Red Faction on the PS2 won acclaim for its fantastic GeoMod technology. Red Faction II takes this technology a step further and enhances the graphics as well.
Where Red Faction was set on Mars, and you were a miner fighting against a corrupt mining company, Red Faction II is set on Earth and you (named 'Alias') are fighting against SOPOC. SOPOC is very '70s Soviet' like with lots of thick accents and heavy [politics].
Again, the geomod technology really shines in the game. Just about anything you see, you can shoot off the outer layer and even blow the entire object up. An enemy is blocking the end of a hallway? Blow a hole in the wall nearby and go around the back way. Want to take down a bridge? Blow out the supports beneath it and then put grenades in the exposed core.
The game bills itself as team-based combat, but it isn't nearly as smooth as Halo. You do have one or two friends that fight alongside you in certain areas, or who pipe in on your communications system to give you suggestions. In generaly though it's really you against the enemy. You can act as gunner in several missions, and there are one or two that you can steer a given vehicle in.
The graphics are good, but not stellar. The lighting is nice as spotlights shine down in the dark or lights glow overhead, but it's still a bit flat when compared against the top of the line console or PC games. The music is OK, but a lot of the 'immersion' things you watch for - footsteps, shadows, ambient noises - are missing.
You can probably get through the game in a few days, and once you unlock various features with bonus achievements you can have a blast (heh) in the various deathmatch and multiplay modes. Eventually you can use all the models you encounter in multiplayer, plus a wide variety of weapons, maps and situations.
If you're a fan of shoot-em-up gameplay that sometimes needs a bit of thought behind how to achieve the objective, this is the game for you. You can replay each mission several times to see if alternate routes through walls, floors or ceilings make a difference. The graphics aren't perfect, but the geomod technology gives them a leg up on the competition. Once they get the graphics to shine like some of the top-runners in the market, they will be unbeatable!
Buy Red Faction II from Amazon.com