When I sat down to check out Red Faction: Armageddon for the second time, I initially felt a sense of deja vu. On face value, the demo look extremely similar to the one I saw at E3; Darius Mason was again attempting to create a safe passage for a convoy of humans by getting rid of alien infested structures. However, this time he had a few extra tools to help him out and I was quite surprised at how much it changed the feel of the action.
Because of the level of destruction available, and the playground that Volition has created, a few new weapons and abilities help to demonstrate the dynamic nature of the game.
The Magnet Gun was being shown off in full force, and it was being used it very different ways than I had previously seen. For those who haven't heard about this weapon before, it's awesome. It allows Darius to attach a magnet to almost anything, and then place an area that the magnet will be attracted to. So, naturally this allows players to effectively collapse buildings on foes - a bad time for them indeed. Or, it allows Darius to fling huge clumps of whatever at unsuspecting foes. It looks very very satisfying and I can't wait to check it out first hand.
Aside from showing off similar events that I'd seen before, this demo introduced two new elements: the Shockwave ability and the Singularity Cannon. The Shockwave ability is going to be extremely useful for fights against numerous foes as it lifts up surrounding enemies and places them in a stasis field. They're then just ripe for the picking. This is a far cry from the previously released Nano ability, which was of course the repair function - an ability that allows Darius to re-engineer previously destroyed structures.
Once enemies have been hit with the Shockwave ability, they're also perfectly set up for the Singularity Cannon. Now, those who have played Red Faction: Guerrilla are probably familiar with the Singularity Bomb - the Cannon works on the same principles. It fires a black hole at a given target and decimates anything within range, either dealing considerable damage or destroying the structure/enemy entirely.
The short demo felt very fresh and that was with the addition of only an extra ability and a new gun. If Volition can apply this to everything else they've yet to unveil then Red Faction: Armageddon looks like it will blow Red Faction: Guerrilla out of the water. And if Volition's claims about destruction are indeed true, then the stage is set for it to do just that.
With any luck, the game's slightly more linear story will be something that will help focus the gameplay and destruction, and won't hinder the sense of fun and freedom. I honestly can't wait to hear what their plans are for multiplayer either; 2011 can't come soon enough, we need Red Faction: Armageddon now.