This week, Girl Gamers UK got down to some serious shooting action courtesy of THQ.
We played a couple of hours of Homefront’s multiplayer. Set in 2027, America is not the beauty or power she once was thanks to a massive Greater Korean Republic EMP strike. Towns are abandoned, stadiums have become detention centres and the people of the USA are now prisoners. However, the population are getting restless and tired of beatings and are raising up to take back the land they still love. With Humvees, battle tanks, Apache helicopters and some tasty weapons to play with, military FPS fans are in for a treat when the game is released on the 18th March.
We also totally loved rampaging all over the Red Faction: Armageddon FPS title, due for release in May. With yet more fully destructible environments, you play Darius Mason, grandson of Alex Mason who finds himself not only battling grotesque Martian creatures but also running from a mob of angry guys with scary beards who are mad with him. Well, he did accidentally reopen a mysterious shaft in an old Marauder temple, releasing a long-dormant evil, bringing all round Armageddon to Mars (yup, we reckon we’d be pretty mad too).
As Colonist and Marauder settlements are torn asunder, only Darius and the Red Faction can save mankind. The battle will take them across the storm-blasted planet and below it, to the very heart of the unspeakable threat, which is where GGUK winded up whilst playing the preview.
Lets start as we mean to go on; this game is awesome! It’s well written with a balance of humorous one liners without the Keanu Reeves wooden cheese delivery or the Sly Stallone arrogance effect, the soundtrack is belting and complements the action and suspense whilst the linear gameplay, although different from the open world of Red Faction: Guerrilla, progresses well, feels right when underground and is often frantic, especially if you find yourself facing a swarm of Creepers who just keep on coming in relentless waves – thank goodness for auto-targeting!
The seven weapons we tried out in the single player campaign (four of which can be assigned to the D-Pad) included the much beloved maul – a massive wrench-looking club that can destroy anything in its way when wildly swung around, a shotgun, charge launcher, assault rifle, rocket launcher, pulse grenade, plasma beam, plasma cannon and the much talked about magnet gun where you shoot at two objects (an alien and a building for example) then see them magnetically collide together. It’s devastatingly explosive, and is definitely as cool as it sounds.
Having blasted your way through a tunnel or two, the wreckage you’ve caused can be repaired using the nifty NanoForge device. Very handy if you find yourself stuck because you flung a stairway into some snarling Martians jaws to shut him up or the bridge you need to cross got blown to smithereens during some heated alien battle. Simply reform the bridge/stairs/building and carry on. This adds a satisfying basic puzzle element combined with some serious carnage action to proceedings. Still stuck? There’s also a guidance system that will provide a series of flashing lights to lead you to the next section thank you very much.
For those of you seeking the ultimate demolition thrill, we suggest Ruin Mode where the aim is to create as much damage as you can to your surrounding environment in one minute. You get bonus seconds awarded if you match the target score and there are plenty of other maps to unlock. That’s if you can tear yourself away from the first level. Hacking into every gamers “just one more go” gene, Ruin Mode is highly addictive explosive fun and a great way to try out different weapons.
Not just a game for FPS fans. Action, aliens, destruction and reconstruction during an approaching Armageddon automatically means this should go near the top of your ‘Want” list this year.
Both Homefront and Red Faction: Armageddon certainly have quality riddled through their core that certainly will boost THQ’s profile and help them retake their place amongst the top publishers. Reviews of both games will appear on GGUK in the future.