Red Faction Started Blowing The Hell Out Of Everything 15 Years Ago

Red Faction Started Blowing The Hell Out Of Everything 15 Years Ago

Yesterday, on May 21, 2001, developer Volition and publisher THQ took gamers to Mars and let them blow the living hell out of everything that moved and most things that didn’t.

Red Faction is a game about a miner revolt on Mars in the year 2075. Earth’s resources have been depleted and a vile corporation has set up a mining operation on the red planet in order to exploit workers and something something plague. Really the plot isn’t all that important.

What’s important is the GeoMod engine, which allowed terrain and buildings to blow up real good. Would you rather go through a door, or shoot the wall surrounding the door until nothing was left but a gaping hole? The first choice is more practical, but it’s nowhere near as satisfying.

Here’s a look at GeoMod destruction in action, courtesy of Youtuber gooberCP.

Red Faction made its debut on the PlayStation 2 on May 21, 2001. It was later ported to Windows, Mac and N-Gage. That’s right, N-Gage. Three sequels were released — Red Faction II, Red Faction: Guerrilla and Red Faction: Armageddon, each instalment amping the destructive elements. Unfortunately each instalment also saw a diminished player base. THQ dropped the series in 2011, citing poor sales of Armageddon.

Is there a chance of Red Faction returning? Following THQ’s implosion the rights were picked up by Nordic Games, but original developer Volition has stated it will not continue with the series.

Either way, I’ll always have fond memories of the Red Faction series. We did horrible, horrible things to Mars together.


  • I use to think that every game from that point on would be destructible environments to that degree, BOY was I wrong…sadly

    • The problem with destructible environments is that they generally get in the way of good level design, performance and pathfinding. It’s one of those things you think you want until you realise what you have to give up to have it.

      • For most games that isn’t a real problem, for MMO Multiplayer, it could be a issue.

        Does require more work to do the levels right. Games like Fallout4 would be great with such a mechanic (with limits).

        • For most games it would be a problem, the list of games that destructible gameplay wouldn’t create major issues for is very small. A lot of games use the terrain and the fact that you can’t see past it to basically not render those areas you can’t see and save massive amounts of performance as a result.

      • Level design and pathfinding will be less of an issue when we have persistent/realistic rubble. Which is where the performance factor hits.

  • I just this morning finished red faction after buying it last week on gog. It has held up alright……considering. I tried playing the new red faction years ago but got so distracted hitting everything with the hammer I never got very far……

  • I loved Red Faction 1 and 2, always hoped for a port to current gen consoles *last* generation but it never happened. Would still buy one current gen.

    RFG was fantastic in its own right, though I felt the story lacked the predecessors, made up for it by being sheer fun.

    I felt RFA went back to the roots of the original, a linear shooter with some story thrown in, and always felt it was unfairly judged by “not being RFG”.

    I had also held out hope that there would be an eventual series crossover with the EDF Scout making its way into Saints Row 2, I got excited that Ultor would become the new EDF in 70 years or so. then THQ died :'(

  • my biggest gripe with red faction 1 and 2 was that not every map allowed you to “make your own entrance”. One moment you can fire a rocket into a wall and it would blow up, the next you shoot that same red wall and it was a case of nope not gunna happen. the worst offence was in the final boss fight for 2 where there was 1 column to give you cover and it was the only destructable piece there yet every other map those columns were indestructible.

  • nostalgia.bmp

    Red faction 1 was one of those games that cant be replaced or remade. It just drips in single and multi player fun juices!
    ‘what, that doors locked?!, its ok I will just blast a hole around it’

  • I remember playing this back in 2004. The campaign was alright, though a bit slapdash here and there. All vehicle sections felt token with the sub and the aircraft feeling more like mobile firing platforms that moves in all directions rather than balanced vehicles. The Precision Rifle was wonderful in both campaign and multiplayer, and the fact that rockets had limited fuel and would fall back to Mars if fired straight up into the sky was a nice touch.

    The multiplayer and maps were where the game both shone more brightly and was terribly flawed. Maps were diverse and there were few protected sniper nests that couldn’t be approached or shot at from other directions, largely thanks to being able to blast through adjacent walls. On the other hand, multiplayer seemed to be completely client-trusted; players, usually the host, could load up a mod and give themselves advantages from godmode to invisibility to fly to shooting through walls without extending these benefits to any other player. Considering that this was still the age of dial-up, joining a game to find someone self-modding and having to then find and join another game was a tedious pain in the ass.

  • In the first game after the first level they really seemed to drop most of the destruction. Still pretty fun. Didn’t play two, but Guerrilla was really fun, even the multiplayer and all of it’s hit reg issues.

  • 15 years ago…wow. Had fun playing it, i remember the graphics looking so amazing at the time lol the old blue vs red fighting, the cheesy little riot to start things of in the game haha.

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