Top critical review
2 people found this helpful
on 17 September 2014
You play as Darius Mason, grandson of Martian Revolution hero, Alec Mason. The surface of Mars has become inhabitable and a barren wasteland. A fanatical Marauder priest tricks Darius into reopening a mysterious shaft in an old Marauder temple. This awakens a long dormant race of Martian creatures. Darius is blamed for the incident and must team up with the Red Faction to save the people of Mars.
Darius is a more interesting character than Alec Mason was, although that doesn’t say much for the overall character development. The story is a lot more focused than RF Guerrilla, the simplistic plot of saving Mars from a deadly alien race will not win any awards, but it does enough to ensure the action heavy gameplay is at the forefront of the experience.
GRAPHICS & SOUND
If you were hoping to see more sand swept vistas of Mars’ surface then you can just hold your excitement right there. Gone is the open-world design of RF Guerrilla; say hello to a streamlined
linear shooter. Level design can tend to suffocate you and lead you towards a specific goal, or some gameplay sequences can leave your surroundings wide open and really make your life hell. A majority of the game you will spend underground, journeying from mines to alien settlements. The environmental design will take some getting used to; many of the caves are dark and lifeless.
I quite liked the character model of Darius; it’s refreshing to see his body revealing damage as he blasts away through countless aliens. There are a variety of alien types too, smaller ground troops, invisible hunters and huge beasts are just of the menaces that will do anything to get a piece of your ass. Sound design is very strong, the weapons sound absolutely fantastic and extremely powerful. Voice acting is generally good, though Darius is the standout contributor here.
The underground environments allow for some unique level design, but these are not on the scale they could have been. The soundtrack isn’t very memorable, there are a couple of pieces of music that help motivate the gameplay, but overall it is underplayed.
There are a variety of ways you can kick alien ass. i always felt that the balance of weapons in RF Guerrilla was its underwhelming feature. Thankfully, that particular area has been rectified and we are free unleash i some very tasty tools of destruction The highlight of your weapons arsenal will be the Magnet Gun, a personal favourite and pushing destructive gameplay to new heights. The first shot will fire an ‘anchor’ which will stick to any metallic/stone surface. the second shot will fire an ‘attractor’ onto any surface or enemy, this will then violently drag the anchor and its objects towards the attractor’s position. Many of the other weapons have been carried over from the previous game, but the selection is expansive and differentiated. The Singularity Cannon is another weapon of true beauty, unleashing black holes towards enemies. engulfing them and then imploding with immense power.
The Nano Forge ability helps you to repair damaged structures instantly, it can be used to get across broken bridges or a means of fixing faulty components. I guarantee it’s something you will use often, especially when you become more attached to the Magnet Gun. Darius also has some offensive and defensive abilities that are derived from the Nano Forge’s power. This ability is known as impact and it provides our hero with some pretty cool techniques. Shockwave is a violent blast that knocks enemies away with ease; it’s a very effective way of getting yourself out of tight spots. There are other abilities to unlock through the upgrade system. The upgrade system is pretty deep, it will improve the abilities of your Nano Forge, strengthen your weapons, increase your health etc. Feel free to take a break and hop into one of many oversized mechs to continue your destructive spree. These sequences provide a breath of fresh air and really allow you to go nuts! There are a variety of suits/vehicles to control, these machines are extremely powerful and you can expect a lot of resistance when taking on the bad guys.
Enemy Al. is generally very good; the aliens are very agile and constantly move about the environment. Larger enemies don’t fall easily, they can also use kamikaze attacks in a desperate attempt to take you out. It’s always wise to keep moving too, aliens can infest areas with birth pods. which rapidly produce more of these freaks. There are also alien spores that can strengthen the enemies; these have to be destroyed quickly to ease up the onslaught.
After you’ve blasted your millionth alien, it can all start to seem familiar; furthermore, some environments lack in imaginative level design and hamper the ability for you to manipulate some destruction. The finale does seem like an anti-climax. the potential was there to incorporate a truly epic final battle.
The Geo Mod 2.0 engine looks better than ever, but the environmental design is confined to a tighter leash. The campaign will clock in at around 10 hours. It’s a relentless experience, but the open-world setting is sorely missed and would have worked wonders upon the final product.