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Hands-On: Red Faction Armageddon’s ‘Ruin’ mode

11 Mar 2011  by   Paul Younger

Please note that, unfortunately, THQ has not provided us with any screenshots specific to Ruin mode. We do however, have a trailer which you can watch below.
I recently got the chance to test Red Faction Armageddon’s new ‘Ruin’ mode at a THQ event this past week in the hope of getting a little more insight into the game’s largely unknown multiplayer elements.
Ruin may be billed as a ‘multiplayer’ mode but it is actually a solo experience linked via online leaderboards. The idea is to create as much environmental damage as possible within a set time limit. We were only given access to one map, ‘Junction’ (which you can see in the trailer), a small dusty-red industrial complex littered with imposing gas tanks, tall storage towers and a smattering of other non-descript buildings.
At the start of each round you’re given the option of selecting your weaponry (see our campaign preview for more info on Armageddon’s weapons) from a handily placed vending machine. Across my four or five attempts to beat the high score of just over 20 million points I tended to stick with the ever-satisfying magnet gun/rocket launcher combo. Up to four weapons can be selected but I rarely deviated from my preferred duo.
If you manage to continuously rack up the points for a set amount of time you earn multipliers which are the key to obtaining big points; doubling, tripling, quadrupling your score. Ruin mode is more about causing a constant stream of destruction than it is about focusing on big, individual targets. Each map has a pre-set ‘par score’ which, if you break it, awards you with additional time on top of the default 1 minute limit. If you’re aiming for a big score, earning that extra time is vital; on the one occasion I managed to do so I scored a hefty 6 million points more than my previous scores.
While Ruin mode does a great job of getting you straight into the mix with Armageddon’s best feature – destruction – it feels a little stale and ‘tech demo-y’ as a result of it being a solo experience. Yes, the leaderboards give you something to test yourself against but, I can’t help but think that they’ve missed a trick by not allowing two players to enter the same arena and duke it out by trying to cause more destruction than their opponent.
We’ve got more info on another of Red Faction Armageddon’s multi-player modes coming your way as soon as the embargo on coverage lifts. You can also check out our recent hands-on preview of Armageddon’s campaign as well as our interview with Game Designer Drew Holmes
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