So I just gave the Red Faction demo (360) a whirl and damn, was I impressed. I wasn't even following this game or anything, but simply grabbed the demo on a whim.
It's open-world destruction game design, reminding me of titles like Mercenaries and Hulk: Ultimate Destruction...only on Mars...and more destructible...with great attitude and grit. While it may sound tired on paper, Red Faction seems to be bringing quite a bit of unique individuality to the table.
First off, EVERYTHING is destructible. I know this was an unrealized goal in previous Red Faction titles, but it looks like technology has finally caught up with the vision. It's a very satisfying destructibility too. Objects and structures dissinigrate in pieces, bit by bit. So you're not just lobbing a missile into a a building and seeing a complete destruction animation, you have to take these things apart bit by bit. You start out with a machine gun, sledge hammer and C4-type explosive satchel, which means you can bust stuff up with your own muscle or opt for explosives to do the job. You get scored for this and it seems to up your moral rating with the civies and it also leaves behind collectible "gears" that go toward weapon upgrades.
The combat is quite visceral and satisfying with just the right feeling of "punch" with weapons and explosions, thanks to great rumble implementation. The graphics are good, but not Gears of War great. The explosions are pretty damn phenomenal though. The game doesn't seem to have a Gears, Killzone 2, FF XIII, budget (the opening cinema was kind of cheesy)...yet it seems to make up for it in fun, attitude and execution.
The demo is timed, so you have 10 minutes to complete your objective. It's open-ended so you can finish it any way you like (along with side objectives along the way). I played it several times and have found multiple points of entry to the target and several completion techniques. The final end sequence to the mission was simply a blast and it leveraged great action with fun NPC commentary that seems to have just the right amount of bravado without spilling over into outrageous sophomoric/steroid pap as found in Army of Two, Killzone 2, etc. Great soundtrack music too.
At the end of the demo it goes into a splash "sell" screen saying that was only a single mission (as the map pans out) of over 120...so it appears as though the campaign will have long legs. That's a bonus 'cause I'm not a big multiplayer guy.
So has anyone given this thing a try yet? I was completely taken aback by how fun and accomplished it was.