This is my ongoing exploration of the Red Faction Universe. Whether you’re a newcomer or an old-goer, I hope to make this something you can read along with and enjoy. I just finished Red Faction.
With Red Faction finished, I figured a little epilogue was in need, before moving on to Red Faction II. I’ll try to sum it up, and address any issues I had during play.
Honestly, I think my only issue is something I mentioned, where I had to start up the screen-capture program Fraps in order to slow down the game's framerate, and stop a submarine exploding before I could get into it. On the plus side, it appears Red Faction's framerate is unlocked, as I was getting over 100fps.
Parker was a normal everyday miner, who turned into a very capable murderer after the Red Faction rebellion began. Through the course of the game, he kidnapped, sneaked, threatened and killed dozens of people who were trying to do the same to him. He survived against impossible odds, took out a mad scientist, destroyed a space station, helped secure the cure to a deadly plague, all before reinforcements could even enter orbit.
People find the amazing super soldier-style protagonist tired and done, but this came out three years after Half-Life with its everyman protagonist. Therefore I can’t imagine that didn’t have an impact on the choice of player character - a normal schlub who gets dragged into something bigger.
However, by choosing to place you at the front of a revolution, you aren’t made to feel like the fate of humanity depends on you. Several hundred people stand against you and true freedom, but you’re only really fighting for your own survival.
This is something that Volition have done with pretty much all of their titles, at least in the first entry of each franchise. Freespace saw you as a normal fighter pilot, Saints Row put you as an average gang member, and even The Punisher started as an average guy.
If the Ultor Corporation had quelled the miner uprising, the titular Red Faction, then as far as humanity was concerned nothing was going on, other than mining. Ultor didn’t plan on invading Earth -- they didn’t even intend on doing anything bad to Mars! Sure, the miners were in terrible living conditions, breaks were few and far between, and a mad Ultor scientist was experimenting on them… If not for Capek, then I’m not sure there would have been a problem!
I’m actually glad that Capek wasn’t the final boss, though. He may have ignited the spark of revolution, but once it began to take hold it wasn’t going to stop until one side was finished. As Ultor called in a mercenary army, that included sending them into disarray -- but if the EDF had turned up sooner then would the plot have been irrevocably altered?
After all, the Earth Defence Force are the good guys...
Join me next time for Red Faction 2 Diaries!