In the future, mankind will fly away from Earth and go straight to Mars. In there, they will be doing a lot work like for example, exploitation resources on Mars. As things go smooth as it should, there will be that one guy who like to ruin everything on Mars. Who’s the guy I’m talking about? I’ll talk with more detail about it in the next paragraphs.
Human likes to rebel, rebel against cruel governments, against wars and anything. And oh, that is happening on Earth, in the future, we will start a rebellion on Mars. What a progress! A rebellion that started by the Red Faction. A first-person shooter game developed by Volition and published by THQ for PlayStation 2 and Windows in 2001.
The story takes place on Mars around the year 2075. Where you play as Parker (a combination of James Bond, Gordon Freeman and Terminator), a miner who leads a rebellion against Ultor Corporation, a company who runs the mining operation on Mars. The miners are mad at Ultor because of how they treated miners like a slave, living under poorly conditions and no human rights. Even worse, a mysterious disease called “Plague” has killed a lot people on Mars.
So, Parker has to fight his way to get the antidote from Dr Capek (this is the guy ruins everything on Mars), who also created “Plague”, nanotechnology and some bizarre experimental monsters. Seriously I’m happy this guy died. Along the way, you will be guided by two people via radio chatter, Eos, leader of the Red Faction and Hendrix. After that, you have to fight a mercenary leader, Masako (Japanese girl? Yeah even I also shocked when I heard it) that tried to stop you from defusing a bomb. The story ends with Earth Defense Force fleets reaches to Mars (after you sent the signal to them) to stop Ultor Corporation once and for all.
This game use the Geo-Mod engine which allowing a player to make a destructible environments. So, if the door was stuck and won’t open, you can just blow up the wall next beside to the door with your explosive charges. You also can make an alternate routes with it. So, basically, this is like an earlier version of Battlefield 3 Frostbite Engine.
On the first level, the Geo-Mod was shown very well on how its performed and the player can play around with this engine because the first level, you are in mining underground tunnels, so there were a lot of rocky walls that you can blow up. However, this engine were less implemented on the very next section of the game because you will be entering places like science labs, secret bases and communication tower. Places like that are using a lot of metal walls, so you can’t blow it up. If there’s a section that you can blow things up, it is scripted, so is not like the first level where you have a freedom to use it. Is a little bit shame, but still a unique taste to the game which will inspired games like Black (PS2) to use destructive environments, but not as hardcore as Red Faction because you also make a hole on the floor.
Gameplay is like any other standard first-person shooters, you will have health and armor pickups. Jump and crouch. It also has auto-aim, but you can disable it. It has manual aim which also function like zoom, it’s hard to use on PS2 but maybe easier on PC. You can carry all weapons that you come across to and each weapons has a secondary fire. From 12mm pistol, auto shotgun, electric baton, shield to rocket launcher. My favorite weapons is assault fire which can fire burst and full-auto with great looking design like assault rifle from Aliens movie. Rail gun which can shoot through wall with a single hit and you also can die instantly if the enemies use the same weapon. But at the very end of the game, when you fighting against elite forces, the only weapons that can kill them faster is Percision rifle, Heavy machine gun and Rail gun. Is like they abandoned all the other weapons, making them feel like useless. You can still use gun like assault rifle to kill elite mercenaries, but is going to takes a lot of bullets.
There are also a vehicle sections where you can drive a submarine, a car mounted with machine gun, mining vehicle and a tank mounted with machine gun and missiles. The annoying part of this game is the stealth section, where you have to disguised by wearing a different clothes to enter Ultor’s building. All your weapons got taken off, leaving you with just a silenced pistol and on this section, you can’t pick up enemy’s weapons, which is weird. They said you can’t be nearer to guards because they will recognize you, but how nearer I should be avoid is not describe with well. I ended up just killing everyone in the building with my silenced pistol. So much for stealth.
Graphics is a bit dated but I understand this is a 2001 game. The graphics are like from Quake 2 engine. The animations are consist of polygons but still managed to runs smoothly. The cutscenes are a little bit way off with a wrong camera angles at some places and also the lip sync are not synchronize well. Despite all of that, I can still accept the graphics limitations.
AI in this game can be deceiving to a player at some point. Their behaviors can change according to your actions. Like when pull out your gun to a civilian, they will say “Wait! I’m on your side.” But then when you turned away from them they will run and shout “Help! Guards!” And then press an alarm button. Dammit! Rookie mistake!
The enemies also can cheat on you like when they know they will die. They will “fake surrender” by run away from you and say “Please! Don’t shoot!” But they run away to silently reload their gun before they start shooting back at you. So it adds a little bit interesting and challenging to a gunfights.
Music are composed by Dan Wentz, the sounds are more using synthesizer instruments which fits well with the atmosphere and the tone of the game. Giving the feel of the game more Sci-fi and futuristic. Even the animations are not that good, but the voice actors in this game are doing a pretty good job. But man oh man, the screams voice from the civilians is the best in this game, I don’t why but their screams is like there are really in pain a lot.
To wrap this up, this game has a decent story with a good gameplay and atmosphere. Sure the graphics are low but this game provides a campaign a playtime up to 5 to 8 hours or more if you choose a higher difficulty. It gets more challenging as you reach to a higher level. Good variations of weapons and a Geo-Mod technology. If you want to play some good old FPS, you might want to pick this up. Give it a try, you might like it. You can pick this game now on Steam and also for PlayStation 4 on PlayStation Network.
Music and sound: 4/5