Released only a few years after the original Half-Life., Red Faction is a game that similarly tries to replicate the immersive storytelling found in Valve's 1998 classic. Here the player is trying to escape from a colonized Mars where workers are treated poorly and are dying from a mysterious disease. Similar to Half Life the game has no loading screens past the initial load instead pausing periodicly to load the next area. Also similar to Half Life, the game is made up of one large complex as opposed to smaller levels. The story is divided into chapters and up until a halfway stealth section it is totally possible to walk from the players current location back to the beginning location of the game.
The game's claim to fame is it's geo-mod technology. In short, this means that players can destroy parts of the game environment. For example, if the player keeps shooting a wall with a rocket launcher, a large hole in the wall will form which can be transformed into a tunnel if the player continues. This technology can also be used tactically by the player. For example, if a large number of enemies are walking over a bridge, the player can plant explosives on the bridge, then detonate them when enemies walk over the bridge. Another use might be if a player comes across a locked door. Instead of searching for a way to open it, if they have explosives, they can simply destroy the walls surrounding the door.
Red Faction offers the typical deathmatch, team deathmatch and CTF multiplayer modes for the PC version. Although the gameplay is fairly standard - involving weapon and armor pickups, powerups and respawning weapons throughout the level - the Geomod can offer some interesting variations. For instance a player can tunnel into the walls using mines and rockets to get a high vantage point to snipe other players or camp with explosives. Another way Geomod can be used effectively is to create alternate paths to travel through in Capture the Flag. Unfortunately, because of vulnerabilities in the code, various forms of modding and cheating could tarnish the experience
The game is set on Mars in the year 2078 and Earth has been completely stripped of its natural resources. To feed Earth's ever increasing demand, mankind has colonized the red planet in order to mine a valuable mineral called Noachite.
However, the Ultor Corporation, the company overseeing the mining operations, has effectively enslaved its workers, who it dupes into working for them through effective advertising. Dangerous working conditions, disgusting living quarters and a constant shortage of food along with the Plague, a mysterious fatal disease with no known cure running rampant through the mines, prompts the formation of an underground rebel group, the Red Faction.
Eos, leader of the Red Faction rallies miners by putting up pamphlets and posters that condemn Ultor, blames them for the Plague and warns miners to be prepared to revolt against their oppressors. They are put up faster than they can be taken down and the tension escalates. Soon the whole situation becomes a powder keg just waiting for a spark to ignite the revolution.
You play as Parker, a miner lured to Mars by the promise of adventure and to escape his parents' control over his life. On the way back to the barracks after the end of his shift, he witnesses an argument between a guard and a miner. The confrontation quickly turns violent and you are suddenly caught in the middle of the miner rebellion.
Parker is contacted by Hendrix, an Ultor security technician who despises Ultor and wishes to help bring it down. He informs Parker of a group of miners that are attempting to leave Mars on a shuttle in the docking bay. Parker arrives to see that he is too late and the shuttle takes off without him, but is destroyed by a missile barrage from Ultor's extensive defense network.
With no choice but to keep moving, Parker goes to an abandoned mine sector. Eos contacts him and tells him that he's the only miner to make it this far and she needs his help. After sabotaging a geothermal power plant, Eos instructs him to infiltrate an underwater complex via submarine to find Gryphon, an Ultor deputy administrator who might know something about the Plague.
Gryphon is sympathetic to the Red Faction's cause and agrees to meet with Eos. Parker escorts Gryphon to a garbage disposal facility by a fighter craft where Orion, a Red Faction lieutenant, will take him to answer Eos' questions. Gryphon reveals that the man behind the Plague is Capek, Ultor's chief scientist. Parker infiltrates the medical and science labs posing as doctor and finds Capek.
Greeting Capek with a hail of gunfire yields no results, as the mad scientist is protected by a nanotech shield and escapes deeper into his compound. Parker ventures through Capek's zoo which houses all of his freakish experiments and test subjects as Capek mocks him and even thanks him for starting the rebellion as no one would notice a few more missing miners to conduct experiments on.
Parker makes it to Capek's secret laboratory in Mars' icecap and is assisted by Eos in taking him down. In a final desperate move, Capek sets the place to self destruct while explaining that there is no hope left. Eos orders parker to get out while he can and send a distress message to get help from the Earth Defense Force while she tries to get the cure for the Plague.
Still uncertain if Eos survived the explosion of Capek's lab, Parker reaches the communication center and uploads the distress message to the EDF despite having to face an elite group of mercenaries Ultor had in reserve. However, Ultor's defense network must be brought down, including a space station controlling a grid of laser defense satellites before the EDF fleet arrives or else it will be surly destroyed.
Parker sabotages the planetary missile defense system and races to a spaceport through the tram tunnels where Eos contacts him and confirms that she survived the explosion and recovered the cure for the Plague. Parker makes it to the spaceport and becomes a stowaway on an evacuation shuttle headed to the space station. Once on board, he overloads the station's reactors and heads back to Mars in an escape pod.
Back on the surface, the mercenaries have raided the Red Faction headquarters and are killing miners and guards alike and plan to destroy the entire complex to hide Ultor's wrongdoings. After a brief stay in captivity in a mercenary prison, and being freed by Red Faction members, Parker reaches the main mercenary base and meets Hendrix and the few miners left.
On the way to disable the mercenaries' bomb, Hendrix is killed by explosives planted in a control room by the mercenary leader, Colonel Masako. With no time to mourn, Parker continues on and fights through the remaining mercenary defenses and finally confronts the Colonel.
After defeating the Colonel, Parker finds Eos tied up next to the bomb with the countdown already started. He manages to defuse the bomb in time and the EDF fleet arrives to mop up any Ultor and mercenary remnants. Eos explains that the cure for the Plague is being distributed to all the sick miners and will be history by tomorrow. She tells Parker he's a hero and should relax and enjoy it, start dating or maybe find a new job.
USB-4 Ultor Riot Body Shield: A Sturdy yet lightweight translucent riot shield. that can withstand firearm and explosive impacts for a short time before it breaks. Can also be used to bludgeon enemies that get too close.
UAP-32/20 Ultor Submachine Gun: Used by Ultor security guards, the automatic fire rate can decimate enemies at close range, but not much else. It can be toggled to fire a magazine of either thirty 12mm rounds or twenty 5.56mm rounds.
UAS-10 Ultor Automatic Combat Shotgun: The ultimate close quarters weapon, used primarily by Ultor riot guards. It fires 10 gauge buckshot shells in automatic or a pump-action double shot.
UAR-42 Ultor Military Assault Rifle: The standard issue rifle for Ultor officers, it packs a hefty punch, but lacks accuracy at long distances. Fires 5.56mm ammunition in full automatic, but can also fire in more accurate three round bursts.
USG-50 Ultor Sniper Rifle: Comes equipped with a UNVS-8 scope with up to 12x magnification and pin point accuracy. Add that to the .50 caliber rounds it fires and you have an incredible killing machine.
UFT-1 Ultor Flamethrower: Primarily intended to clear out rogue plant growth, however, a new, more hostile, use was discovered with the Red Faction's revolution. In a pinch, the fuel canister can be detached and thrown as an incendiary bomb. URL-6T "Big Earl" Ultor Tactical Rocket Launcher: Intended for mining, yet great for combat. The "Big Earl" fires 15cm high explosive rockets in either "dumb" or a heat seeking "homing" mode in which the thermal sensor must take some time to acquire a lock-on.
URC-15 Ultor Remote Mining Charges: A high explosive detonation charge more useful for terrain destruction than actual combat, although it can be attached to enemies with hilarious results.
UHG-90 Ultor Offensive Hand Grenade:
Highly explosive thrown hand grenade. Can be set to detonate with a timer or on impact.Favorite weapon of the Mercs, it offers a deadly mixture of power and accuracy, but limited magazine size. Fires 5.56mm explosive ammunition and comes with a scope.
MK/SG-1 Defender Precision Rifle:
JF60-HMG/BF Heavy Suppression Machine Gun: A large belt-fed machine gun used mostly by Merc officers. Capable of heavy sustained fire, what it lacks in range and accuracy, it makes up for with a massive ammunition count and damage output. Shoots the 7.62mm round.
FCA-26 Magnetic Rail Driver: Uses magnetic acceleration to project a metal slug at high speeds to penetrate walls and multiple enemies. Comes equipped with a scope capable of seeing through walls to deliver a surprise to unsuspecting foes around the corner.
F-1TL Fusion Rocket Launcher: The ultimate explosive weapon, basically a miniature nuke. Eradicates everything within the blast radius in what is known as "overkill".
On the PS2, Red Faction was well-received with a Metacritic average of 87.92% and an 88 on Metacritic (based on 60 and 25 reviews respectively). The PC version was not quite as well-received, criticised for its poor net code amongst other things, with an average of 77.8% and 78 on Metacritic (29 and 19 reviews). Both the mobile phone and N-Gage version were panned by critics.
After the success of Red Faction, a sequel, Red Faction 2, was produced and released in October 2002. Red Faction: Guerrilla, the third game in the series, was released in June 2009 with Red Faction: Armageddon coming soon. A spin-off was planned for the Wii titled Red Faction: B.E.A.S.T. but has been canceled.
- Operating System: Windows® 2000/XP
- DirectX Version: DirectX 8
- Processor: Pentium II 400 MHz or greater
- Memory: 64 MB RAM
- Video Card: 3D Graphics Accelerator Card (8MB)
- Sound: Direct X Certified audio hardware