A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Red Faction: Armageddon is an adult-oriented sci-fi shooter with blood, gore, and an exceptional amount of environmental destruction. Players wield extremely powerful weapons capable of blowing aliens apart and taking down entire buildings with just a couple of shots. Players fight a righteous war against anti-human cultists and aliens, but the violence is glorified. Beyond combat, dialogue contains infrequent but strong language, and a female character shows some cleavage. Note that this game supports online play with open communication, a feature that Common Sense Media does not recommend for pre-teens due to the potential for players to exchange inappropriate language and information.
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What's it about?
The fourth proper entry in Volition’s sci-fi action series, RED FACTION: ARMAGEDDON is set 50 years after the events of the third game and stars Darius Mason, the grandson of Red Faction: Guerrilla’s Alec Mason, a folk hero who helped liberate oppressed Martian colonists. Things get off to an explosive start when, in the first mission, the planet’s terraforming machinery is destroyed by cultists who want to deliver Mars back to its true “masters,” forcing the planet’s human inhabitants to relocate underground. The new, less than hospitable atmosphere turns out to be just what’s needed to allow an ancient, bug-like alien race to be reborn and thrive on the surface. Darius takes it upon himself to keep the extraterrestrials from taking over the planet. Armed with an arsenal of extraordinarily powerful weapons capable of razing entire buildings in seconds, Darius embarks on a mission to stop the extraterrestrial menace.
Is it any good?
Red Faction: Armageddon’s imaginative arsenal is its primary appeal. Take the magnet gun, a weapon that fires a pair of metal bits that attract to each other. Peg an alien with the first magnet and a building with the second and you’ll send the bug hurtling into the structure. Other weapons, such as the all-purpose nano rifle (which atomically disassembles anything it hits) and the singularity canon (which creates a black hole that causes enormous damage to, well, pretty much everything) are just as original. The mayhem can be quite gratifying -- for grown-ups.
That said, older players will likely take issue with other elements. The levels are too linear, the campaign is too short, and the story is too hackneyed. Still, the fun of bringing down a radio tower with naught but a huge hammer is not to be easily dismissed. It won’t win any awards, but as a mindless spectacle Red Faction: Armageddon excels.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about violence in games. How violent is too violent for your children? How can you tell how or if the violence your kids consume in their interactive entertainment is affecting them outside of games?
Families can also discuss the difference, if any, between realistic and fantasy combat. How do you feel when you fight fantastical creatures in games? Do you feel differently if your opponents are humans?
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