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Wednesday, August 30, 2000

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Red Faction Preview
6:00 AM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

GameSpot has posted an extensive preview of Volition's upcoming shooter Red Faction, a revolutionary title which promises to give players of this game what they have always wanted -- the ability to blow that stubborn door off its hinges, instead of searchind dark corridors for hours trying to find a keycard to open it. Powered by the Geo-Mod engine, this title allows realtime subtractive geometry modification of the map surfaces; in English, the game allows you to blow big holes in things and even reduce entire buildings to rubble.

This in-depth preview provides many details about the game and gameplay, including insight into the backstory and interviews with game developers. There are also twelve new screen shots of varying quality, some which appear so detailed they might be pre-rendered art -- but knowing the abilities of Volition, who worked on the Freespace series as well as Descent III, we don't think they are.

Here is an excerpt which explains more details of the Geo-Mod engine which powers this title:

So how does Geo-Mod work? In programmer-speak, it all comes down to "real-time booleans." Don't take our word for it, though - listen to Alan Lawrance. "When a rocket hits a wall, we take this shape and basically subtract that shape from the world. So we boolean with that 'bit' - we call them Geo-Mod bits - and that takes a chunk out of the world." Which is exactly what we did: We aimed our rocket launcher at a huge steel drainage pipe that was protruding from the wall near the ceiling. Three or four rocket blasts later, part of the pipe, which had been severed from its base in the wall, was on the ground. "There are a lot of other things you have to deal with," continued Lawrance, "like if you shoot out the base of a column, it has to fall over."
According to the preview, there will be six vehicles you can drive (including a sub, a hovercraft, and a tank), fifteen weapons, turrets you can commandeer, and tons of mayhem to be wrought upon your enemies. However, the game is not all wanton destruction. As the preview reveals, there will also be levels in the game in which stealth is paramount, as you literally go undercover and attempt to bluff your way past guards and in-game characters. The game will include online netplay, of course, and will also include its own in-game level editor, which is the same one used by the level designers to create the actual game.

The most interesting aspect of the Geo-Mod engine for Mac gamers is the fact that it will be cross-platform for Mac and PC from the start. Red Faction is due for simultaneous release for Mac and PC in the first quarter of 2001. Check out the preview for more details and screen shots.

Red Faction Preview at GameSpot
Red Faction Web Site
Red Faction

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