A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
This game's straightforward story contains simple themes of loyalty, duty, love, and honor. However, it glorifies violence by depicting gory human and alien deaths and allowing players to destroy anything they see using a variety of immensely powerful sci-fi weapons.
Positive Role Models
Our hero is a soldier clearly working for the benefit of others. He fails to prevent a pair of tragedies early in the game, and his subsequent efforts to save Mars' civilians from aliens are fueled by feelings of responsibility. However, while he works for a righteous cause, virtually all of his actions center around violence.
Ease of Play
Several difficulty levels make the game as easy or as hard as players want it to be. Controls are tight, responsive, and similar to those of other shooters. Genre veterans will be at home at once. Rookies shouldn't have too much trouble, either.
Violence & Scariness
Players combat a variety of large, insect-like alien creatures using rifles, pistols, and explosives. Red blood sprays from wounded enemies and spatters the ground. Some enemies can be blown to pieces. Humans are also targeted and killed, but less frequently than aliens, and in the final two thirds of the game, there are very few human deaths. Much of the violence is focused on the environment, as players bring down buildings, bridges, and other structures with massively powerful weaponry.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A female protagonist shows cleavage. Characters kiss.
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Profanity appears infrequently, but includes words such as "f--k" and "s--t."
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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.
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.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.