Red Faction Armageddon: A Path To War DLC Review

It doesn’t seem that long ago when we saw the release of Red Faction Armageddon, a game that despite the mixed reactions from many, I actually found myself enjoying. Fast forward a few months (has it really been that long) and Volition and THQ have released the third, and from all accounts final, bit of DLC* for the game.

Titled Path To War, this download is set across four new missions that will see the player use two new vehicles (one of which is a tank) and two previously unseen weapons (The Shard Gun and The Sharpshooter gun). The stories for the missions are simple and mixed between events that take place prior to and during the game’s main story and as such you get to play as two new characters as well as returning protagonist Darius Mason. The two new characters, one a cultist and the other a member of Red Faction, are presented to us via short cut scenes after which the respective leaders then proceed to bark orders at you as you proceed through the mission. Whilst this can be helpful at times, it does make the levels a tad linear and they can get boring and pretty samey very quickly. Especially when you consider that the first two missions find you piloting the aforementioned new vehicles and as such these levels become a series of point, shoot and then move on sections.

So not a promising start, but wait, because there are still two more missions to come. Missions that not only feature the return of Darius Mason but also the chance to use the aforementioned new weapons. I won’t say much about the story of these two missions except that both play out at different points in the main game’s plot and as such you get to use the different weapons that you would have unlocked at that time in the main game. This is a nice touch as it makes you feel that some thought was put into how the levels fit into the story and also means you can’t use the more powerful weapons found in the latter part of the main game to mow your way through the level with ease. Speaking of weapons, and in particular the two new additions, these are available almost from the beginning of the levels and as such mean that you get to use them for the entire length of the mission. Sounds great doesnt it? Well for a while it is but you then start to realise that these so called new weapons aren’t that great. The aforementioned Shard Gun, a weapon that collects and then fires debris at targets, turns out to be nothing more than just a souped up magnet gun with a bad targetting system to boot. Add to that the fact that the weapons sadly can not be used outside of the levels, let alone the DLC, and their novelty soon wears off.

So it would seem from the above that the DLC is following the same path that the game did, in that it has managed to maintain the same flaws that most people who didn’t like the game on its initial release pointed out. But that said I still found myself enjoying the DLC in much the same way as I did the full game. Granted the levels here are smaller and you will finish the whole DLC in a few hours but I enjoyed it. Maybe it was due to the fact that when playing this game you can literally smash through almost anything, which can become a great stress reliever. Although you are still restricted by the fact you are sometimes in a cave/building, but with a little bit of creative weapon usage even the cave/building can become one big weapon.

Is it worth shelling out £4.39 (PS3) or 560 Microsoft Points for? In all honesty, if you’re not too keen on the main game, then this is not for you. However, if you are a fan of the franchise, and enjoyed the main game, then go for it. Especially when this is likely to be the last we will see of the franchise for a while due to the fact that THQ have shelved it due to poor sales. So if smashing and crashing your way through Mars sounds like a fun way to spend an afternoon then let this DLC be your Godzilla and your console of choice your Tokyo!

Red Faction Armageddon: Path To War is available now for download on PC, PS3 and X360.

 

*DLC=Downloadable Content

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