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YMMV: Red Faction
  • Alternate Character Interpretation:
    • The EDF as rather brutal Knight Templar who genuinely care about and are fighting for the survival of Earth - and, by extension, the entire species - and see the miners as ungrateful children unwilling to do what is necessary to keep society functioning.
  • Anticlimax Boss: In Guerrilla, General Roth is just a mook in a tank. The final fight is over in seconds. Hell, you can kill him before you even see him if you bring a railgun.
    • Masako, the reportedly Badass leader of the Mercs from the first game, is the last person you fight before the finale. She has a boss nanoshield as well as a custom rifle that kills you in 3 hits on Normal difficulty, as well as being the fastest enemy in the game once she loses her nanoshield. Still, she's no Cyberdemon and goes down relatively quickly.
  • Catharsis Factor: Guerilla offers this in spades. There's no feeling quite like bringing down an EDF base with only your trusty sledgehammer- and gratuitous amounts of explosives. Armageddon offers up a bit more, though not nearly as much due to it's linear storyline. You can't fault it for trying though, especially when it gives you the option of reassembling what you just blew up with the Nano Forge... so you can destroy it again.
  • Complacent Gaming Syndrome: The Major League Gaming Playlist in Guerrilla. No Health Packs. No Remote Charges. No Rail Driver. No Handicapping. No Proximity Mines. No Vision Packs. Fox Only. Final Destination.
  • Complete Monster:
    • Mad Scientist Axel Capek of the first game was the head of scientific research at the Ultor Corporation who created mutants by experimenting on animals and people alike. Capek tested his scientific curiosity by unleashing a plague on the Mars miners that crippled and killed many innocents. A vicious egomaniac, Capek dismissed the deaths of all the innocents he was responsible for as nothing more than a stepping stone to progress.
    • Lucius Kobel of Guerilla outstrips any of his fellows in cruelty. When the Earth Defense Force loses faith in their current commanders, Kobel is sent in to suppress the Red Faction rebellion for good and all. Civilian casualties were unimportant and Kobel set about with an attack that had one goal: start fresh and exterminate all life on Mars. Beginning a bombardment on Mars, Kobel called the civilians "expendable" and indicated he had arranged the entire situation simply to seize command from the previous commander.
  • Demonic Spiders: The railgun-wielding Merc Commanders in Red Faction, who could kill you with 1 shot. From behind a wall. Those darned Elite Guards, too, who are Made of Iron and dodge your shots like it's The Matrix.
  • Fan Nickname: In Guerilla, Mason is capable of using a sledge hammer to tear gaping holes in solid concrete, dislodge steel girders, and send people hurtling through the air. They are jokingly referred to as Thor and Mjölnir respectively.
  • Franchise Killer: People generally really enjoyed Guerilla. The franchise seemed quite revived. Then came Armageddon which abandoned the "rebels fighting oppression" recurring storyline for a generic Bug War plot, threw out the Wide Open Sandbox of its predecessor for a linear third-person shooter game, and the ability to destroy terrain was often a detriment as you'd destroy critical paths and need to rebuild them constantly with the nanoforge. The game wasn't really bad but it was certainly not what anyone was hoping for and it sold so poorly that THQ said they no longer have plans for more Red Faction games for now. They said that about Red Faction 2, as well....
    • This likely contributed to Koch Media not buying the rights to Red Faction along with Volition.
  • Game Breaker: In online multiplayer, the eponymous sledgehammer of Guerrilla. There's a known bug in the game where the hammer's reach extends far beyond what it should ever be. Complaints filled the message board and the responses from the developers give only one concrete explanation for the phenomenon: They Just Didn't Care]. More charitably, online wasn't the main focus of development. Also Heal Packs: designed to keep you alive in the heat of combat by speeding up the rate you regenerate health, or as lot of players like to do, exploit its ability to make you invincible for its 30 second duration. There are also mods that include an assault rifle that shoots the explosions from singularity bombs.
  • Goddamned Bats: The Creepers in Armageddon, fast, weak vermin that leap around the caverns to try and slash at you up close.
  • Good Bad Bugs: In the PlayStation 2 version of the original, using fine aim mode with the Shotgun caused all pellets to hit the same exact spot, turning the balanced shotgun into an overpowered sluggun.
  • Idiot Plot: Armageddon. After Hale's terrorists sabotage the terraformer, thus apparently ruining the surface environment of Mars for human inhabitation, nobody attempts to fix it. It's implied that the governing body of Mars is making too much of a profit from the citizenry's suffering in the underground to allow the repair to take place, but that seems to be a fairly weak attempt to plaster over the plot hole. This is especially infuriating when you remember that the protagonist, Darius, is capable of repairing almost anything man-made by pointing his hand at it, and this is exactly what he did at the end of the story. If it was that simple he could have turned around on the day of sabotage and solved the problem right there. The surface seems to have breathable air anyway given that all the missions on the Mars Surface are done without any character using any kind of respirator. The ease of this solution also makes the act of killing the Queen Alien largely unnecessary.
    • For that matter, why did Hale think he could tame the aliens, given that the only contact with them prior was an Ultor survey team that got completely obliterated? How did he tame that one alien, given that up to this point they'd done nothing but slaughter everything they came across? Why, as soon as that seal came off, did the aliens pour out and start murdering everything, when up to that point they'd apparently been perfectly fine underground? If Earth-like air is their one weakness, why did they not start massacring colonists when Ultor first colonized the planet?
  • Memetic Mutation: Mr. Toots.
  • Rooting for the Empire: The Earth Defense Force occasionally gets this. Partly because their brutality is so insanely overplayed that it just becomes implausibly hilarious, and partly because they get cool uniforms.
  • “Stop Having Fun” Guys: The online mode once the Major League Gaming Playlist was added.
  • Stop Helping Me!: The reinforcements that you get sent in Guerilla often have this effect, as they will usually just get killed and that will decrease your reputation. This has lead many to feel that this feature is a Scrappy Mechanic.
  • Surprisingly Improved Sequel: Although the first Red Faction was considered a small hit in 2001, the 2002 sequel sold poorly, and fans found the game disappointing, which caused the series to go dormant for years. Then Guerilla came out of left field and made everyone aware of just how much fun the series' environmental destruction gimmick could be when properly utilized, not to mention abandoning the run-of-the-mill first-person-shooter formula in favor of an open-world third-person format that essentially amounted to Grand Theft Auto on Mars, with lots of explosions.
  • That One Sidequest: Ever wonder why Oasis is the most-requested sector for Demolition Master walkthroughs? Getting the pro time on one Demolition Master there involves demolishing a watchtower by hitting it with a batted exploding barrel. You have, at most, two shots before the pro time elapses and both of them need to have the precision of guided missiles to actually knock the tower down. With no consistent way to control the variables, especially the flight path and direction of the barrels, this is a nigh impossible Luck-Based Mission. Combined with the fact it takes more than twice as long to reset it as it does to fail it and you have an ideal recipe for frustration.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: In Armageddon, the concept of the Nanoforge is wonderfully realised in gameplay, but the plot almost entirely neglects it. The focus is entirely on the painfully unoriginal Bug War concept instead. The Nanoforge is the most scientifically advanced and ridiculously useful devise in the whole of creation, yet the Faction lets Darius run around with it. A power struggle between the new government, Darius and the cultists all over the Nanoforge and it's seemingly limitless power would have made for a much more compelling plot. It would also have been more in keeping with the primary theme of the series: government oppression and civil war.
  • Tough Act to Follow: You could argue that the popular Guerilla would be setting up any sequel for a disappointment, but frankly, considering Armageddon was the polar opposite of its predecessor in terms of game design this was probably not the way to endear fans.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not Political?: The first game is a bit guilty of this. A group called Red Faction, fighting for the rights of workers, against a megacorporation more concerned with making profit than with the well-being of their employees, and which sports a particularly communist-looking symbol ? The implications are baffling.
    • The third game arguably more so: instead of underground, the game is now set on the surface which is mostly comprised of desert, Mars is now occupied, its valuable natural resources exploited and its population oppressed by the vastly technologically and numerically superior army of a superpower (which routinely engages in killing of civilians and torture of prisoners) and you play as the member of a group of "freedom fighters" committing several acts of terrorism against the occupying forces. In other words, you're playing as obvious stand-ins for Iraqi insurgents.

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