STAFF REVIEW of Red Faction II (Xbox)

Sunday, April 27, 2003.
by Tony Ingrassia

Red Faction II Box art Red Faction II is a futuristic, FPS with some interesting options, and gameplay. A large group of weapons to choose from, and a descent storyline help keep it interesting. Overall I feel it could have been more and I was a little disapointed at the "suggested" totally destructable levels. Multiplayer adds some replay value, but the "Campaign" mode can be had pretty easliy. Some will like it, some will hate it, I recomend a rental before a purchase, just to see for yourself.

RFII is, as we know, a FPS. That claims totally destructable surroundings and fast paced action. Well IMO it falls short on both counts. Yes you can destroy some stuff, but it's very "Linear" for the most part, the game forces you to follow a set path. I don't count exploding barrels, those have become a staple in many games of this genre. That being said, gameplay itself was pretty smooth, the weapon selections system and overall controll were well done. You will find some levels very repetative, and kinda slow moving, the action isn't as intense as I would like. One of RFII bright spots is the "variations" it throughs at you, an example would be, earlly in the game you go from a "standard" FPS mode to being the gunner in a flying atack ship. So a little variety saves it. You are also part of a squad, and the twist is, from level to level you assume different charecter, but it's imposed, it's not your choice, so it's a squad based wanna-be, IE...on a level were stealth is the name of the game you'll assume that charecter for the level. The voice acting and dialogue are actually pretty good "mood" setters, it does give the game the right ambiance of a time when a tyrant ruled. The speeches by our villain are great, why didn't they put that effort into the rest of the game? What completly pulls RFII out of the merky abys is the multi-player option, nothing too inventive or new, but it does add some much neeeded replay value to an otherwise quick "Campaign" mode. You may faulter in this game earlly, but once you get the first 2 hrs in, you'll be flying through this one. Not completly without merit, as i suggested earlier, it's worth a rental for a weekend, if not just to judge for yourself. Personally, RFII is going to be a "Vanilla" XBOX title, kinda, ehh, what else ya' got.

Visually RFII is again, very Vanilla, nothing earth shattering or new, the destruction is pretty cool, at times, but overall can't really get the game up over the "Mediocre" bar. Again, not bad, but were was the extra effort on this one? This game needed something to lift it up, and the graphics aren't it. A "good" visual experience.

Sound, again my favorite word for this game...Vanilla. Everything you have heard before in a slew of FPS is in this one also. Thier is a bright spot, the voice acting and dialogue are above par, well written, giving the game the right feel of an oppressed time.

I really can't put my finger on it with this one, It just, Vanilla.

Overall: 7.0 / 10
Gameplay: 7.0 / 10
Visuals: 7.0 / 10
Sound: 7.0 / 10


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