Here's the Story of a Forgotten Miner...
Unfortunately, not everything in Red Faction is up to Volitions previously demonstrated capabilities in Freespace 2. The scale in the game is terribly inaccurate. In most rooms, the ceiling feels like it's just barely scraping above your head, the second story balconies appear to be closer to a one and a half story level. Distances from one doorway to another are far to close to be true, and people, well, it feels like everyone in the game evolved from a dwarven stronghold in someone's misguided fantasy game.
In addition to the bad scale of the game, the textures feel like they came from a four year old game. Granted some of them are ok, but the vast majority feels highly outdated. The sound effects also are a bit derrived, either taken directly from the same sound library as Half-Life, or extremely dull (again, this does not apply to the weapons which have great effects and sounds.)
Finally, the incredible back-story of the game that feels like it's building up throughout doesn't really exist. Like so many of the glass walls, it's merely an illusion. While the box and the intro cut-scene depict a story of oppressed miners who are unveiling some warped conspiracy of the Ultor corporation to lure miners to Mars to test an odd virus on, the in-game experience barely reflects this story at all. From Volition, I'd expect a story that keeps me thinking about it at least once daily for a year. Instead, all I got was more pointing and shooting. On the other side of this, though, it sort of reminded me of my old Quake days. There is a fine example of a game which not only had no story in-game, but even the box-cover didn't really give much of a story, yet somehow, it managed to be one of the most long-lived games in the history of the industry.
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