GeoMod 2.5 provides the backbone of the destruction engine and you can see the improvements over the previous iteration. Things come apart in a more realistic manner now and there are less impossible physics moments to break the feeling of immersion. Objects have their own weight, mass and structural integrity. It works really well.AI
AI for the most part is decent in the game; it doesn’t really re-write the tactical book or anything but the enemies are aware of various options. They can make a good use of cover and some of the other enemies are very good at zipping from one place to the next, flanking you, and dropping in when you least expect them. Most of the rank and file enemies are easy to put down, but there are a few that you’ll need good tactical skill to take out if you want to come out of the battle unscathed.Sound
The sound design for the game is pretty good, it’s atmospheric and the various interior locations have their own audio ‘theme’ that helps establish that atmosphere. The exterior of Mars is a hostile place driven by high intensity dust storms and catastrophic weather changes. You don’t see it often, but the sound design works really well in those areas. Music
A decent score accompanies the game and helps to not only drive the narrative, but add to the tension during combat and explorations. Voice
The voice acting in the game is pretty good, there aren’t many missteps or slip-ups with the dialogue and you can hear some familiar game voices in there. Darius is a pretty likeable character overall and his AI companion SAM keeps him on the straight and narrow, with some choice logical comments. It’s all well acted in that respect.Dialogue
For the most part the story is well written and the dialogue is fairly solid. There are a few clichéd moments but they are part and parcel of this genre and especially of science fiction in general. There’s nothing here that put me off the game at all.Multiplayer
The game features Ruin mode and Infestation. You can play these as single player modes if you desire, but the fun is in getting to grips with 3 other friends and the support characters from the main story in Infestation Mode. Thirty waves of bad guys that keep on getting nastier and nastier are the enemy in Infestation. You have to play 8 main maps, split between Survival (hold out for as long as possible) and Defend (hold out and stop the enemy from destroying key points). If you succeed in doing this, you’ll unlock Dark versions of these maps that make it even harder with flashlights being the key.
Infestation is a chaotic fun mode that has a lot of potential, with friendly fire automatically off, the game’s weapons are able to let rip across your friends and spamming them with others creates some truly insane situations. You don’t need to unlock the weapons either, since they’re based on your single player unlocks.
Ruin mode is like Wrecking Crew from the previous game, except you have one minute to destroy as much stuff as possible, before the other player takes a turn. This mode wasn’t as much fun as Wrecking Crew and it pales in comparison to Infestation. I think I’d rather have seen some more done with Infestation than Ruin’s inclusion this time around. It’s a nice little frosting on the cake, but not part of the cake itself.
Multiplayer worked well enough and there were no lag issues to speak of.BOOM goes the remote charge
The storyline has been played out before, this one is told pretty well though and it’s not a bad game at all. Red Faction: Armageddon has potential and there aren’t really any game breaking bugs either. Yet there’s something I can’t quite put my finger on with the game, something that stops it from getting a higher score. It could be because without the game’s GeoMod 2.5 I don’t think we’d give it much of a chance, regardless of how the gun combats play out or how well the AI challenges you. There’s something glorious about destruction on this kind of scale and that’s what Armageddon has going for it. Without it, we’d be looking at generic third person shooter #321 and we’ve got way too many of them already.
It’s a game worth getting if you want a change from the previous sandbox and still want to blow things up bigtime.