When Red Faction hit the shelves some 15 months ago, it was one of those first person shooters than changed the way FPS where looked at. Like RTS, there is a very strong danger that every new game can look and act like the old, merely in a different location. Red Faction broke that rule by introducing into the game the ability to be able to destroy the levels that you where in. didn't want to use the door, simply blast through the wall. Didn't like the guard shooting you from a platform above, simply blow up the platform. This approach whilst confusing some, was welcomed by most. It is therefore great to see the same approach taken with Red Faction 2.
While there is no sign of Parker, the hero from the first game the storyline this time is based a couple of years after the first instalment the Red Faction resistance is still strong. Playing a nanotechnology enhanced leader of a crack swat team made up of a demolition, counter-intellegence, vehicles, sniper and mean bad-ass experts you are a bunch of freelancers looking to get payback on a Soviet-styled corrupt dictator (is there any other kind?)
The story unfolds is a rather movie like manner and while you are instructed to do all the fighting rather than squad management, you fellow team members are working in the background to make things easier for you as you go along.
As before you get to drive plenty of vehicles and use plenty of weapons with copious amounts of firepower - for the matrix fans you can use two uzi's at the same time a la Keanu in the main foyer in the original film.
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Saves can not be performed mid game for the X-Box version and you have to rely on getting through the checkpoints each time if you want to progress through the levels. Like all games that adopt this saving mentality some checkpoints are only a couple of bad guys apart while others reply on you having to wipe out a whole army before getting to a save.
Levels are full of bad guys, and destroying your surroundings is half the fun - just make sure you concentrate on the mission at hand.
Graphics are very similar to the first version and therefore similar to other FPS of late. There is nothing groundbreaking here, no Halo moments of awe, just good wholesome fun.
Multiplayer is supported via 4-player split screen , which is good fun if not a little confusing on a small television as well as the ability to be connected on another machine via a system link. There is no X-Box live connectivity and this is the only downside to a good multiplayer offering.
While this doesn't break any new ground in the same way as the original, it is still a well polished game that offers plenty. The storyline is good enough to draw you in slowly with enough action to fuel the diehard actionphiles. Those looking for a challenge had better set it on hard as easy was very much so and medium offered far too many heath packs for any serious challenge to be made.