“This is your standard-issue magnet gun. It can fire two disposable projectiles - the first is the anchor and the second is the attractor, best used with stationary objects. Aim your weapon (like so) and pull the trigger (like so). You can damage your enemies by attracting them to a wall. You can attract the wall to them. You can attract them together.
“Whatever happens, do not place an anchor point directly between you and your target. Momentum will quickly become your enemy.”
It’s been a long time since I’ve committed to a play time and made it. Yet Nick and I managed to get my damaged copy of Red Faction: Armageddon spinning this past Monday evening for a few rounds of the Infestation co-op survival mode.
At first it was a straight gunpowder affair, wherein we used shotguns, assault rifles, and grenade launchers to stay alive. Soon after we implemented Nano Forge attacks - Nick’s being a type of “Force push”, and mine being a shockwave that suspended enemies in stasis for a few seconds. The final evolution of our combat style was to wield the magnet gun.
If you’ve heard of this Armageddon weapon already, it’s because it seems to have struck a chord with previewers and reviewers. In a game with downright epic destruction the magnet gun is a perfect fit. Metallic objects are not needed - the magnet rounds stick to almost whatever you launch them at, and then attract each other. Think along the lines of Ghostbusters: The Video Game’s slime tether.
Once you’ve gotten the hang of the gun you can get really creative. Smashing two Creepers into each other is effective...but sending a hulking Berserker crashing through a crowd of Creepers is hilarious. Especially when the Berserker balls up and bounces like a giant, rubber bowling ball. Also: instead of sticking an anchor magnet to a bunker wall and bringing that wall crashing down on some Martian bugs, you learn that placing the anchor magnet on the back wall of the bunker increases the amount of debris that collides with your adversaries as the magnet plows its way through.
Bridges are sweet spots for magnet gunners, as you can either yank them out from under enemies, or pull one down on top of them. Most of the maps are littered with a few explosive canisters; normally you’d have to wait for an alien to pass by, but with the magnet gun you take the explosions to their faces.
Ultimately I did not approach the physics of a flying, 400-pound alien Berserker with the respect that I should have. In the last Wave that we played I stuck an anchor magnet to the biggest enemy on the map and, in an attempt to draw it away from Nick, I fired at the nearest thing - the ground. Cue my “surprised” face as I realized I was about to be bowled over (or worse: crushed) by a minivan-sized, flailing monster. My screen turned a reddish hue when the Berserker crashed into the ground, impacted with my character, and swept me through a rock barrier (yes, through) and over a small ledge to the level below.
Believe it or not, I survived the impact and laughed hysterically. But the problem with awesome, unscripted moments in games like this are that while you’re trying to explain what happened your partner is busy trouncing aliens himself. “Hey, Nick, did you see that?! I just got-- hoooly crap, that dude went all the way across the map!! Which gun are you using?!”