Red Faction

Futuristic first-person shooter. You are a miner on Mars working for a bad bad company called Ultor. One day the miners decide to revolt against the company and that’s when you pick up your first pistol and start fighting your way out of the Ultor mines.

Release Date

September 2001.

Pros

There is a nice tutorial that takes you through how to play the game. But it does assume that you know basics of first person shooter games like WASD for movement.

The Geo-Mod game engine allows for some environmental destructibility. The destruction is nowhere near the amount of Crysis or Stranglehold but it is still cool how you can blow away the wall when the door is locked.

There is a good assortment of weapons including the usual, shotgun, rifle and rocket launcher. But also has other unusual weapons like riot shield and tazer baton. The weapons are quite realistic. Just because you have the crosshair on the bad guy, it does not mean that your shot will hit. And also do not expect to hit anything at range with the shotgun.

You get to drive vehicles like submarines and jeeps and also get to use turrets! There is also a floating fighter type aircraft where you fly through tunnels like Descent.

The level designs vary from combat in wide open spaces to corridor shoot outs.

The story starts out slow and boring but then picks up as you go deeper into the game. It is actually quite interesting. Not as good as Bioshock but is better than Doom3 and Painkiller Overdose.

The AI is pretty good but not the best I have seen. Red Faction’s AI is actually quite similar to Bioshock’s AI in that they will try to hide if under fire and then come out again after a while. Just like Bioshock though it is quite predictable sometimes. They will hide, then come running around the same corner again if you wait long enough. This doesn’t happen all the time but it does happen.

There are mods for Red Faction. Check out Red Faction View.

The multiplayer component is also excellent. The Geo-Mod engine really adds to the fun and variety of the game. Each map starts out pristine but soon enough there will be holes in the ground and walls have disappeared and you cannot hide behind there anymore.

Cons

Although the main scripted speeches are voiced alright, the generic comments made by the generic people sound quite poor.

I find the music weird. Maybe they were trying to capture the atmosphere on Mars but it was just too weird for me.

Other Points

This is one of those rare games where I actually have the graphics set to maximum. That is because it is quite old (2001). An old but good game.

This is not a simple run and gun game. The weapons are realistic and the AI knows how to use them. Sometimes you have no choice but to run and gun and other times doing that will get you killed very fast. there are also stealth sections of the game where you have to keep your silenced pistol hidden and try and sneak around. You can use the the pistol if necessary but then you will have to hide the body and turn off the alarm (or wait till the alarm switches off).

The multiplayer component is quite fast paced and the realism of the weapons means that you either kill or be killed very easily.

Unfortunately at the time of writing this, not many people play online anymore.

Biases

Reviewed version 1.20.

I really liked Serious Sam, all the Doom games and Quake 2.

I also really liked Bioshock, Alien Vs Predator, Soldier of Fortune 2, S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Shadow of Chernobyl and Call Of Duty 4.

I also liked Battlefield 1942, Delta Force and Spec Ops 2.

I have completed the single player story campaign.

DRM

I do not think there is any DRM. The disc is not required in the drive to play and there is no serial key to enter.

Patches

1.20 – No comment.

Pure Faction 3.0 – a community made patch which adds a lot of good functionality to Red Faction including automatic map downloads for multiplayer, larger resolution settings and server creation assistance. Highly recommended. This patch is also required if you want to play on Windows 7 64 bit.

Minimum Requirements (as stated on the box)

  • Windows 95/98/ME compatible computer system with DirectX 8
  • 500 MHz Intel Pentium III or AMD Athlon Processor
  • DirectX 8.1 (included on disc)
  • DirectX 8.1 compatible 3D Hardware Accelerated 16MB NVIDIA TNT1 or ATI Rage 128 video card
  • 128 MB RAM
  • 8x CD or DVD drive
  • 2 Gb of Free Hard Disc Space
  • DirectX 8.1 compatible sound card
  • 100% Microsoft compatible mouse and keyboard

Computer Played On

  • Core 2 Duo 2.16GHz
  • 2Gb RAM
  • ATI Radeon X1600 256Mb RAM (laptop version)
  • Realtek HD Audio(no idea what model) with laptop speakers or Logitech ClearChat Premium PC Headset.
  • Win XP Pro
  • Graphics settings are set to whatever I feel comfortable with playing on this PC. They are usually not set to the highest settings. All screenshots are taken with my settings.

Handy Tips

There is a bug where you have to press a button to lower a submarine into the water. But if you play with a newer PC (including my specs) the submarine will explode instead of going into the water. A solution is to enable VSync in the Video Setup. I normally play with VSync off, but after I hit this bug, I turned it on and left it on.

Red Faction works on Windows 7 64 bit, but you need the Pure Faction patch to play it.

Recommended Mods

HIVE – This is a weapon mod that modifies all the standard Red Faction weapons. The single player campaign can be played right through with this mod. It also comes with an awesome minigun! To play the HIVE mod on Windows 7 64 bit, you must first install the Pure Faction patch. Then backup the file RF.exe. Make a copy of the file PF.exe and rename the copy to RF.exe.

 

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