Red Faction II

Red Faction II is a first person shooter that was developed by Volition Inc. published by THQ, and released for the PC, PS2, GameCube, and Xbox on April 1, 2003.

Developer: Volition Inc.
Publisher: THQ
Release Date: April 1, 2003
Platforms: PC, PS2, GameCube, Xbox
JustRPG Score:
+Fun combat system.
+Interesting story.
+Easy to learn controls.
-Weak visuals.
-Poor sound.
-Very repetitive.


Red Faction II Overview

Red Faction II is a fast paced shooter that was released on multiple platforms in early 2003. The game is a standard FPS game that supports many multiplayer modes. Due to the timing of this game’s release the multiplayer modes are only for local play and the game does not have any new features over other similar games such as Half-Life. Overall Red Faction II is not a bad game, but also is not anything special.

Red Faction II Screenshots

Red Faction II Featured Video

Full Review

Red Faction II Review


It’s the sequel to the popular game Red Faction, obviously. The first was quite popular, using revolutionary things such as the Geo-Mod engine. Is the second able to live up to the original game’s glory, or does it go the way of many sequels, down the hashed road of redone concepts and old designs? Find out.



The story is like this: It’s five years since the Red Faction revolution on Mars, on now you take control of a man named Alias, part of a military faction. You work for a man who seems to be a cross between Stalin and Hitler, a ruthless dictator known as Sopot. Well, soon enough, your group discovers that this dictator isn’t all he is cracked up to be, and as he performs less-than-admirable experiments with soldiers, you and the men you work with go to the other side.



The Red Faction. (Don’t worry, this happens after the first mission. No spoilers here!) Now, what the Red Faction is doing away from Mars, I don’t know. They seem to be fighting for the Commonwealth’s freedom, and you’re there to help them along. The team aspect of the game is interesting. While you have no position of authority, and therefore don’t command any members of the team, there is still a feeling of team-ness. You are the demolitions guy. When they need blowing up, you’re the man. On the team, there is a stealth expert, a sniper, a vehicles man, a leader, and what can be described as the big-friggin-guns man. Each person plays their part in the mission. The sniper takes out the tower guards, the stealth expert takes out the door guards, you blow up the door, the vehicles man fires a missile in, and the big-guns man runs in to take care of the rest while the leader coordinates everything. Eventually you succeed in your mission, but that’s when the real trouble begins…


The game is divided into areas which are divided into sections. Each section can be loaded from the start screen in case you die or quit. Each area has goals and bonus goals to beat. The goals are usually quite straightforward. Take the nano-cell. Destroy the facility. Most objectives are like this, and are stated at the beginning of each mission. Some are different from standard fare, but not different enough to be mentioned in this review. The goals were logical, however. You actually knew why you were blowing up an installation, as opposed to “Destroy this building. Why? Because you need to.”


The bonus goals were also an interesting twist to the game. In most stages, there were secondary objectives that you are never told about until you complete them, such as destroying every helicopter while they fly over you, or protecting Red Faction members from an ambush. The bonus goals unlock hundreds of different bits and bites in the extras section, such as concept art, character information, or enemy information. Some of these can be unlocked merely by beating a mission, but others need the completion of different secondary objectives. It adds a bit more to the game, but I found that it just wasn’t enough to get me to play the game again. It seemed…well, pointless.



The story sure didn’t pull me through the game. First of all, the video sequences in some areas where pointless and rarely contained any important information except one. I don’t want to blow the one plot twist in the game, so I’ll try to keep this discreet. The story just isn’t that great. Most of the game is predictable, except, like I said, the plot twist, and I found myself playing the game just to beat it. I knew who the next powerful boss-character would be, it was just too easy to predict. Character development is nearly non-existent…it just seems like a poor B-movie to me. I’m not saying the story is non-existent, I’m just saying that if you want some plot in a shooter, play Deus Ex.



The graphics in this game weren’t that much better than what was used in the first Red-Faction. I noticed few improvements in the graphics besides some improved particle effects. Everything seemed pretty average, except for one thing that bugged me to no end. The mouths don’t move. At all. If someone is talking to you in-game (as opposed to movies), it looks like they are staring at you. It was really annoying to me as someone who nitpicks all these little things in a game. The voice acting made up for it though. Design-wise, the game had a definite tone to it. There are virtually no bright colors. Everything was a dull pasty red or brown or grey or some color like that. I realize the need for a mood being set here, but I really wish there was something, anything, to liven the mood.


A big disappointment in this game was the surprising lack of Geo-mod use. Obviously, since the game is set in a city, and not Mars, there would be less Geo-mod. Still, I expected more. I only used it once to get past some office walls to blow up a turret. Besides that, it was pretty much just some window-dressing on the game. I wanted to blow up bridges and watch entire convoys fall into the abyss, like the first game. Yeah. That was cool.


The AI was done quite well. Enemies ducked and weaved, dodging behind corners and jumping out to shoot me. Throughout the game, they get smarter and smarter too, so you aren’t facing soldier genuises in the beginning and mentally deficient ones in the end. By the end, enemies are jumping out from behind walls to shoot you, only to dive back in quickly. They will run from you if you damage them too much (well, not the super-soldiers. But I digress). They will try to gang up. They will flail, run, and even scream like a little schoolgirl when you stick a timed satchel of C4 on their bodies. Now that’s what I call fun. Oh, and when you kill a soldier and another sees, often a comment is made along the lines of “No! You bastard, he was my second cousin twice removed!”. Throwing a grenade down the hall will result in the expected cry of “Aeeeeeeeee!”…okay, not quite the “Grenade!” we were expecting, but it had me laughing.



Weapons. It’s what everyone craves. And this game delivers with a punch. Whether it’s my favourite, the rapid-fire dual nano pistols, the wall (and heart)-piercing rail gun, the automatic sniper rifle, or the multitude of grenades, the game has everything to cater to weapon enthusiasts. There are rocket launchers, grenade launchers, sticky grenade launchers, normal pistols, auto pistols, five kinds of machine guns, a rail gun, a flame thrower…the list goes on. Most of the weapons have a secondary fire as well, such as the grenade launcher’s ability to shoot timed grenades. An interesting thing: When it comes to dual weapons, pressing the left mouse key will fire one gun, pressing the other will fire the other. It is possible to entirely remove reload time if this is used to your advantage!



True to the previous Red Faction, this one has vehicles. They aren’t just superflous modes of transportation either. If you want to get from point A to point B, you can walk, but why walk when you can take a mobile armored transport, armed with a grenade launcher, rocket launcher, and two gatling guns that never run out of ammo? Oh yes, my favourite vehicle. For a couple missions you will take the role of a gunman, either for a dropship or a tank. Either way, there is a lot of fun to be had.


The multiplayer is an important aspect of any first-person shooter, and sad to say, Red Faction 2 has no online multiplayer. There is a bot-match in which you can play against five computer-controlled bots (three other humans with PS2), but that’s it. It isn’t even that great. There are standard modes such as arena and team deathmatch, to name a couple. The biggest problem that I faced with multiplayer was the fact that a maximum five bots could be in the arena with you. Only five opponents? I require a daily minimum of at LEAST seven opponents to kill! Ah well, you take what you can. The game allows you to totally customize what weapons appear in the match, not restricting you to only five or so different weapons. There are a large amount of maps to choose from, most of them are alike though.


The game ends with you defeating one of the hardest bosses I have ever faced in any first person game. And I have played quite a large number of them. Anyways, the game ends, are you are presented with an ending. But this isn’t the only one. Throughout the game you will see a heroism meter whenever you check your status. This is affected by objectives you complete as well as how well you treat civilians. Yes, yes, you won’t be able to find the most interesting way to kill innocents anymore. Dang. It does add some incentive not to fill the maintenance man with a belly full of shrapnel though, which was definitely lacking in the first game. The different endings added another reason to play the game and find those damn secondary objectives.



All in all, Red Faction 2 is a satisfactory game, alone. However, when it compares to Red Faction 1, I don’t think it measures up. I’m not really even sure why they called it Red Faction 2, it had very little to do with the first game. Still though, it was a relatively good first-person shooter, offering good graphics, okay gameplay, and a lot of choices in the weapons department.


Final Grade: 78%


Red Faction II Screenshots


Red Faction II Videos

Guides / Links

Red Faction II Guides / Links

Red Faction II Wikipedia Entry