Following on from last month’s single-player demo of Red Faction: Guerrilla, THQ have now released a multiplayer demo for their smash-everything-to-pieces action adventure on Mars. We’ve already told you what we thought about the campaign sample here, but what did Gamer Limit make of the online shenanigans? Sledgehammer through the jump to find out.
Boasting a total of twenty-one maps and six modes, the online multiplayer in Volition’s upcoming title is set to offer a vast amount of diversity come its full release at the end of the next month. This demo, however, predictably serves up just one mode and a couple of maps. But it does prove a tasty dish nonetheless.
The mode in question, Damage Control, separates players into two teams. The sides (Red Faction and The EDF) must capture areas dotted around the map via repairing small towers. These must then be individually protected from enemy attacks, which, if successful, result in your makeshift base being destroyed, re-built and claimed for the opposing team. As you can imagine, this results in some frantic gameplay, but the variety of weapons and abilities available provides even the most chaotic match with strong tactical undertones.
You begin with a neatly implemented assault rifle, which can be swapped for a variety of other weapons, such as an electricity gun or grenade launcher. These act as you’d expect them to; your preference in past online experiences may ultimately decide which killing tool best suits your own style. The backpacks, however, are a different kettle of fish entirely.
Found scattered throughout the maps, the backpacks provide the player with a selection of distinct abilities that go a long way to determining one’s approach. The ‘Rhino’ pack, for instance, enables you to charge through any object – the Geo-Mod 2.0 engine means that any object actually means any object. While the ‘Rhino’ grants you a short, sharp burst, the ‘Jetpack’ levitates you into the sky, generating around ten seconds of air time – perfect for gaining a bird’s eye view of enemies, strongholds or merely getting from A to B.
The inclusion of these varying backpacks is a masterstroke in multiplayer gaming, with each one adding value and entertainment to what could have otherwise felt like a stale battle mode with destructible environments. I mean, knocking enemies sideways using the ‘Concussion’ backpack, which sends out a small blast to a set radius around you, is nothing but grade-A fun. Being on the receiving end is another matter entirely, though.
The maps themselves are based on environments from the single-player campaign and provide a nice bend of wide open space and close, building-based combat. Some areas are rather mountainous too, so clever positioning can often determine who is victorious in a one-on-one shootout, although, admittedly, it is often nice to just pull out the sledgehammer and get in close for a more “personal touch”.
Overall: 9/10 [version tested: PS3]
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