ís level design is very much a linear affair, taking place almost entirely in underground caves and tunnels. This a far cry from the open-world mayhem on the surface of Mars found in its predecessor, Guerilla
. Aside from the more narrative-focused and deliberately-paced gameplay that entails, this also means there is less stuff to destroy, and letís face it, thatís what Red Faction
is all about. What good are all of your destructive abilities without a plethora of massive buildings to test them out on? Given the fact that youíre surrounded by immovable rock for 90% of the game, however, they do a decent job of cramming in a lot of dynamic objects and structures for you to play with, including explosive barrels and more flimsy shacks than you can shake your hammer at.
Probably the most major new gameplay element here, though, is the ability to turn the environment into a weapon. True, you could demolish garrisoned buildings and crush the bad guys inside them before, but now you can literally throw entire chunks of structure around using a nifty new tool called the Magnet Gun. It works by firing two magnetic projectiles that will stick onto almost any surface; the first goes on the object you want to move, and the second acts as the anchor, rapidly propelling said object in that direction. Combined with Armageddon
ís improved physics and [seemingly] more numerous debris, it is as awesome to behold as it is fun to use. It is a bit overpowered -- the thing has unlimited ammo and can also be used to pick up and throw enemies far enough to *SPLAT* on impact.
There are plenty of other weapons to play around with, as well, ranging from the conventional (assault rifle, shotgun, rocket launcher) to the outlandish (plasma cannon, nano-bot rifle, black hole emitter). Many of them are explosive enough to severely damage your surroundings, so if youíre climbing a rickety walkway above a bottomless pit, it might behoove you to use less obtrusive weaponry, such as the pulse grenade launcher (deadly against organic life but harmless to structures) or the rail gun, which can actually penetrate through buildings and other destructible objects without damaging them.
If thereís a problem with the arsenal in Armageddon
, itís that itís simply much too big for your inventory, which is limited to 4 slots. You can find arms lockers throughout the game that allow you to switch up the weapons youíre carrying, but even so, I found myself sticking with 2 or 3 favorites most of the time. Thereís also the fact that aliens donít drop extra mags, so you have to suspend your disbelief a bit at the premise of ammunition crates being scattered to every corner of the Mars underground.
You also have access to a host of other abilities, powered by the Nano Forge, which is a device worn on your characterís left arm. Along with granting you the companionship of AI helper SAM (Situational Awareness Module), its primary function allows you to repair or rebuild any destructible object in the game world. Surely youíve played Red Faction
before and blown something up by accident, wishing you could bring it back? Well, not only is that possible now, itís a necessity for some areas, whether a bridge you need to cross was inadvertently brought crashing down or a mission objective tasks you with restoring some machinery back to prime working condition. You can even use it to restore your cover midway through a firefight!
Additionally, youíll be using the energy stored within the Nano Forge to periodically execute some pretty sweet Jedi-like powers, such as a force push, personal shield, and overdrive/rage mode than greatly increases your offensive capabilities for a short while. Collecting salvage materials from destroying certain objects or exploration nets you a currency to spend at upgrade stations to enhance these abilities, along with your inherent attributes like health, accuracy, and reload speed. New tiers of upgrades are unlocked as you progress through the story and you can purchase them in any order (barring a few that have pre-requisites from lower tiers).