|System: Xbox 360, PS3|
|Dev: THQ Digital Warrington|
|Release: April 6, 2011|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p|
After you've breezed through the single player missions, the only option left is the multiplayer, and it too is limited in features. You can partake in a quick match, create your own public or private session, or join a match. The standard fare of modes is available, including Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, King of the Hill, Capture the Flag, and Flag Frenzy. The Deathmatches are the least indulging of the bunch. King of the Hill is great for all against all matches, especially if you've mastered the layout of each map, which considering how small they are is quite simple to achieve. Team Capture the Flag matches have the most strategic element, having one member play defense with a tank while the other tries to speed to victory using an ATV. That being said, the multiplayer is still rather linear and lackluster compared to the bevy of other multiplayer massacre games out there, and for the most part it still boils down to short bursts of trigger finger carnage. The small map size also limits the player capacity to four, a major offense for a series so heavily built on destruction.
The graphics and sound both have cons and only a few timid pros. The color palette and stage design give enough variety to each venue to keep players from wanting to stick to one. However, there are too many strong uses of earth tones (or "Mars" tones), which fit the setting, but these browns, yellows, and reds mask the vehicles all too often, making it even tougher to keep track of yourself and the enemies on screen. The sound has an expected playlist of gun and missile fire effects as well as explosions, but become repetitive very quickly. With firing weapons from the start of the match to the end, paired with a ceaseless amount of explosions, a larger quantity of sound effects would have been appreciated. The music is a blend of futuristic synthesized rock, which you'd think fits well into the series, but somehow manages to sound underwhelming.
Red Faction: Battlegrounds is fun enough in short spurts, and may be just what the doctor ordered after a rough work day, when you need to escape into a virtual world and blow something up. But with a short list of mediocre game modes and a laughable single-player campaign, this is one that will most likely sit in your hard drive until you delete it when clearing up space. Who would pay ten dollars for a bland appetizer? My suggestion is to wait for the main course coming out soon.
CCC Freelance Writer