Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.
The game that killed the franchise. Red Faction: Armageddon was Volition’s only real failure, a sequel to the stunning Red Faction: Guerilla, but one that failed to pick up nearly enough sales. THQ ditched it, and then moments later went under, the rights passing (along with Darksiders) to Nordic Games (who will likely sit on both like ancient dragons, jealously guarding their treasures and never letting anyone else ever touch them again). But you know what? It wasn’t too bad.
The biggest crime of Armageddon was that it just wasn’t as good as Guerilla. The comparisons were inevitable and just, and in them it fell short. In many ways it fell short by being a surprisingly different game, taking the former open-world ultra-destruction and setting it in an underground corridor.
Still, bloomin good corridor shooter, with quite extraordinary levels of destruction – and indeed in this outing, construction. Best of all is the magnet gun, which lets you attach any two things in the game world (building, enemy, vehicle, etc) to another, and have them violently collide, meaning you can ignore all the weapons and just smash stuff throughout.
I think, five years on (how, HOW?), it would be a much better game to play now, simply because there are no expectations of it beyond what it simply is – something it couldn’t possibly achieve at the time of its release. And you’ll have a darned good time if you do.