Red Faction II - PC - FPS
Year of release: 2002/3
Development House: Volition
Game score: 41 / 100
Graphics: 3 / 5
Sound: 4 / 5
Gameplay: 2 / 5
Concept: 3 / 5
Execution: 3 / 5
Controls: 4 / 5
Enjoyment: 3 / 5
Replay ability: 1 / 5
Difficulty: 2 / 5
Learning Curve: 5 / 5
Patch version: 1.01
Bugs: 1 / 5
Modability / Community support: 2 / 5
Well, if there was ever a need for a court case in determining that console ports generally suck, this game would probably be a key witness in it. The fact that it's not even a very good game anyway doesn't help RF II at all. Plus, it's an object lesson in making a poor sequel.
Here's what would probably happen:
Prosecutor: Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I am here, representing the millions-strong gaming community of the world, to prove that Red Faction II is
a) a poor game in general
b) a poor port of an average console game
c) a waste of time
d) CDs make really good coffee coasters, and look good when placed in a microwave oven.
These will be proved BEYOND ALL REASONABLE DOUBT.
For my first and only witness, I call the Gaming Public to the stand.
Now, Mr. Public, would you not agree that generally console ports fail, unless it is a well-known game, or a really good game?
Public: Absolutely, I mean, the first Red Faction wasn't that good, was it? It was good for a few hours, but that's it. Geomod has it's place, but RF certainly didn't pull it off that well.
Prosecutor: So, in other words, RF II was doomed to fail?
Public: Well, no, what about Halo? That did well, even if it was a fairly standard shooter on the console. So we were willing to give RF II a chance. That was probably our first mistake.
Prosecutor: Indeed. Could you please tell those present, in your own words, exactly what the problems are with this game.
Public: First off, there's the story, I mean how many times have we seen stories of super soldiers wanting revenge on a dictatorship? Heck, even just the story over OVERTHROWING a dictatorship. It's been done more times than Disney have made crappy sequels to their cartoon movies, or World War II games. It's so last century.
Then there's the gameplay. Speaking of Halo, actually, it's a cheap knockoff. You can dual-wield some weapons (only with each other, mind) and lob grenades, of which there are multiple types, but this smacks of rip-off right from the start. It also gets pretty damn boring very quickly, as you mow down enemy after hapless enemy. It's not even funny after you've killed Faceless Guard (TM) for the umpteenth time. And don't get me started on the vehicle sequences.
Prosecutor: Please elaborate.
Public: They're more on-rails than a metropolitan train system. About as tedious, boring and painful too.
Prosecutor: But surely there are some redeeming features to this game.
Public: Nope. RF II also commits all the cardinal sins of console ports too, like unnecessary unlocking of "secret" stuff, I mean, do you really want to see the average models, weapons etc. in the game again? Although the concept art is interesting. Then there's the console saving, which is frankly criminal in a PC game. There's no need to insult our intelligence like that (cries of "quite right", "agreed" and inexplicably, "You can do it!"). Not to mention the stupid "Honour" meter that has no effect other than giving you a certain end movie, rather than any real gameplay benefits or challenges. The fact that those movies weren't even any good doesn't help.
The only thing's we're willing to concede is that the action is fast, frenetic and occasionally enjoyable. The sound and music does rock.
Prosecutor: Anything else you'd like to add?
Public: We want our two hours back, although we're thankful this sorry excuse for a game didn't go for any longer. The CDs look cool on the Christmas tree though, after a spell in the microwave.
Prosecutor: Your Honour, the Prosecution rests. Can I also request that Volition and THQ pay for the repairs to the building, after the Gaming Public was forced to squeeze in here?
*Resounding "Yes!!" as everyone quickly leaves*
Bottom Line: Shite (with a capital 'S')
Good stuff: The action is kind of good. Music and Sound. Occasionally atmospheric.
Bad stuff: Same old, same old, about a thousand times over. Unoriginal. Poor graphics. Crappy story with crappy ending. Utterly linear.
Reviewer System Specs:
Video Card: ATI Radeon 9600 XT at 1280x1024
Sound Card and Speakers: On-board 2:1 speakers