|Release Date: December 10, 2003
|Also On: PS2
Last year, when someone said the word N-Gage, everyone cringed in fear of what was a horribly crafted game deck cell phone. It launched with some decent titles, such as games that IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve already praised, including Tony Hawk, Tomb Raider, and by December 2003, Rayman 3. Before Ashen was released this spring, N-Gage owners everywhere were hoping that Red Faction would be Ã¢â‚¬Å“theÃ¢â‚¬? FPS to own. That might be true, but it was also the only one to own on the N-Gage at the time. Now that thereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s competition in town, is Red Faction worth your dough?
For those of you not familiar with the roots of the original Red Faction back on the PS2, you play as Parker, a miner on Mars. His employer has long oppressed the miners, and itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s time for the miners to fight back in a rebellion like no other. YouÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll take to arms, with the only problem being, finding the necessary ammunition. YouÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll find that sometimes you will have to create your own entrance to a cache of weaponry, by exploding rocks that stand in your way.
Now, to get the project off its feet, the developers had a dilemma to solve. How do you take a PS2 title and port it to a system thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s capable of, at best, PlayStation-quality graphics. Their answer was you shrink it down to size, making caverns much more linear than in the PS2 version, but still keeping a sense of adventure. So the spirit of the game is in-place, but this isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t necessarily the PS2 port that you might have hoped for. If you want quality PS2 ports, look at Crash Nitro Kart.
Red Faction equips you with weapons to die for. YouÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll get a handgun, on top of the other standard weapons that we are all used to. Better are weapons that really canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t qualify as weapons, but more as lethal gadgets. Remote sticky bombs will create an explosive death for any unlucky fellow that comes in its path. This is also a good way to clear a wall that might be in the way of needed supplies.
Our Martian philanthropist is controlled much better on the QD than I expected. ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not to say that it couldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have been improved. For instance, youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll need to stop when looking up or down and firing, then when youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re ready to move again, youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll be repositioned back into a central camera position. Strafing seems to be the most efficient tool in your movement arsenal. Strafe with 4 and 6, fire with 5, and jump with 2. The jump button is sometimes forgotten, and repositioning it might have made our attempts in the game easier.
Had I been allowed to test the multi-player elements of this game, I might have been able to recommend Red Faction for a purchase. As it is, the single-player campaign might be solid enough for FPS advocates, but for the general gaming public looking for a game that will make you want to own a QD, look at Ashen instead.
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|Written by Kyle