Sunday, September 30, 2012

Red Faction Review

Red Faction is a first person shooter developed by Volation Inc and published by THQ. It came out for the PlayStation 2 in 2001, and it's plot is similar to Total Recall. You're a miner on Mars in 2070, and you lead a rebellion against an evil corporation. The story is interesting, and the game was one of the first games to feature fully destructible environments. However, is it worth the buy from the PSN store?

Graphics, Sound and Setting:

The graphics in the game were amazing for the PlayStation 2, and even by today's standards they have aged decently. The enemy models are well designed and the game has diverse locations. The textures are grainy in some areas, but for the most part the game looks solid. The big draw to this game is the Geo-Mod, short for geometry modification, basically allowing you to destroy anything in your environment. The game has a good element of realism allowing you to do that. Bridges, trees, and other things can be destroyed in the game, and look pretty realistic when you destroy them. The game does rely a bit too heavily on orange, brown and grey and as such the colors look the same in different areas, but it's not too bad. The sound quality is decent, there really isn't too much music. I would've preferred some Overall, the graphics have aged decently and the game still looks alright.

Graphics: 5/10

Sound/Music: 3/10

Story/Setting: 6/10

Controls and Gameplay:

Red Faction is a first person shooter where you are given a variety of weapons to fight enemy soldiers and other people from the evil Ultor Corporation. The game is a standard corridor FPS, and it's pretty solid. It uses the Geo-Mod engine, which allows for decent physics and ragdoll effects. There are 15 weapons that can used in the game, which include a pistol, submachine gun, and railgun. These weapons sometimes have scopes for improved accuracy. The AI in the game is pretty bad, the enemies are constantly moving. The game is not particularly difficult, but the AI of the enemies makes it annoying to fight them. Instead of ducking for cover, they'll duck but get right back up and move to another location. This can make fire fights boring and frustrating at times.

The level design is very monotone and boring, and instead of allowing you to explore areas and find secrets, Red Faction is just a get from point A to point B type shooter. This leaves a lot to be desired. The controls are surprisingly good, with movement done by the analog stick and shifting through weapons made easy by using the right and left directional buttons. The controls are a strength of the game.

Controls: 8/10

Gameplay: 3/10

Is this game worth buying? Final thoughts:

Red Faction was a solid, FPS when it was first released back in 2001. However, it just isn't able to stand in modern times against other games. Doom, Quake, and Counter strike have been able to stand the test of time, but Red Faction is different. There isn't much replayability, the level designs feel bland, and in general the game is just dull. The plus points are the Geo-Mod engine, but even that feels outdated now. I wouldn't recommend buying this game, unless you were a huge fan in the past. Overall, I'd give it a 4/10.


Graphics: 3/10

Sound/Music: 3/10

Story/Setting: 3/10

Controls: 8/10

Gameplay: 3/10

Overall: 4/10.

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Friday, September 28, 2012

God of War 3 Review - Some Facts You May Not Have Known About GoW3

The first playable God of War 3 (GoW3) Demo was shown live at E3 2009. We will review various elements of the GoW3 game like Gameplay, Graphics, Sound, Replay value, etc.


Hit Start on the PS3 controller and you see Kratos on a narrow path on a mountainside. The Sun God Helios seems to buzz around on his Sun Chariot, but we can rip his skull later. More pressing matters are at hand (or blade). You are immediately drawn in the action as the soldiers from the Army of Olympus surround you. Tapping SQUARE to hack and slash is typical of God of War. However, Kratos can now Grab in different styles using various buttons. Grab enemies using CIRCLE and then you can use different buttons to throw them, use as battering ram, rip it away, etc.

Kratos' sub-weapons are now available on the D-pad and can be switched mid-move. Previous God of War versions had the sub-weapons as combination of R1, R2, L1, L2 and SQUARE, TRIANGLE, CIRCLE and X. Not any more. In GoW3, simply press the down button for the Cestus, and the right button for the Blades. The Cestus is good for close-up melee fighting, whereas the Blades are suitable for general attacks.

The Amulet of Fates from God of War 2 has been replaced by (Apollo's?) Fire Bow. Unlike Typhon's Bane, the magic meter for the Fire Bow regenerates automatically. You can make 6 hits to drain out the Fire Bow meter. The meter fills up completely after another 5 seconds. That is useful, considering that you don't have to conserve your Fire Bow only for boss battles.

A thoughtful innovation has been done with the Quick Time Event buttons. Previous God of War games had the QTE button prompts appear in the middle of the screen. In God of War 3, SQUARE prompt comes on the left side, CIRCLE button on the right, TRIANGLE comes at the top and X comes at the bottom of the screen. L1 and R1 come on the top-left and top-right corners respectively. CIRCLE button mashing comes at the bottom-right corner. This is a commendable addition to this epic series as we don't have to stare at the screen during the finishing moves of a boss-battle to see the button prompt. Just observing towards which side of the screen the prompt comes up, determines which buttons to mash making it just that little bit easy.


God of War 1 & 2 had a varying framerate; the same has been continued in GoW3. The framerate varies between 30-60 fps. Stig Asmussen has followed in the footsteps of Cory Barlog and originally David Jaffe who wanted important scenes in the game irrespective of the framerate. However, Stig has reiterated that the framerate will not go below 30 fps.

The vivid art direction comes to the fore, as Kratos makes his way across the picturesque mountainsides to the city of Olympia, bludgeoning and battering the Army of Olympus creatures like undead soldiers, Centaurs, Harpies & Cyclops. A lot of thought has gone in each move. The attention to detail can be judged by the fact that each teeth of Kratos were separately modelled.

The processing power of the PlayStation 3 has been used to its maximum. In God of War 2, we could see only 15 enemies on the screen at a time. This has been beefed up to 50 in GoW3. Kratos is also now a 20,000 polygons hulk compared to 5000 in GoW2. And we haven't even started talking about the Titans. Stig has said that some of the levels will be on the Titans themselves. (remember the Fear Nothing trailer?). In the Demo, the Fire Titan Perseus is shown in the background; a monstrous living being made of volcanic rocks and molten lava that flows down his body. The Fire Titan Perseus is pitted against the Sun God Helios as an engrossing backdrop while Kratos slashes the undead soldiers in the foreground.

The Demo has a resolution of 720p. The final in-game resolution will be 1080p & 1080i.


After Gerard Marino's amazing score in GoW2, GoW3 music seems like another hit-to-be. The music really rouses you up. The background music differs depending on the game situation and blends perfectly with the overall tone of the game. When you are alone, the score simmers quietly, and drums up forebodingly, when you are about to face baddies.


The story is set 3 hours in the actual game. It has been confirmed by Stig that the demo is in-game part and not a separate play-through. We are left to fill in some blanks as to: the whereabouts of the Blade of Olympus, lack of a magic meter, how the sole sub-weapon Cestus was obtained, why does the Fire Titan Perseus attack Kratos, etc.

However a few things have been verified by Stig: Kratos will battle 5-10 Gods including the Gods seen on the balcony during the final scene of GoW2. He wont have sex with women; which could mean men (heaven forbid!) or Goddesses (yummy!) The Titan Gaia and the Blade of Olympus left out in the trailers & demo will make a comeback in GoW3.


Stig Asmussen has declared, "We want this game to show what the PlayStation 3 is capable of." That is a pretty strong statement and going by the looks of the Demo, one that is surely living up to the promise. The background score is awe-inspiring. The Firebow and the QTE positioning are commendable additions to the gameplay. The beautiful graphics use the full power of the PS3.

The bottomline is that the potential & possibilities in God of War 3 are unlimited. It is like a Chest filled with Magics Orbs waiting to be opened.

Rahul "TheGodofWar4" B is a fan of the God of War series. He has a God of War 4 fanfiction site where you can download God of War 3 Screensaver

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