Red Faction

My retro gaming journey continued as promised with a dive into the Red Faction series.

Right back to the beginning and Red Faction; what a great start to a game - you're dropped straight into the mines, Total Recall style, with a few explosives and just let rip. The game was ground breaking in being the first that allowed players to selectively destroy parts of the environment.  For example you might be blocked by a locked door and are able to use explosives on the surrounding walls.

I played through the version of first Red Faction now available on Steam and was pleasantly surprised .. the gameplay was immediately engaging and the storyline flowed well ..  up to a point. There is a significant level of repetition in terms of how the plotlines flow and the "bad guys" to be killed. For example, the pattern of a character appearing for a short section of the game, assisting you and then leaving at an odd juncture but not allowing you to come along. Instead the protagonist is repeatedly left on his own in bizarre places.

Red Faction II .. I'm going to be brief here. My first impressions of Red Faction II are:
  • Utterly dire integration with Steam; I had to download a new executable patched by a hacker to get it running. Let's repeat that: I had to download a hacked executable to get software I had just purchased to run on its target environment!!! 
  • The opening levels were so annoying that I didn't even bother persisting. Appalling attempt at a storyline and worse, forced channels of play - you can't go where you want, you must go where you are told and do certain things. 
Red Faction III .. as bad as Red Faction II - brevity.

Red Faction III is possibly the most annoying game purchase I have ever made. Integration with Steam is tenuous at best, this time compounded by compulsory connection to the Microsoft Live gaming network, which -  should you happen to be on Windows 7 64 bit - is akin to attempting teleportation.

I'm not even going to discuss it further. I loved Red Faction, its younger siblings made me cry. Lazy integration with Steam and modern versions of Windows are probably more the issue than the games themselves. 

My faith in retro gaming has not been rocked however; I have gone a little further back in time to Shining Force II for the SEGA Genesis/Megadrive; purchased as part of Sega Classic Packs 3 on Steam and at the same time I have returned to Arc: Light of the Spirits on the PS2. Both are positive gaming experiences and I'll post a bit more waffle about them later.