Actual Martians in Red Faction: Armageddon
Monday 07 June 2010 - 10:35:19
Two days ago, Volition, Inc. and THQ released this trailer for the next Red Faction. The latest game, entitled Red Faction: Armageddon is set for release in March 2011. This new addition to the series apparently has ties to the confusingly named SyFy Channel. It is said that SyFy is co-producing the game, and is laterally producing a two-hour made-for-TV Red Faction Movie which is intended to serve as a backdoor pilot for a possible television series of the same.

Original Story at Broadcasting & Cable

[Submitted by RedConversation]

What does this mean for intelligent gamers? Well, it might mean a few things. SyFy and Volition both have a sordid history of combining genius with sheer inadequacy. Red Faction as a series was particularly plagued with problems, but behind each game was the inklings of intelligent thought.

Ignoring the second game of the series entirely, in Red Faction and Red Faction: Guerrilla the player is put in the shoes of a frightfully generic miner with a generic name (Parker, and Mason respectively). The player fights for freedom against the Ultor Corporation, an interplanetary conglomerate that must hate fuzzy kittens, sunshine, and unions more than the most vile of known companies. Soon, they're defeated by the workers' uprising, and a big red flag of freedom and equality for all has been hoisted up with the assistance of the Earth Defense Force. The EDF quickly takes up the role of hegemon, and forces everyone back to work. Unlike Ultor, the EDF seems to have valid reasons for these atrocities. The Earth is dying, and Mars has the resources it needs to survive. Guerrilla was almost an extremely intelligent game, full of social commentary and pseudo-socialist ethics, but unfortunately most of that got lost in translation. Instead, the player spends the majority of their time exploring new ways to destroy buildings, and proceeding through the sparse plot in a largely free-form series of hit-and-run attacks against the government.

Red Faction: Armageddon seems a stark departure from this. It places the player as Darius Mason, a tattooed mercenary who's only generic in comparison to all the other tattooed mercenaries in video games. They also replace humanity's hegemons with a fervent doomsday cult, and recently awoken native martians. Yes. Aliens. Perhaps the natives, like the EDF in the previous game will have some unseen motives, and hintings that they may have equally valid reasons to the Faction's own. It's possible the game might discuss humanity's positions as the "aliens" in this situation. Perhaps the game will give us an interesting exploration of fringe religions. Or, it might not. The answer will come in time, either as boon or disappointment.

Another issue worth examining is what will a strategic alliance between a major television network, and major video game publisher mean? I do not think I am in a position to make any assumptions or predictions about it, but the way I see it, we're either looking at a slew of largely meaningless tie in games or something new entirely. Again, time will tell.


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