Red Faction Armageddon: Developer interview with Eric Barker
Eric Barker, the marketing head of Volition, the developer of Red Faction: Armageddon. Barker notes that while the destruction in Armageddon is quite neat, destructive power is woven into the combat weapon technology featured in the game. In particular, the magna gun which lets you fling things at your enemy at high speeds. In effect, “the world becomes your weapon.” This opens quite a wide new landscape of weapons and combat possibilities other than the usual projectiles. Also, characters can both destroy and repair.
The focus in Red Faction is underground combat. This involves the game surrounding the character with destruction. The magna gun seems tailored for this setting since it opens up the player’s creativity and problem solving abilities as to which objects to use as weapons or how to throw enemies onto objects or landscape features to kill them. Other weapons include plasma beams which allow players to cut buildings in half. Players can destroy enemies cover or repair items or elements so they can get cover. What seems to be specially interesting about this version of Red Faction is the focus on players’ creativity and problem solving. The game appears not to aim at spoonfeeding solutions to players but the players coming up with their own solutions to combat situations.
Armageddon also marks Volition’s stepping back from an open world storyline. Barker defends the move as driven by the need for improve storytelling, increasing and sustaining action, and reducing travel time.