Red Faction 2
The Red Faction continues to bring death and devastation to the very heart of Sopot City. Is this all-formats sequel a match for other FPS titles out now?
Xbox, PS2, GCN
By Rick Larson
There are tonnes of first person shooters on the market today, ranging in quality form absolutely amazing to downright dull. Red Faction II lies somewhere in the middle. This is a game that really tries to be an excellent, but there are some key areas where it seems to fall short. Not everyone may get in a tizzy about the few problems, but they are clear enough to keep this game from being a great FPS.
RF2 leaves gamers with the role of an elite super solider known as Alias. One of the many elite soldiers made by Chancellor Sopot, his nano-technologically advanced soldiers were made to do all of his dirty work, but they were so powerful that even Sopot feared them. He ends up declaring that all of the super soldiers are to be killed. Alias and his five other teammates are all that is left of the army - they're known as the Commonwealth, and have vowed to destroy Sopot for is evil deeds.
Alias, being the hero of RF2, needs plenty of weapons to get through this fast paced FPS. In terms of gameplay, things are pretty solid. The levels will keep gamers at the edge of their seat in many cases, as they try to battle hordes of enemies all coming for their head. The massive amounts of weapons offer plenty of variety to keep players entertained while destroying their enemies. As the game progresses however, some new guns will overshadow the rest, rendering many of the other weapons useless.
To mix up the gameplay even more, RF2 throws in several types of vehicles Alias can control. There are levels where gamers will fly through the streets in the torrent of a jet. In another, a submarine is available for exploring the depths of a hostile ocean. Tanks are also available for plowing through the streets and wreaking havoc throughout the city. Then there is my personal favorite, the SOP-MA1 Battle Armor. This Armor is basically a small mech with dual gattling guns and shoulder mounted rocket launchers. These vehicles are very welcome to the gameplay but don't control very well in some cases(namely the sub) and are often available for only brief periods.
The graphics in RF2, are nothing amazing. Many of the character designs are impressive, but would have looked much better with some nicer graphics. The graphics seem to just lack polish. There are hardly any lighting or shadow effects, little to no bump mapping, and the textures seem very plain. The ability to blow away walls and objects is a nice touch but feels very limited. Only walls that need to be destroyed or have some hidden ammo are destructible. I often found myself shooting one wall and making a hole and then moving only a few feet to find an indestructible wall. It is still a nice feature though, and is fun to mess around with.
There are only a couple small other complaints. The sound in RF2, is basically just there to be there. It's nothing special, and some of the voice acting is poor. Loading times are also a huge problem. About every ten minutes of playing, the game ends up having to load. This can get very frustrating. The only other real complaint is that the game is far too short. Its multiplayer will add on a few extra hours, but the main storyline will only take gamers only a few hours for two or three days to get through. There are several unlockables but nothing that will pull gamers back into the game for a few more tries. If these problems could be touched up the game would have been a major hit.