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 am starting Red Faction II.
With the original Red Faction under my belt, I was feeling good. The rebels won against the oppressors, just as the cavalry arrived. So, with the threat of the Ultor Corporation negligible, what new threat could cause the Red Faction to carry on?
As Red Faction II opened, I found myself behind the visor of Alias, weapon in-hand. We were en-route in a Vertical Takeoff & Landing (VTOL) aircraft, headed for some facility based in the jungle. We landed under heavy fire, instantly losing the other three VTOLs as well as the three men who had accompanied me. So far, so Red Faction…
I stormed the gates, blasting through a wall to enter and destroy some sentry towers. With those down, my VTOL blasted the front doors of the main building and I completed my infiltration in the least Solid Snake way possible.
Whereas Red Faction began with a tutorial giving you a brief outline of the plot, I had been thrown in without the benefit of any prior insight. Through a combination of the manual and in-game radio chatter, I realised I was on a mission to grab some nanotech under orders from Chancellor Sopot, a high-up government official. If I remembered my nanotech from this universe, this was no-doubt based on Capek’s experiments. Perhaps it was even directly created by the now-dead (presumed dead?) scientist.
I murdered my way through the facility, evading a trap via a ventilation grate, and wasting many rounds on the way. I reached the containment room where the nanotech was being stored and killed the guards. Once free to have a look about, I was told to deactivate the cooling tanks -- the quickest way to do so, I decided, was with rockets. I grabbed the case and legged it, being treated to a cutscene with jogging and explosions.
The game cut to another scene -- Alias and his commanding officer Molov were in a room just off of the lobby of a building. Chancellor Sopot was recording a broadcast on a higher floor, and we were there to kill him. Alias being quite unlike Parker from the last game, didn’t voice his concern for targeting the person he was working for just moments ago in an exploding facility. He didn’t seem to be saying anything at all…
After clearing the lobby, we headed for the elevators in the back. Molov was cut off from me, and I had to continue alone as I went up taking shots at enemies which were using the open elevator system. As I got to the top, I had to go around to a side door as the others were locked or barricaded.
One guard got the drop on me, but Tangier stabbed him and decloaked. Turned out that she was working with me, and had been enhanced with the ability to cloak, having been put through the process of nanotech. Together we cleared the next area of enemies, then I used my rocket launcher to take down a helicopter which was about to attack us whilst she hacked the next door.
A civilian ran away from us, and into the path of an automated turret. Using the aforementioned rocket launcher, we cut through the cubicle farm and blew up the turret before continuing into the next room. We were introduced to Quill, who was sniping from across the street to take out some of the guards.
Tangier and I went through the next door and up a series of staircases, shooting guards as we went. At the top another helicopter was obliterating everything with a hail of bullets, so I shot it with yet more rockets.
In the hallway at the end, we found ourselves in the main broadcasting studio. Not wanting to get shot, I completed a side objective by accident by tossing a grenade into the archive room window, blasting the place. I ran in to confront more guards, but instead met Repta as he leapt off of a gantry. When I was in the elevator earlier, he had uttered the immortal line: "Resistance heavy, outnumbered 15 to 1. Under control.”
With the room clear, I checked a nearby door and found a reporter -- who I almost shot due to the insulting tone he took as he reported on me to the camera stood next to him. I shot the camera and left, going through the archive with Repta to murder some more guards.
Wading through heavily armed enemies, I destroyed a blockade they had set up consisting of a couple of tables, and went into the next studio. I couldn’t find or blast a way through, so I left only to hear a loud crash. I turned around, opened the door and found the gantry had collapsed, giving me a handy ramp.
Once at the top, I ascended some stairs and I found myself on the roof in the pouring rain. Sopot was heading for a helicopter, and the one piloted by Shrike -- our pilot -- couldn’t land due to heavy resistance. I went around the roof murdering away, but each time the chopper circled around there was more reason for him to keep going.
I went back inside the building, though it was more of a guard storage building due to the amount of men I shot and lobbed grenades at. The rest of the team were cheering me on, Molov telling me that I was the only one who could do it as Quill couldn’t get a clear shot. I finally reached the helipad and came under fire from Sopot’s gunship!
After several rockets and many bullets, it turned to make an escape. Shrike pulled in and I leapt on to take control of the mounted turret. We chased Sopot, but they had too much of a head start, and the gunships sent to get in our way were… well, getting in our way. We were told to go and help some Red Faction patrols who were pinned down.
It took lots of missiles and many bullets, but we aided them against Sopot’s troops and the threat of the Processed. I hadn’t been expecting to see zombies in this game, so the appearance of the Processed was quite surprising -- failed experiments like the monstrous former-miners which Parker encountered in Capek’s lab.
It was then that we were shot down. Despite being told to bail out by Shrike, Alias didn’t and in the resulting crash/explosion he lost consciousness.
Alias woke to comm chatter, with Molov deciding that Alias was probably dead. Apparently Sopot’s security forces were en-route to the crash site. This is where speaking would have helped to let them know where I was, even though it was a weak signal and staticy as hell…
There were only a few blokes and drones nearby, so I was soon swimming for escape after a plank gave way beneath me. I’ve no idea what the sewer conditions are over 100 years in the future, but I can’t imagine I’d want to swim in them…
It took some working out, but I turned a valve to make the water level rise so that I could swim to another section. I took down more drones, almost drowned -- but finally reached safety… Well, as safe as a presumably active subway track could be...