Disciples of the Red Faction franchise have an early treat with which to satiate their gaming hunger while they await the much anticipated Red Faction: Armageddon, in the form of the newly released video appetizer, Red Faction: Battlegrounds. So how does this intermittent PSN Red Faction download stack up? Only one way to find out, which is to hop in those red planet rovers, drive and destroy…
OK gamers, first off, if you’re expecting anything remotely like Red Faction one, two, or Guerilla, just get that concept out of your head right now. Red Faction: Battlegrounds is not that type of sledgehammer-swinging, sandbox action, what Red Faction: Battlegrounds does concentrate on is the varied vehicle driving and combat upon Mars’ surface, and for those already familiar with Guerilla, it’s not even really reminiscent of the buggy travel portions of that PS3 title either, as the perspective doesn’t have the same point of view. The driving and combat in Red Faction: Battlegrounds takes place from an overhead, angled point of view that allows the gamer to see most of the entire playing field at once, with the camera making the occasional zoom or swing to include the area of the playing field that needs to be focused upon.
Yes, essentially what we’re saying is Red Faction: Battlegrounds is exact same type of “tank battle” genre game that has been with us home console gamers since the Atari 2600′s “Combat”, the only key difference being the 3-D angled overhead point of view instead of “Combat’s” 2-D direct overhead view. Not to oversimplify, Red Faction: Battlegrounds does spice up the experience considerably with online, local multiplayer, single player campaigns, and a meaty selection of background terrains, varied vehicles, power-ups, upgrades, and an ample selection of how the game can be played in the multiplayer portion of the game. The multiplayer aspect of Red Faction: Battlegrounds offers Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, Capture the Flag, Flag Frenzy, and King of the Hill.
So how does Red Faction: Battlegrounds perform? Well, I have to start by saying the semi-obvious, if this genre of “tank-battle” type game wasn’t fun, they wouldn’t still be being made near 3 decades later after the original Atari “Combat”, and therefore a fun concept is still a fun concept. That being said, gamers deserve to ask more of a PS3 incarnation of this tank-battle genre with the tech available today. The early presentation is fairly sharp and passable, but when it came to the game itself, the word “mediocre” kept coming to mind in virtually every department, graphics, music, and especially game mechanics and playability. There was one trait about Red Faction: Battlegrounds in particular that was noticeably getting on our nerves pretty early in the game, which was the A.I. of the camera. Sometimes the camera just wouldn’t keep up with action in the game, and left us unable to see the areas on the battlefield that we needed to see in order to line up our shots on opposing vehicles and tanks, and as we all know it’s pretty tough to aim at what you can’t see.
It actually pains us not to be able to positively review Red Faction: Battlegrounds, because as a fan of earlier Red Faction games going back to PS2, we wanted to like Red Faction: Battlegrounds, but the simple truth is, this is not a Red Faction game. The developers should have named it independently of the Red Faction franchise, but we suppose they figured sales would be higher if they tied this lukewarm “tank battle” repeat to the Red faction franchises’ good name. This is disappointing because we still look forward to Red Faction: Armageddon which great anticipation. Red Faction: Battlegrounds? Well, we suppose it may hold some value and interest to gamers that love “tank-battle” genre games and simply want a new variation of it, but for most gamers and especially true Red faction fans, Red Faction: Battlegrounds was a pretty uninspired tank-battle rehash not worthy of the franchises’ good name.