It turns out there is life on Mars, but not all of it is friendly
For those unfamiliar with the Red Faction franchise, this longstanding action series takes place far in the future, when mankind has turned the planet Mars and into a mining colony.
Previous games were notable partly because of the ability to blow up parts of the destructible scenery and partly because of the interesting storylines, which tended to revolve around a revolutionary uprising against an oppressive force.
In Armageddon, however, the plot shifts further towards sci-fi cliché with a story that centres on a rather forgettable main character who finds himself facing off against hordes of alien monsters, which invade the planet after an ancient artefact is discovered under the Martian surface.
Meanwhile, the series' unique selling point – namely its destructibility – is largely sidelined in favour of a more straightforward run-and-gun style of play. You can still blow things up but success rarely relies on doing so. Indeed, you may find that you end up using your ‘nano-forge' ability to rebuild things more often than you destroy them.
The open-world environments of the last game (Red Faction Guerilla) have gone too and what you're left with is essentially just another linear third-person shooter. Where Armageddon does succeed, though, is in providing the player with a powerful and often amusing arsenal of weapons with which to dole out the destruction.
As well as standard rifles and a space-age sledgehammer known as the Maul, you also get to wield the Singularity Canon, which fires mini black holes and the Magnet Gun, which allows you to smash things together – a bad guy and a big brick wall, for example – by shooting two attracting points onto opposing surfaces.
Several multiplayer options are available, including Infestation mode, which sees you and a selection of allies facing off against wave after wave of alien creatures. The game's graphics aren't hugely impressive and most of the environments you encounter are gloomy and familiar looking.
But, despite being a bit of a step backwards for the series in terms of originality, there's still plenty of fun to be had from Red Faction Armageddon – it's just not quite as revolutionary as some of its forerunners.
PEGI age rating: 15+
Read more reviews
A fun game, but disappointing in the light of previous Red Faction games' highs
Amusing and unusual weaponry; destructible environments
Story and characters are a bit formulaicReviewer
Updating your subscription status