E3 2001 Preshow ReportRed Faction

Find out what we expect to see of Red Faction for the PC.

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Red Faction is a first-person shooter, but it stands apart from most with its compelling story-driven missions and unique Geo-Mod game engine. The premise of the game is reminiscent of the plot of Total Recall: A ruthless company controls a Martian mining colony and a rebellion breaks out after a deadly experimental virus is intentionally unleashed in the mines. The player assumes the role of Parker, a member of the Red Faction force leading the rebellion. During the course of the game, players will find 15 destructive weapons, which range from a variety of small-caliber arms to a shoulder-carried cannon.

First-person shooters naturally focus on blowing stuff up, and Red Faction's Geo-Mod technology expands on this theme, allowing for the real-time destruction and deformation of objects in the game's world. That means the players equipped with rocket launchers can shoot through walls, topple towers, and generally wreak havoc. This destruction is modeled realistically, taking into consideration the force and angle of a rocket's impact and the type of material it's hitting. Naturally, some materials are practically indestructible, so players won't be able to blow everything up. Another sophisticated part of the game is the enemy AI, which lets the corporate enemy soldiers adapt to having their cover blown up and notice things out of the ordinary--like dead bodies littering the ground--and become more alert and aggressive in response.

While the PlayStation 2 version of Red Faction was just finished and will soon be in stores, PC gamers will have to wait until this fall to get their hands on the game. THQ will be showing a "very complete" PC build of the game at E3. The game's developers have been able to refocus their efforts on the PC version now that the console game is done. While the single-player game is nearly identical in both versions, there will be an online multiplayer component in the PC version, including deathmatch and capture the flag modes for the eight multiplayer maps.

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