Destroy & Repair In Red Faction: Armageddon

Use the Magnet Gun! For everything.

When the teaser trailer for Red Faction: Armageddon appeared last month it looked a bit odd. Set underground, it looked rather troublingly like a corridor shooter. And after the magnificent Red Faction: Guerilla, it would be such a shame to see the series take that turn. However, the five minutes of game footage revealed at Comic Con show something else entirely. I was still worried for the first minute or so – claustrophobic setting, and stupid crawly-creatures to laboriously kill. And then the man utters the magic words: “Magnet Gun”.

Cover your mouth when you yawn, young man.

It’s a gun that grabs any piece of the scenery, and then throws it violently toward anything else. Which means you can throw a chunk of bridge at your enemy, or use bits of one building to destroy another. Because destroying buildings is still key. Here something called the Infestation has rendered some buildings infected with Martian badness, so it’s your job to demolish them. That’s what we want to hear.

The weapons you can see demonstrated below seem splendid, and reveal the next twist. You can repair that which you have destroyed, using this tactically as defence against onslaughts.

I’m still deeply concerned by the volume of enemies. Tiresome, ragged attacks from irritants, triggered by the game’s primary fun – destroying things. So all destruction will carry the taint of an inevitable fight with what even the developer appears to struggle to kill. Hopefully they’ll balance this correctly in time for the March 2011 release.


  1. Alistair says:

    Just finished Guerilla courtesy of the Steam sale. $5 I think? Ridiculously good value. I’d better pay more for this so I’m not exploiting them. The whole underground thing was a bit worrying, but the predecessor was such an assured effort that I’m likely to give them the benefit of the doubt.

    • Radiant says:

      Crap it was $5?????

      How did I miss that?!

    • Carra says:

      This reminds me that I’ve bought the game half a year ago for €10.

      I should play it… once I finish SC2 and the dozen other games I still want to play.

  2. mlaskus says:

    Hmm, what did that mech do in a mining facility? And why didn’t anyone use it to defend it in the first place?

  3. blunders says:

    “However, the five minutes of game footage revealed at Comic Con show something else entirely.” I was hoping the gameplay video would reveal some more sandbox-y goodness, but this still seems very much like a corridor shooter. I can’t listen with audio; were the developers saying otherwise?

  4. Walsh says:

    No, no they were not. They’ve said they are pulling back on some open worldness to ‘focus on the story’. Look buddy, your story is automatically not good as soon as you said sleeping aliens hidden underground for thousands of years.

    Why are so many developers so stupid with their sequels lately? Take everything that made the game a hit and change 75% of it!

    The only proper sequels it seem are Assassins Creed 2 or L4D2, take the core gameplay of the previous game and improve it with new stuff.

    • qrter says:

      The moment I read the word ‘aliens’ in a preview, I just laughed.

      They could’ve done an interesting story with Guerrilla, about what it means to be a terrorist, are your actions always justified, and so on, but they dropped the ball completely on that. And then they went for aliens. Ridiculous.

    • Alexander Norris says:

      Yeah. I’d’ve rather they’d just made another game like Guerilla or even a straight FPS as long as it was set on the surface of Mars and they actually hired someone who’d done any kind of political theory studies at all to write for it. The plot to RF:G was godawfully retarded (“hey! Let’s reclaim Mars for the colonists by destroying absolutely all of the crucial infrastructure that we can’t rebuild without materials and technology imported from Earth!”), but they could have actually made it something worth remembering if they’d actually dealt with the bloody game’s theme instead of using it as an excuse to run around like an idiot.

      Anyway, “oh no the surface civilisation was destroyed and everyone is living underground now!” and “oh no aliens who’ve lived underground for centuries!” just completely turn me off to this. The aliens even look shit to fight. Magnet gun’s pretty funny, though, but they’ve given it an ammo limit.

    • FunkyBadger says:


      Or, RD:G is a sophisticated critique on the ongoing situation in Afghanistan and how its going to play out, i.e. oppressive forces beaten off and all the natives living in caves.

  5. Mad Doc MacRae says:

    While the magnet gun looks super great, I think it would be 100x better as a weapon in Red Faction: Guerilla

  6. Bru says:

    It’s not just lately. The same thing happened with the first Red Faction sequel. There was an amazingly good game built basically on the premise that you could create holes in walls to make your own path. Single player was awesome… but where the game really shined was multiplayer.

    And then Red Faction 2 came out. Oh, it still had places were you could blow up a wall or two, but that wasn’t a primary focus. And multiplayer? What? You mean that you can’t play online? And that multiplayer was really just you vs bots? They took what was good about the first game and ripped it out. Reaction from players was so bad that I was honestly surprised when Guerilla was announced. I thought that the Red Faction name was dead and buried.

    Here’s hoping that this one is better than it currently looks. The franchise can’t live if only the odd number titles are good.

    • Urael says:

      Actually, the single-player in the first game was something of a wasted opportunity, too (I never tried the multi). The early levels contain sections you could carve through with explosives and rockets, and a few guard-posts to destroy, but the game left all that behind in favour of office complexes with curiously indestructible walls. Volition seem to have always struggled to make full use of their gimmicks, meaning gimmicks is all they’ll ever be.

      They should just stick to making genre-defining space shooters, imo. ‘Bout time that legendary series got a modern dust off, eh chaps?

    • Arhum says:

      I would like to also add (besides the 100% correct point of utterly NOT making any FUN use of the blasting holes in stuff and restricting it far too much) that a game that when I aim at a head, shoots that gunshot 50 miles the OTHER way and then pretends that’s realism(while excavating half a mountain without a single collapse is, too, of course) can go and suck my *beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep*.

      Srsly, shoot where I aim. It’s not a 3 klick sniper shot with wind speed and earth curving calced into it, it’s me shooting a guy I can see standing behind a Jeep with a gun. If I point a gun in real life and pull the trigger, the bullet goes straight. MAKE THE SHOT GO STRAIGHT GOSHDARNIT.


    • FunkyBadger says:

      Isn’t it 95% of gun fights actually happen within 10 feet (handguns that is). Pistol shooting is not easy – doing it on the run, even less so…

  7. Dee-G says:

    Dare we hope that Volition pull their fingers out of their ass and acutally make a good PC port for this?

    It’s a bit much to ask given their past performance, be we can hope…again.

    • oceanclub says:

      “Dare we hope that Volition pull their fingers out of their ass and acutally make a good PC port for this?”

      I can’t see it happening: RF:G and SR2 were two games with great possibilities ruined by poor porting and awful engines. It’s even more glaring when you see a game like Just Cause 2 and realise what a good PC port based on a good engine is capable of. But hey, they might surprise us.


    • Freudian Trip says:

      Not sure what the whole dillio with the port is. Having played a pirated and a legit version both worked with no problems whatevs…

  8. Flameberge says:

    Hmm, not convinced. However, a burning question:
    Hammers or magnet guns?

  9. RobF says:

    The last couple of missions on RF:G were so utterly wasteful I wanted to find Volition and give them a slap around the chops.

    You’ve got this ace let’s knock seven shades of crap out of things with a hammer thing going on, awesome levels of carnage from blowing buildings up and what do the last couple of missions entail?

    Spoilers follow, obv.

    A defend a tiny fragile console one where someone farts near it and it explodes, a shitty mini game that plays like some sub par “my first Flash game” toss and then you’ve got the finale. Where you run to a pipe and blow it up. A pipe.

    For crying out loud, Volition – are you stupid? Why was I “improving my destruction skills” constantly if I’m not going to get to use any of them in the finale and instead make a mad dash for a pipe? Who thought a pipe was a good idea anyway? That’s not epic, that’s a pipe. Pipes are rubbish.

    The storyline was shit, I didn’t care – I had a big hammer to knock buildings down with. Why wasn’t I given the biggest building I’d ever seen to knock down instead of something that barely made any sense just to wing it into a rubbish plotline?

    And it looks like they’ve gone off and done it again with RF:A only over a whole game this time.


    • Hidden_7 says:

      Where you forgetting the bit where to get to the pipe you drove a big missile platform on wheels that had unlimited ammo at waves of ineffectual enemies as everything exploded around you, or did that just not do it for you?

      For me, that moment was the culmination of the game’s ethos throughout. It was a game about stuff exploding, so in the final mission the MOST stuff exploded.

      Or wait, was that the flash game reference you just made? Or was that about the shooting stuff with the orbital cannons?

    • FunkyBadger says:

      Too true – and the bit with that bridge just when you get to the last area, that was brilliant, and so unplaned…

  10. Cvnk says:

    Yes, destroy the empty building so the convoy can pass. That is some good story writing there. So glad they decided to focus on that.

    Any are those aliens pressurized or something? They have a tendency to pop when they die.

  11. Jetsetlemming says:

    I can see why they aren’t going open world again: The open world elements were pretty much pointless and the game would’ve been better served flowing more like RF1 with the same engine and gameplay elements, just going from one awesome mission to the next. All the open world in RFG does for you is let you take on the side missions in the order you want, which means “go do all the fun explode stuff ones, and then reluctantly do the story missions/escort missions/fedex missions for progress”.

    • Arathain says:

      I love the open world thingy. It means I can approach RF:G however I want, doing a bit of what I fancy at any given moment. It also gives me space to plan raids; setting up getaway vehicles and scouting out my route is a fun aspect, for me. It also makes the world feel more responsive and alive organically.

    • Zerotonine says:

      I loved the open-worldness of the original too, it gave you the opportunity to try out the checkpoint races, or the destruction challenges, or those vehicular stampings any time you wanted. Also, it was also a playground where you can just load up on hardware and go nuts in some of the more populated areas just for kicks.

      There’s also something to be said about doing missions in a coherent world, instead of purpose made levels. I’m still looking forward to this, but I am disappointed that they’re not continuing on the same track. RF:Gs multiplayer was a hoot as well.

  12. MartinNr5 says:

    Not impressed. Looked like a GoW wannabe with an interesting gameplay mechanic (Magnet Gun).

  13. KingCathcart says:


  14. pipman300 says:

    oh awesome instead of being more terrorism ON MARS goodness we get boring aliens. hey you know what are good aliens to fight against? earthlings. like the ones you fought in guerilla. get off my planet!

    more pseudo-communist stories about fighting back against capitalist oppression or commiting acts of terrorism freedom fighting against the american edf oppressors less generic THEN ALIENS HAPPENS crap

  15. Rond says:

    Set underground, it looked rather troublingly like a corridor shooter. And after the magnificent classical shooter Red Faction, it would be such a joy to see the series take that turn.

  16. Heliosicle says:

    Heres betting that after the first few levels you can no longer effectively use the magnet gun.

    Also, I’m pissed that they didn’t make a proper sequel.

  17. poop says:

    its a bit of a shame that the red faction series is always gonna be cursed to be really boring shooters with a neat distruction gimmick on mars

  18. Wreliq says:

    So, wait… did everyone else happen to miss the very first part where Mr. Whatshisface mentions that you play as Blahblah McBlah, son of Blabbityblah, who will be the star of Red Faction Origins, “airing this spring on SyFy (*shudders at the name*)” ……So not only is Red Faction a quasi-shite game franchise, it will now be a (quasi) shite TV show/SyFy original movie..?
    Volition.. please. I beg of you. Remove head from ass. Make new Descent game. Or at the very least another Descent: Freespace game. Anything else but this shite.

    • D says:

      Heard it, was also surprised. link to
      “The two-hour “pilot” movie (meaning it’ll be a series if it does well) takes place between the Guerrilla and Armageddon games, focusing on Alec Mason’s last surviving son Jake, who fights against a new human army dedicated to destroying the Red Faction.”

  19. Man Raised By Puffins says:

    The prod, stick with the prod. The prod. Hammers!

  20. Hazelnut says:

    Hmm, great news that they’re doing another Red Faction game because I’ve been playing RF:G since the weekend and it’s just about the funnest game I think I’ve ever played. Not the best game ever, but such a damn hoot to play. I’ve never been able to get into GTA or SRow2 (which is a terrible port) but loving this. And I want more…

    Unfortunately, this doesn’t look good to me. The video showed a boring, annoying game. The sandboxyness of RF:G just enabled tooling around (as a space asshole) or doing missions or driving or helping the nutter on the three wheeler depending on your mood. Yes the story and npc interactions are poor/non-existant and this is what they needed to improve, but putting it underground – no no no!

    How can I see how high I can jump before barrelling my dumper truck straight into a EDF gun emplacement if there’s a ceiling?

    Hope this lis better than the video makes it look, because Volition have a customer here after RF:G. If you don’t have this game yet, just get it! :)

  21. Dominic White says:

    RF:G had one enemy type in the whole game – Man With Gun, who has the weakness of Being Shot In The Head, and nobody complained.

    Now they add a variety of alien monsters, and already there’s complaining about it being generic and monotone.

    Why does Man With Gun never set this reaction off?

    • Mman says:

      To be fair, a bunch of the reactions (including the main post itself) seem to be more to do with most of the Aliens looking like irritants based on the video. Not that there doesn’t seem to be plenty that seem purely some knee-jerk reaction to having Aliens despite Man With Gun being just as generic.

      It would be nice to get some clarification on how open it is. Then again, my favourite parts of RFG were the tighter, more compact areas with interlinking routes and less random wilderness (the first part of Eos sticks out as easily my favourite section), so if they’ve cut down on the sandbox parts to be more focused I can’t complain much.

    • D says:

      Auto-Turret, Man with Turret on APC and Annoying Helicopter – I think were also present. Generic you might say, but it’s an honest kind of being unoriginal. It sticks to what we know from the real world and can easily imagine, and so I don’t see why that should cause a fuss. Especially combined with all the non-generic parts of RFG.

  22. Phinor says:

    This looks even worse than Guerrilla which is quite an achievement. That gameplay looked dull, very very boring. Nothing interesting going on. Much like Just Cause 2. Why do I dislike most shooters so much when other games like HL, HL2 and Crysis are my favourite games ever made?

    • Jakkar says:

      Phinor, you’re incredibly. You love shit and hate my favourites ._.

  23. terry says:

    I have to say that not once in RFG did I yearn for a gun that put things back together.

  24. Juhkystar says:

    Concur! I just smashed this whole base into tiny pieces with my bare hands! I want to see a glorious cacophony of twisted steel and concrete littering the countryside, not play Extreme Makeover! What’s next, an interior decorating gun?

    • Juhkystar says:

      Ugh, does replying to anything but your own post auto fail?

  25. DarkFenix says:

    I don’t really care about the removal of RF:G’s open world. The game just didn’t feel like it worked well with it. The crippling limitations of their geomod 2.0 meant you never got more than a small collection of small buildings to destroy. No skyscrapers, no towns. Long story short, the open world was barren and lifeless and felt as though it was working against the game rather than with it.

    With smaller interior environments I hope they can play to geomod’s strengths.

    That said, the game lost my interest the moment aliens were mentioned. Then lost more of my interest when I heard more about the aliens’ circumstances. My interest just hit negative values after watching that trailer. Hordes of knee-high skittering monsters/aliens have never been a good idea and never will be.

    • Walsh says:

      What, maybe you missed the challenge where you had to take down a giant steel tower with like 5 shots of your nano gun. It took me forever to figure out that one.

      Or destroying some of their giant sprawling bases with the super mech, which btw irritated me to no end you could never find it just laying around. You run through like 10 largish buildings in a hot second with that thing. Goddamn teases.

      Volition is just terrible with sequels (except for Saints Row 2 on the dirty console), Mercenaries was glorious, Mercenaries 2 was an abomination of stupid design changes.

    • Dominic White says:

      Erm. Volition had nothing to do with Mercenaries. You’re thinking of Pandemic.

    • DarkFenix says:

      You mean that tall skeletal structure with no actual substance to it? The one that arbitrarily said “you can destroy this, this and this, but those parts are invincible”. Oh please.

      I didn’t want silly (and often partly luck based) puzzles about bringing down a few small buildings. I want it to give me powerful toys, give me a decent urban environment and let me go nuts (without trying to ruin my fun by sending the ‘cops’ after me at that).

    • Walsh says:

      Oops you are correct re: Pandemic, got my wires crossed. Such is my fury against stupid design changes in sequels

  26. Urthman says:

    Are you sure the “magnet gun” doesn’t actually work using zero-point energy field gravity manipulation?

    • 1stGear says:

      Except that have almost nothing to do with each other except for the part where things get pulled around.

      Oh RPS commentators. Never change.

    • Jake says:

      Fucking magnet guns, how do they work?

      Also I think the magnet gun can repair stuff, not just magnetize concrete to alien face, so really they should just call it the Magic Gun and have done with it.

      I would love to see some kind of extreme hide and seek mod, where you tear the planet apart seeking someone who is hiding in a crate they made.

  27. Lewsid says:

    I posted this on joystiq to a similar thread and most seemed to disagree with me. I think you guys will be more sympathetic…

    Red Faction: Guerilla is one of my favorite games of all time. This new one they’re working on sounds like garbage. I loved the vehicles and the open world. I don’t know any other game where you can apply a half-dozen sticky bombs to a truck, drive it off a ledge, and slam it through a god-damned building, then leap out and detonate what’s left. The faction missions were a lot of fun too – starting little skirmishes that erupt into full scale battles in an effort to take back territory from the EDF actually had real in-game purpose.

    I don’t need monsters to shoot at to be happy. If I wanted dark caves, physics guns and aliens to shoot at I could go play, well, almost any first or third person title of the past 6 years. Almost; there’s always Guerilla to play.

    Guerilla is a truly fun sandbox experience and I’m beyond depressed that they are removing all the things that made the franchise great, for everything that makes every other franchise run-of-the-mill.

  28. Marcin says:

    This looks terrible. Loved the first game and played the crap out of it, even delving into multiplayer (which I rarely do) just to get more of that awesome open approach to objectives and the world.

    This looks so amazingly generic, it’s like they learned nothing about what made the first game unique. Did Dead Space really sell so many units that they had to copy everything from it? The foot stomp, the vaguely spiky bug aliens, that horribly close-in over the shoulder FOV … and dark industrial settings. URGH, I say, URGH.

    Also, while he’s laboriously setting up those magnet traps, why don’t those things just walk over and rip out his spine? I’m not asking for “realistic” behavior or anything, but some consistency to your basic combat rules would be nice. Nothing made sense about that gameplay. :/

    I guess I’ll replay RFG again. That’ll show’em!

  29. andy says:

    they should have stayed with EDF as soon as i heard aliens i just thought another company had bought volition and had started adapting Red Faction.
    They could have at least stayed at least 50% to the Red faction story.

  30. nazulan says:

    HEY guys i got a great idea. Lets shove the game under ground, and take out free run, and make aliens that pop when you shoot them! oh and lets make it the end of the world too were it will be nearly impossible to make a sequel too!!!