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Are you going to buy an Xbox One X This Holiday Season?

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Game Profile
Cranky Pants
GENRE: First Person Shooter
PLAYERS:   1-4
March 31, 2002
Red Faction: Armageddon

Red Faction: Armageddon

Red Faction: Armageddon

Red Faction: Battlegrounds

Red Faction: Battlegrounds

More in this Series
 Written by Jeff Milligan  on May 25, 2003

First Impressions: They're a faction alright, and wouldn't you know it, they only wear red.

Being released early on in the Playstation 2's life, Red Faction was a solid title that combined a great storyline with amazing single player and multi-player first-person action. It was also the originator of the Geo-Mod technology, a feature which was partially responsible for the game's overall success. Late the next year, Red Faction II debuted on the PS2 and shared the same success as its predecessor. Now almost a full half year after that, RF's breaking its chains from Sony's world and is blasting its way to Nintendo's realm with a release on the GameCube next month.

For those who are unfamiliar with the game, Red Faction 2 is a First Person Shooter (FPS) with lots of neat-o features and a decent storyline to match. Basically you're in a group of six pissed-off soldiers who want nothing more than to eliminate the corrupt dictator of the Commonwealth, Sopot. The game doesn't tie into its predecessor a lot, so if you never got a chance to play the original Red Faction you won't be missing much.

The squad of six soldiers that makes up the faction is one motley crew, very similar to the dirty half dozen in Commandos 2: Men of Courage. Each soldier has their own respective skill or attribute, and the matching attitude that goes with it. You control Alias, the team's explosives expert and all around nice guy. There's also Tangier, a sleek and deadly assassin; Shrike, your man who can basically drive anything with wheels (and some things without); Quill, the man without guilt who likes to take aim from afar with his sniper rifle; Repta, the human cannonball that packs lots of heavy artillery; and Molov, the team's leader and brains of the operation.

Of course, no FPS can be considered truly great without a boatload of crazily named, highly dangerous weapons, which RF2 surely has under control. Besides your every day CSP-19 semi-automatic pistol and CAS-14 automatic combat shotgun, RF2 features some of the baddest weapons since Axel Foley's microwave oven/machine gun in Beverly Hills Cop 3. You'll be able to get your hands on such weapons as the W.A.S.P. (Wide Area Saturation Projectile), MKAP-97 Anti-Personnel Weapon, and everyone's favorite, the CMRD-32 Magnetic Rail Driver. RF2 also allows you to equip 2 weapons at a time, depending on the size of the gun.

The sequel also brings back one of the greatest, and also one of the most original features of the original Red Faction, the Geo-Mod technology. Geo-Mod allows players to break through almost everything in your path with explosives, whether it be walls, floors, or doorways. This feature was light-years ahead of it's time in the original Red Faction, but unfortunately wasn't executed properly. Now that Volition has had some time with it, they seem to have how it should be used properly under control, and have better incorporated it into RF2.

RF2 GC will also sport a few multi-player modes, a category that the original Red Faction handled, well, terribly. Modes will include deathmatch, team deathmatch, capture the flag, and team capture the flag. Each mode will allow up to 4 players to battle it out split-screen style. Naturally with the hardware capabilities of the GameCube, no multi-tap adapter will be needed. Even you friend-less wannabes out there can play in the multi-player modes, as RF2 will allow you to create and battle up to five computer controlled bots in all of the above listed modes.

Although Red Faction 2 will be a direct port of the PS2 version, there are a couple things that have been either changed, or upgraded. The first of the new updates is the games graphics. The slow frame rate and low resolution of the PS2 version has been corrected for the GC, and even a few ?custom animations? have been added according to THQ. Players will also have to get used to using the GC's controller, which we have learned is not the weapon of choice for FPS games. Although, this minor problem can easily be alleviated with a Playcube.

Final Thoughts
With games like Timesplitters 2 and Metroid Prime already released, the GameCube's FPS lineup has a solid base for sure. With the addition of a solid title like Red Faction II, it could grow to one of the best among the next-gen consoles, which is no easy feat. Look for Red Faction II to blast its way to store shelves April 2nd.

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