount of strategy in the way the enemies behave and it becomes challenging to say the least. A major plus point with the game is that you never feel like you've hit a brick wall and are completely stuck. It never takes too long to work things out and this prevents the game from becoming off-putting and keeps you interested in progressing.
Graphically Red Faction is on a par with the other FPS games on the PC. While it doesn't better Quake 3 or Unreal Tournament, the graphics are well defined and overall they are as good as anything else in this genre. The weapons are highly varied and of good quality (with a special mention for the sniper gun) and the explosion effects are superb. The breaking glass effect is absolutely first class and the best seen in any game to date.
In terms of value for money Red Faction is first class. Unlike the PS2 version the PC game has a level editor as well as a multiplayer mode. Upto 32 players can take part in team deathmatches across a LAN or the Internet. The editor is the same one Volition used to create the game so the only limit imposed on your creations is that of your imagination and creativity.
A main attraction for deaf gamers will be the fact that Red Faction uses subtitles to guide you through the game. The subtitles are good but occasionally you stumble across a conversation with a NPC (non-person character) and this is not subtitled. On the odd occasion you will come across someone who will ask you to follow them or release them from their confinement and this too is not subtitled. All in all it's a mixed bag for deaf gamers. When it comes to the crunch though I would say that Red Faction is OK to play as the important info is subtitled and if you press the 'M' key a list of the previous messages can be accessed if like me you usually forget what you're supposed to be doing.
Red Faction is a highly enjoyable FPS and well worth the asking price for any fan of the genre. The subtitling could have been a little better but it is a rarity in this type of game and it is a welcome addition.
Overall Game Rating: 8.3/10 An explosive FPS that's well worth the asking price.
Quality of text: 6.5/10 The main messages are subtitled but there are some useful conversations left unsubtitled.
Graphics:8.5/10 As good as most FPS games.
Interface:9/10 A standard FPS interface that is instantly familiar.
Gameplay: 9/10 A top quality FPS with the addition of being able to explode you way through some problems.