Destruction: That’s what Red Faction is all about, and the Path to War DLC to Red Faction: Armageddon certainly delivers on this key ingredient of the series. Unfortunately it’s all over far too quickly. Only four missions are packaged together in Path to War, each of which can easily be completed in 10-15 minutes. It’s a disappointing quantity to be sure, but the quality so prevalent in the main game is certainly revived here.
Path to War is all about the conflicts leading up to the events of Armageddon; the build up to the Cultist attack on the terraformer. The first mission is easily the most interesting one; in fact it’s possibly a missed opportunity that the others didn’t follow the same perspective. In this first mission you play as one of Adam Hale’s lieutenants, piloting a Cultist aircraft whilst attacking Red Faction forces through canyons and caves on your way to destroy power generators. It’s a fantastic switch of perspectives as you play as the bad guys, although it’s diluted somewhat by it being solely a vehicle based mission, and the vehicle handling itself.
As with the majority of Red Faction: Armageddon’s vehicles, this aircraft more floats than sours and the handling overall lacks fidelity. Mind you its weapon systems work fine, and in tandem with the destructible scenery it’s difficult to not to enjoy yourself, regardless of controls. Minutes later though, and the mission is over and you’re back on the side of Red Faction for another vehicle based mission. This second mission has a unique problem all of its own: enemies put up almost no fight against your mighty tank. Sure it’s fun to cruise through the narrow passages blowing everything away with you cannon and mounted machine gun, but the mission feels completely unnecessary.
The final two missions put you back in the boots of Darius Mason from the main campaign, and it’s a return to form as you experience the same frantic action that made Armageddon so great. You fight against Cultist soldiers to begin with, then the bugs nearer the end, experiencing a decent challenge as you go. Additionally you’re given two new weapons to unleash on your foes. The Sharpshooter fires bolts at enemies, allowing you to pin them to the environment, whilst the Shard gun rips building apart by magnetically pulling debris together before firing it in a pulse. The Shard gun is ridiculously powerful and just as fun to use, it’s just a shame the weapons are only available in the DLC and don’t carry over to the main campaign.
The short narrative shines some light on Adam Hale’s initial moves against the Red Faction leading up to Armageddon’s campaign and it’s an undeniably fun aside. It’s just far too short, only clocking in at around an hour. For the asking price of 560 MS points it doesn’t offer the best value for money, but for Armageddon fans Path to War is a worthy addition to the overall narrative as well as being fun, can you really put a price on that?
MLG Rating: 7/10
Platform: Xbox 360/ PS3/ PC Release Date: 02/08/2011
Disclosure: Midlife Gamer were provided a digital copy of Red Faction: Amageddon Path to Warfor review purposes by the promoter. The title was reviewed over the course of one week on an Xbox 360. For more information on what our scores mean, plus details of our reviews policy, click here.