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Review: Red Faction Battlegrounds

Posted by on April 22nd, 2011 | 0 Comments | Tags:

Vehicular combat? Sign me up!  Super zoomed out isometric viewed hard to control vehicular combat without much single player?  Wait…no wait, I didn’t mean to sign up in pen…

Red Faction Battlegrounds is a decent looking game, with lots of varied environments with destructable components littered throughout.  Taking place on Mars (supposedly) the story goes pretty deep.  You’re a cadet and you undergo a series of training missions.  These 1 player missions consist of things like racing around maps in tanks, atvs, and walkers collecting flags, surviving endless hoards, defeating waves of enemies, and destroying targets.  All of these missions involve time windows which you try to beat so as to earn medals and rankings on the online leaderboards.  The majority of the training missions can be beaten in under 3 minutes.  I bested all 16 in about an hour.

While playing through the training missions, my instructor would give me a basic remark after each completed level depending on what medal I got.  The text reminded me of Forrest Gump.  Depending on how you did on these missions would also score you XP that would go towards progressing ranks.  With each rank you gained, you’d earn some kind of bonus, be it better ammo for a certain vehicle or a new vehicle entirely.

Now these training things weren’t awful, I enjoyed them for the most part.  Thing is, after you’re done with them, you’ve completely beaten the single player component.  That’s it, onto online or local multiplayer you go.  I jumped online and got in a game.  Here some of the problems with this game’s design become more evident.  The combat isn’t that deep, besides the basic guns on your vehicle, you can pickup motion mines, remote mines, and a singularity bomb (which is the coolest thing in the game).  There are also other power ups but these are more defensive such as speed boosts and armor.  Maps are too claustorphobic to handle any advanced tactics in blowing up your oppoenents.  Essentially each 5 minute round of deathmatch is a never ending chain of kill the person who just killed the previous person.  Combat breaks down to who can draw first, and hopefully survive the other players’  beat down until they die.  No advanced strategies here, just aim at your enemy (or destructable oil barrel next to them) and fire away.

There are also other gametypes like capture the flag, but they’re all so frantic you’ll find yourself losing track of who you’re controlling on the game’s tight maps.  The overall lack of depth in this title is surprising.  At numerous times, I found myself sitting about a foot away from the TV so as to make out what was going on. (Kind of reminded me of playing Sega way too close to the TV as a kid…but in a bad way.)  If you’re itching for some mobile combat, this might help you out for an hour or two, but there is very little to bring you back.  This game comes free with the next Red Faction game coming out, Red Faction: Armageddon, so just like Sackboy’s Prehistoric Moves, its worth just waiting for if you’re planning on getting the actual game.  Know what you’re signing up for (which isn’t much) before buying this game.

A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes. For more info on our review policy click here. This review is for the PlayStation 3 version of the game.

General Info

  • Lack of Content
  • Driving is Awkward For Some Vehicles
  • Zoom Out
  • Obvious Franchise Cash-In Title