Redbox is great for either doing a “try before you buy” session or playing through a short yet enjoyable game that you wouldn’t want to pay full price for. Red Faction Armageddon falls under the second category. For a reference point, I enjoyed Red Faction Guerrilla a fair bit and found it one of the better open world, destroy everything games. While the story was mostly throwaway, the gameplay was enjoyable, offered a lot of varied missions and content, and did a great job of letting you “play” in an open world Mars where you try to take back the colony for the people.
Red Faction Armageddon does little of what I loved about Guerrilla. Of course, the open world play is gone, and the destruction is no longer of the massive scale that was found in the previous game. All that said, Armageddon isn’t a bad game, it is just a step backward for the series. The single player game is incredibly short and very linear. I was able to play through the entire campaign in a few play sessions over a weekend that spanned maybe around 5 hours. The story is, again, mostly throw-away and quickly devolves into what amounts to a bug-hunt. Killing lots of bug-like aliens in this game isn’t all that satisfying despite the fact that the game gives you some fun weapons to play with, namely, the magnet gun. The magnet gun is basically the star of the game, which allows you to use destruction as an active weapon and can produce some hilarious results. Attach one end of a magnet to something, including enemies; attach the other end to something else, even *another* enemy, and watch the two get pulled together with explosive force. It’s as fun as it sounds.
For the most part, Armageddon plays out like a serviceable third person shooter, and not many sequences stand out, with exception of a few of the mech portions. When you do get to pilot the games mechs, you’ll get into some of the game’s more satisfying combat since you’re virtually invulnerable (on normal mode) and can deal massive destruction. Those sequences made me long for a good new Shogo game. Oh well.