Get yourself back to Mars in the fourth instalment of the environmental destruction-focused Red Faction series. In Armageddon, players will go back underground for the first time since the original Red Faction.This was the last Red Faction game because THQ killed the series because of poor sales figures.
The game starts with Darius Mason and the rest of the Red Faction racing for the Terraformer before cult leader Adam Hale destroys it. Mason makes it inside the Terraformer but is too late to stop the Terraformer from being destroyed, Hale disguising himself as a wounded soldier and getting away right under Mason's nose. The Terraformer now being destroyed, humanity is forced underground into old mining caverns. Mason is forced to live with the guilt that humanity's exile is his fault.
The story skips several years and Mason has now reconverted himself into a smuggler with love interest Kara in the underground city of Bastion. Despite Kara's warnings, Mason takes a mining job where he destroys an old Marauder seal. Before he can realize what he's done, his employers reveal themselves to be cultists under Hale and Mason is left for dead. He awakes three days later and realizes that he's unleashed a force of dormant native Martians on the planet. Unwilling to let the Martians take the planet that is rightfully theirs back from the invading Humans, Mason races back to Bastion only to realize that it's been devastated by the Martians. He helps the surviving Humans set up camp and get them clean water but they end up accusing Mason of releasing the Martians and start chasing him down. Mason escapes and meets up with Kara. The two have no other choice but to go to the surface and hunt down Hale.
After a brief meet and greet with the Red Faction, Kara and Mason find Hale. Hale is attempting to use the Martians to rule Mars but it is evident that he has little to no control over them. After a chase in the mines, Mason kills the dastardly cult leader and manages to hightail it before the rest of the cultists kill him. The death of Hale however does not solve the Martian problem. Darius and Kara decide to go pay a visit to an old Marauder oracle to see how they can stop the invasion.
Upon arrival, the oracle is dead but has left a data key that Darius' navigation system (S.A.M.) decrypts. All the Martians are being controlled by the queen, buried deep in a marauder temple. Darius and Kara make it into the temple and after crashing their vehicle, the two share a kiss confiding their feelings to each other. But just as this happens, the Martians attack and Kara is killed by a tentacle before being dragged down into a pit and eaten by the aliens. Devastated, Hale promises to make the Martians pay, and after committing unjust Martian genocide, he makes it to the Martian queen. After giving the queen a good beating, she flees to the surface. S.A.M. indicates that all the Martians would die due to the unnatural presence of oxygen in the Martian atmosphere, so Mason somehow fixes the Terraformer, rendering Mars as it was before Hale returned it to its natural state. The game ends with Mason, destroyer of worlds and murderer of species, looking at a ray of sun coming through the clouds that should not be there.
Red Faction: Armageddon is a third person shooter. Much like other games in the genre, you run around the environment, taking on multiple enemies at once with a wide array of weapons while taking cover behind objects to let your health replenish (it must be noted however that there is no cover system). Armageddon stands out ever so slightly by including minor destructible environments, though nothing to the extent of its superior predecessor Guerrilla. All of the destruction is done with the game's weapons, which range from sledgehammers to rocket launchers, all perfect for sending two story buildings crashing down onto Martian defenders. And if ever you run out of ammo, you can always use the Maul, a giant gravity hammer. Shooting in the game centers on locking on your opponent, meaning that precise aiming is not necessary. Weapon selection is done thanks to weapon lockers, scattered throughout the game world (some of which have to be rebuilt). You can only carry for weapons with you at a time and ammo is mostly replenished through ammo crates since the aliens don't drop any ammo. Ammo crates range from small cubical crates that only replenish ammo for one gun or large rectangular crates that replenish all weapons. The game keeps you from getting stuck in a location by featuring a powerful melee attack that you always have that can break down doors and walls.
Armageddon mixes third person shooting with rare on rails segments where you take control of a heavy machine gun (there's only one segment like this in the entire game). It also has you riding in the EXO Walker, a mech suit that's equipped with both rockets and machine guns. The mech suit also comes equipped with a powerful dash and has infinite ammo. Unlike Mason, the mech has two layers of health: a shield that replenishes and a health bar that does not. The game also lets you pilot the Inferno GX, a gunship that fires missiles and bullets. You control both the vertical and horizontal movement of the ship and fire lock on missiles that rarely miss.
When on foot, you can not only destroy but also rebuild thanks to the nano forge. The nano forge is an important part of the game since it lets Darius purchase upgrades thanks to salvage that is both found on the ground and by killing enemies. Once you have enough salvage, you can purchase upgrades at upgrade stations scattered throughout the levels (these stations are blue while weapon stations are red). There are four rings of upgrades that you can purchase from. Every upgrade on the first three rings cost 1000 pieces of salvage while each upgrade on the fourth and last ring cost 1500. Some upgrades contain prerequisites such as having to purchase a previous upgrade. Upgrades give Darius special abilities such as the ability to put enemies into stasis while other upgrades improve his health as well as his weapons. Special abilities can only be used every so often, as indicated by a progress bar on the lower left side of your reticule.