Preview: Red Faction: Armageddon (Ruin Mode)
As you may have read with in our preview with the single player, there wasn’t too much destruction to be had under the red rock of Mars. Thankfully, an all new mini-game has this covered. Ruin Mode has been forged from the primary distraction that Red Faction: Guerrilla had to offer, its destructive nature. So whilst the single player campaign may prefer to stick to a more linear approach, and as a result seemingly bring with it a far improved story-telling ability, Ruin Mode will satisfy all your obliterating needs.
The name alone is enough to bring a smile to your face. Who doesn’t like creating ruins out of building within games? In Ruin Mode, you are given the choice of weapons, some more powerful than others, and you are then given free rein in map full to the brim of buildings. Similar to the multiplayer gameplay modes in Guerrilla, you have to cause to as much destruction as possible within a one minute time limit. No enemies, no additional distractions. Just you, your nanites and a huge Singularity Cannon. The best part? No sight of the dingy underground.
Volition knows that this is where Red Faction comes into its own. As you wreak havoc through the carefully designed maps, you gain points based on the frequency and ferocity of the damage you inflict upon the structures. Once your time is up, it totals up your score and, if you’ve met the ‘par’ score, you unlock a new playground to destroy. While this does sound a bit boring and repetitive, the urge to beat not only your own scores but also, thanks to the addition of online leaderboards, your friends scores, is immense.
Along with weapons such Plasma Beam Rifle, Rocket Launcher and, as previously mentioned, the spectacularly awesome Singularity Cannon, you still have access to the abilities of the Nano Forge – aside from the repair functionality, which would be somewhat redundant anyway. To get a good score and extra time, you will have to learn to combine your attacks to formulate a singular destructive move. Fortunately, with large explosive tanks placed around the map, it never too difficult to achieve and, with well placed charges used in conjunction with a miniature black hole, you can easily send a building crashing to the floor.
Playing on a map populated by ample amounts of sky-reaching towers sprouting from the red dust it was obvious to create a domino effect by making one structure collapse onto another and to then, using the Magnet Gun, finish them off in a wonderful explosion of debris. There were a range of structures to annihilate from the strong, short and bulky, to the tall and weak, ensuring a varied approach to demolition.
This is what made Red Faction: Guerrilla so great and, while it may seem odd to have in one condensed game mode, what sets to make Armageddon just as superb. The online leaderboards will give many players the competitive gameplay they want and will stop the mode from ever becoming boring. With the linear single player and the destructive nature of Ruin Mode, it provides the best of both worlds for fans of the series.