The Let's Play Archive

Red Faction 2

by Lazyfire

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Original Thread: Get Your Ass Off Mars! Let's Play Red Faction and Red Faction II



About the game

Red Faction II came out over a year after the first game and totally changed the dynamic. You are on Earth this time, playing as a “nano enhanced” soldier named Alias. You have a squad of stock characters working with you to overthrow Stalin Sopot, the dictator of the Commonwealth. What’s a Commonwealth? No idea, they don’t explain that. Among the more easily recognizable changes between the first and second Red Faction games is the graphics on display here. Volition went with a more animated style instead of the more realistic depiction of the world in the first game, which means the insane looking weapons, glowing lines on characters and the giant arms on Repta look pretty ok where Red Faction 1 graphics would have made those things seem really odd looking. Volition also took some hints from a game series that debuted a few months after Red Faction was released: Halo. Most of that boiled down to having a dedicated grenade button, more grenade types and regenerating health (to a point, more on that in the videos proper). You still have a godawful weapon select system, guns that become obsolete before you even use them once (pistols, for example, will never be used in the LP) and vehicle sections. Also back: terrible voice acting but from big names. You see, by 2002 it was pretty acceptable for regular actors to do voice work for games. As a sign of the times the back of the box for this game advertised Lance Henriksen as one of the main selling points. Jason Statham, at that point was just becoming a huge star, voices the squad’s eXTR3ME pilot who flies you around a couple times and then disappears for a solid two hours of gameplay (ie most of the game). Neither of them are trying very hard.

I can’t really dig up anything super interesting on this game, it seems like it was made and published and that was the end of that. It didn’t do as well as the first Red Faction, but it did sell well. It was released by any platform that would have it: PS2, Gamecube, Xbox and PC all got some Red Faction action. Interestingly enough, Outrage Studios is credited with the port of the game to the Xbox and Windows. If you didn’t read the Red Faction 1 OP above, Outrage was formed when Parallax split into two companies, the other being Volition. THQ shut Outrage down shortly after this game was released making the port its last game. I don’t know if it is the port or if the other versions had this, but the three sound settings in the game: Effects, Voice and Music are all on equal levels. If you don’t realize this you may miss vital information as there are no HUD markers telling you where you need to go or what you need to do. There are two moments that come to mind where this is a serious problem, both early in the game.

There’s also an autosave feature this time around, no quicksaving allowed. Yeah, this was a port, not something designed for a PC, but you’ll never hurt too much from the autosave positions, which is good. The game isn’t overly hard, or at least it isn’t now. 11 years ago I spent the last hour/hour and a half of the game scrounging for every grenade and rocket I could find because the enemies seemed invincible. Turns out that that was a controller thing, M/KB makes the game near trivial. Save for two boss encounters. We’ll talk about those when we get to them, but the second one can and has killed me before I have had a chance to move after a cutscene.

There’s no PureFaction for Red Faction II, so the bugs in at release that weren’t killed in patches are still there. Even though it wasn’t offered at release, I’m still going to be playing at 1080p because there is a config text file in the game install that lets you modify a number of things, including the native resolution.

Table of Contents


Welcome to the

Alias is the player character this game and the squad's demolition expert. Mostly this means I get to put bombs on things when the game tells me it is OK. Alias is like 99% silent through most of this game, which means he is going to avoid getting Parkered by other characters whenever he opens his mouth. While he specializes in demolition, Alias is adept with all sorts of small and large arms and is Shrike's go to guy for gunning the various vehicles he finds because he is the player character and we can't let someone else gun down hundreds of enemy soldiers who may or may not be there by force rather than by choice.

Molov is the squad leader and voiced by semi-famous in 2013 actor Lance Henriksen. I know this because the back of the game box displayed this fact larger than any screenshot of the game or any description of features. You have to remember having even semi-famous people in games in 2002 was a big deal and so a number of games were touting top tier voice talent when they could get it, and when they couldn't pull that off Michael Ironsides (the one true Sam Fisher) and Ron Perlman were collecting checks for an afternoon's work (probably literally in the case of Perlman in the Turok game he was in). Molov is pretty damn caustic when you get down to it, supposedly the squad is working for the Red Faction, but he openly disparages the leader of the Red Faction once every ten minutes or so. We'll be getting our orders from Molov, similar to how Eos and Hendrix directed us in Red Faction. Outside of those things there isn't much to say about him.

Quill is the abrasive sniper in the squad and her voice actress reminds me of Tanya from Red Alert. That isn't the case, though, so I am sad. Intra-squad tensions seem to be between Quill and Tangier, with Quill serving as Molov's right hand in terms of policy and attitude towards Echo while Tangier defends the worst character in the game.

Repta is the heavy weapons guy in the squad. Accordingly, he is big and dumb and just seems like he enjoys shooting things. That is as far as his characterization really goes, though he does seem to be more likely to follow along with whatever Molov says and enjoys having a hair style last rocked by that one guy in Tekken.

Shrike is the other "big name" voice actor in the game. Jason Statham plays the squad's vehicle expert and you never see him out of a vehicle all game long. If you think his role here is some clever nod to the Transporter series, you would be wrong, the first Transporter movie came out the same month as this game. If you thought it is a reference to The Italian Job you are off by about six months. It just happened that Statham likes money and agreed to be in a video game where he ended up as a Transporter (haha) and it released the same time that a movie he was in came out.

Tangier is the stealthy member of the squad, able to cloak and hack into terminals. Because of this and the fact that you totally can't blow up walls in this game we'll be spending some time with her as she's a bigger asset than Repta or Quill is in most situations we'll find ourselves. She also identifies with the cause of the Red Faction, which has created some tension between her and Quill.

Echo is the least likable character in this game. I identify more with the brutal dictator who build a 200 foot tall statue of himself than I do with Echo, who looks like the kind of guy who made a living foraging for mushrooms in the Pacific Northwest and advising on home births and the placement of energy crystals before he joined the Red Faction. I hate him, Molvo hates him so Molov is OK in my book.

Sopot is the brutal dictator who sent us on the mission to retrieve the Nano Cell and then turned us into super soldiers and then tried to kill us. Kind of a wash at the end of the day I guess because we now have super powers. We start off the game ambushing him at a TV station in Sopot City and then spend our time chasing him down so he can answer for his crimes of making us super awesome at killing things. Sopot also has a small army of "the Processed" which are never fully explained but are more or less zombies given shitty guns and able to take slightly more hits than the average mook, but they don't have free will so right there that makes them better than a force of super powered nano-soldiers where any five of them are capable of successfully pulling off a coordinated attack on a highly defensible position. Sopot is an idiot who happens to look a lot like Stalin.
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