Shadows and Red Faction completely engulfed me in non-stop action, funny sequences, dazzling graphics and their unique story lines.
Speaking of which Red Faction is set in the distant future where humans have inhabited Mars and already a threat from a radical group jeopardises the Mars development. Darius Mason an ex-military, mining contract worker is tricked into setting off a chain of events that forces the inhabitants to… sorry; I’ll stop before I spoil anything. Kara, Darius’ lady friend, helps to rectify everything but then she dies… my bad! It boils down to a funny script, the protagonist seeking redemption and a little lovin’ on the side.
Shadows is set in a world where demons are present and thus the need for demon hunters, introducing Garcia Hotspur, Mexican and fiery. His love, Paula, is taken by Fleming, demon king, into the underworld as a punishment to Garcia for killing all Fleming’s demon buddies. Garcia follows and hell becomes much more… hellish, I suppose. Sexual tension and humour, mainly sexual, are the main themes with a little bit of seriousness occasionally. Thus, this is also about redemption and getting some loving at the end of a hard… I mean difficult day.
What is also similar between these games are the sidekicks and their ridiculously powerful abilities.
In Red Faction Darius Mason has the pleasure of having a sidekick who goes by the name S.A.M (situational awareness module) and is a Nano forge unit (a tech that uses nanotechnology) which can create a ‘Defensive Shell’, blast enemies away with ‘Impact’, drain life from nearby enemies with ‘Shockwave’ and go berserk with, well, ‘Berserk’. The Nano forge can also repair recently broken pathways. The Nano forge is also where your four chosen weapons materialise from.
In Shadows your trusty sidekick is Johnson, a demon that has left the demon world to best serve your character Garcia Hotspur. Johnson is a skull that transforms from a revolver, the ‘Boner’ which becomes the ‘Hot Boner’ and the ‘Big Boner’ (told you there was sexual humour), to a shotgun, the ‘Skullcussioner’, and finally to a machine gun, the ‘Teether’. Johnson is a rather hilarious companion and along with Garcia the two of them make a rather hilarious script.
Shadows and Red Faction are both graphically impressive and create worlds that are believable enough. Shadows of the Damned has an environment that is quite interactive and certain objects and structures can be destroyed. However, Red Faction, on the other hand, has completely destructible environments and basically everything can be interacted with.
Gameplay is so similar: with the third person view, the need to find objects that allow you to upgrade your abilities and weapons, the need to find ammo, some puzzles thrown in as a break from the ensuing action which, by the way, is always awesome regardless of the repetitiveness. You even battle enemies that looks similar just in different environments. This is not to say that either of these games are dreary or boring; quite the opposite – they are both wicked, excuse the pun, in every way.
Truth be told the choice comes down to who you are and what you most enjoy. If you want to obliterate some Mars space bugs for hurting your girl then Red Faction: Armageddon is a must buy however, if demons taking your girl peeves you off then Shadows of the Damned is the way to go. If you have no inclination to either here is a tip – get both, you will not be disappointed.
Red Faction: Armageddon Rating: 9/10
Shadows of the Damned Rating: 9/10
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