STAFF REVIEW of Red Faction: Battlegrounds (Xbox 360 Arcade)

Thursday, April 28, 2011.
by Brent Roberts

Red Faction: Battlegrounds Box art EYES FORWARD GRUNT! I'm going to level with you, we need the best soldiers around, and your name crossed our desks. So you think you're the next great soldier to join up with Red Faction? Before you start to get that ego inflated, is going to put you through the tests of Red Faction Battlegrounds to see if you are even worthy of our vehicles. If you really are as good as you boast, then not only will you join the elite ranks, but you will also be treated with some goodies, but that's if you make it out alive. Your objective today is to download the intelligence of THQ's Red Faction Battlegrounds, and report back on what you find. Now is the time to show us what you're worth, good luck!

Now that we are en route to your target, it's time to get you familiar with THQ's Red Faction Battlegrounds. We are not going to throw you blindly into war, but pay attention because this Intel could mean the difference between victory and defeat! This arcade title is much more than just a simple stand-alone game. Red Faction Battlegrounds provides intense vehicular explosive action in various arenas, and this is how we separate the men from the boys. You will take control of multiple vehicles, and each of them varies in terms of armor, speed, and firepower. This is where the balance will be critical and your victory will be gained. Throughout these trials we will be subjecting you to various situations and all of them will be timed. You will face challenges such as survival, speed, and destruction, and all of them determine whether or not you make the cut. Included in all this explosive goodness is a highly volatile multiplayer gametype that allows you and your friends to throw caution to the wind and commence raining shells down in a fast paced explosive demolition derby from hell. It's time to ride.

The gameplay controls of Red Faction Battlegrounds are pretty straight forward and easy to learn, which is good when you are trying to race through an obstacle filled arena, dodging enemy fire and explosions going on all around you. There are multiple fire control schemes such as using the RT or the RS which allow you to control the style of your play. Another great treat that THQ throws your way is that they have included the amazing physics of THQ's previous title Red Faction Guerilla. This means that every exploding tank, every falling building comes to life like nothing we have seen before in an arcade title. There are even power ups that you can obtain and actually reconstruct the entire level for even more destructive enjoyment. Pay attention grunt, because if you get lost in the beauty of that, it's game over.

Not only is there beauty in the gameplay, but there is beauty in the graphics as well. This is a double edge sword because if you spend your time fixated on the beauty around you, you won't notice that tank barrel pointed right at you. The real stars of the graphics are the arenas and the explosions. Each level is done in high detail and offers a wide array of explosive materials scattered around, so watch where you go power sliding or you may be sliding your way through the pearly white gates. Focus on your objective soldier and trust in your skills, the real beauty is in the victory.

We hope you have been paying attention because now we are going to debrief you on something that does tend to hinder Red Faction Battlegrounds and that is the sound. The sounds that you hear during your individual missions are not bad, but they aren't exceptional either. Outside of the explosions, there really isn't anything that stands out as amazing, and that is somewhat disappointing because it had potential to be great. As you traverse the various arenas, the overall music does little to get you into the game itself, and instead becomes more of a repetitive loop that changes with the levels.

Now listen here grunt, we have told you all that we know, and if you were paying attention you would remember that we said something about you being rewarded for making it out alive? Well a nice bonus of Red Faction Battlegrounds is that you can unlock material to use in the upcoming game Red Faction Armageddon.

When you weigh out everything that this game offers for the single player, and then add on a great multiplayer experience, the one question you have to ask yourself is: "Is this worth 800 MS Points"? The answer is maybe. The reason it's not a resounding yes is because it is a bonus you get from pre-ordering Red Faction Armageddon from GameStop! Red Faction Battlegrounds offers something for everyone, but if you wish to cash in the best way possible, then pre-order Red Faction Armageddon and pick up your free copy of this intense and amazing vehicular combat game. Trust in THQ to deliver a great quality complimentary game to their blockbuster hit, Red Faction Armageddon. Now it's time to see what you're worth grunt, victory is yours!

Keep going with the arcade tie-in titles and make sure you keep them free for pre-order bonuses. If possible, please allow for different camera views, but that could tie into a new standalone Red Faction retail title? Great multiplayer, keep up the great work!

Overall: 8.0 / 10
Gameplay: 7.5 / 10
Visuals: 8.0 / 10
Sound: 6.5 / 10


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