Додано: 20 березня
Red Faction II (henceforth referred to as RF2) is a disappointing sequel to the original Red Faction (RF1), which I felt was easily one of the best story-driven first person shooters I played from 1994 until 2007 or so. (I think RF1 still favourably with the likes of Strife and Half-Life.) Here's are the key areas in which RF 1 and 2 differ in terms of quality:
RF1 features a captivating, Total Recall-inspired plot, memorable locations, and destructible environments. (Developer Volition coined that feature 'GeoMod Technology'). It's PC port was augmented with a very fun online multiplayer mode.
RF2 has a decent sense of plot, but to be honest, I didn't care for it until I was on the verge of beating the game for the first time. Something in the second half of the game caused the plot to 'click' with me in the sense that I started to give a damn about the story. In fact, I felt motivated to replay the game to better understand the story and characters that I previously found dull and unworthy of my attention. For that reason, I actually enjoyed replaying the game more than the experience of taking it in as a new experience. RF1's plot is much superior, but RF2's plot is serviceable.
RF2's gameplay is mostly fine. The limited extent to which you can create improvised stairs, entrances, and tunnels by blowing up concrete and terrain is one of RF1's major highlights. Unfortunately, this 'GeoMod' feature is so limited in the sequel that it's virtually non-existent. I found far more instances where 'GeoMod' technology could be actualized in multiplayer maps than in the single player campaign. The fact that RF2's solo campaign is far more linear than RF1's* does nothing to offset this disappointing discrepancy, and the fact that RF2 features no online or even LAN capabilities makes the multiplayer mode a tremendous disappointment. Playing RF2's multiplayer mode against bots is no substitute for playing it with real people.
RF2 is one of the first games I can remember playing that features regenerating health, but it features a hybrid system that combines traditional FPS health management with Halo-esque health regeneration. To its credit, RF2's plot legitimizes the fact that the character you play has the capability to heal. Because healing occurs at a far slower pace than in Halo and the tons of clones it spawned, taking damage in battle does not feel inconsequential unless you make a contrived effort to stall the game by holding your ground after a battle.
I give RF2 a score approximating 6.5 out of 10, which might be a tad generous. 6/10 is the lowest I'd rate RF2.
* = Some of RF2's vehicle-based sections literally play like rail shooters. In contrast, RF1 gives players the freedom to fully explore their environments while operating vehicles.