August 12, 2002
Red Faction 2 - Preview
Release Date Publisher Developer Anticipation Players Price

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The NGL-8 Grenade Launcher.
Anyone who has been visiting my site for some time now should know just how much I loved the original Red Faction. To this day the game still stands out as one of the most exciting and impressive First Person Shooters on the Playstation 2. With over a million copies sold, there was little doubt that there would be a sequel. Volition started this sequel, as well as Summoner 2, as soon as the originals hit the shelves. Red Faction 2 is getting close to completion in anticipation of a late 2002 release. Once again the storyline will play an important part in the game, and looks even more impressive then the original.

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Geo-Mod technology returns.
Earth. Twenty-second century. Five years after the rebellion on Mars. For 15 years, Chancellor Victor Sopot has oppressed the people of the Commonwealth. His corrupt rule and a relentless war of unification with the United Republic has left the Commonwealth bloodied and impoverished. As distant battles rage, sewage taints Sopot City's rivers, pollution smudges the sky, and wretched citizens huddle in crumbling ruins. The Public Information Building, built by the dictator as a tribute to himself, broadcasts lies about Sopot's bravery and the Commonwealth's military victories.

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The characters are quite detailed.
Condemned to death by Chancellor Sopot, six super-soldiers unite to save their country, vowing to overthrow Sopot using the unique powers that nano-technology has given them. Join the squad as Alias, a demolitions expert. Fight side-by-side with Molov, Repta, Shrike, Tangier, and Quill--each possessing unique attributes and specialties. Battle through diverse environments using vehicles, an arsenal of specialized weapons, and explosives in a mission to overthrow the government. Defeat Sopot and restore the honor of the Commonwealth!

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Taking the battle to the streets.
Of course it's not just the storyline that has changed in the sequel as Volition have used the lengthy development period to enhance the Geo-Mod engine (which allows you to destroy parts of the levels) as well as enhancing the overall graphical look of the game. As you can see in the surrounding screenshots the graphics, and especially the player models, have improved substantially. As with the original game I would expect the frame rate to hold up pretty solid while an increase in the enemy AI would be welcome, especially with the final boss which was disappointingly easy to beat.

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Whoops, missed them.
Red Faction II will allow you to use four vehicles including a tank, hover flyer and submarine which will once again provide a great break from the FPS action. The game includes 14 weapons including the twin pistols and grenade launcher seen in these screens. Volition is also promising the opportunity to acquire firepower from defeated bosses. The game includes a 4-player split screen mode, which will be tremendous however any online gameplay seems out of the question. Multiple endings are also promised which will be based on your actions throughout the game. Finally, Volition has decided to include USB keyboard and mouse support on Playstation 2, which was sadly lacking in the original.

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Inside the office block.
When it comes to multi-player the game will support 4-player through a split screen. Sadly, there will be no online gameplay, nor will there be any option to link up consoles through the i.Link cable for 4-player full screen games. My one wish in life would be that Sony could step in a provide the coders to add this functionality to more games, including this one, but it's not to be. Finally the game will also lack a 4-player cooperative campaign mode. It's deathmatch all the way - not that it's a bad thing.

I have absolutely no doubt that Red Faction 2 will be much better then the original, which is still the best FPS on the Playstation 2 to date. With better graphics, and an enhanced Geo-Mod engine Red Faction 2 should be a terrific game. With a release date now set for mid November 2002, this is one game that will be eagerly watched in the months prior to release.