Red Faction: Armageddon is a bit of a wild card at this point, with its place in the series still somewhat of a mystery. The franchise is no stranger to reinvention, having found its start as a shooter emphasizing environment deformation and physics, then graduating to an open-world destruction spree. Now Armageddon looks to return to its roots as a shooter, but make no mistake, it’s still blazing forward. The latest trailer shines the spotlight on the story of Armageddon, and the kind of enemy forces that will be rising from the depths of Mars to do battle with humanity’s army.

The Martian environments have been the most noticeable feature of the games thus far, from red stone caves to dusty landscapes, but this trailer will definitely feel familiar for different reasons. By introducing disgusting humanoid aliens led by a mysterious figure and dark, shadowy caverns, Armageddon looks to be getting a serious dose of vitamin Gears.

Epic’s franchise doesn’t hold the rights to aliens or underground combat, so if Armageddon wants to draw influence from an incredibly successful franchise where their enemies or mythology is concerned, that’s up to them. It wouldn’t be the first time someone borrowed from Gears of War, so we’ll let you be the judge.

Have a look at the new trailer focusing on the game’s story, enemies, villains, and adrenaline-fueled combat:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x4ws0Pm5V1I

When the game first surfaced at last year’s E3, the early looks at the weaponry and environments showed that it would be a unique experience, but the trailer gave the impression that the game would be a much darker one, along the lines of a Dead Space or Doom 3. Fans of the series may have been especially concerned after the release of the game’s cinematic trailer, which showed gameplay and environments that were definitely a departure for Red Faction.

But the information on the weaponry and physics of the game released alongside it were a testament to just how seriously THQ and Volition are taking the development of this game, and it’s no surprise then that they delayed the game to make sure it would be right before release. With this story trailer, hopefully fans will see that Armageddon won’t be a step away from the things that made the original games great.

Aside from THQ’s new logo, the trailer showcases a healthy mix of the physics-bending technology and sun-scorched sands of the series, along with a healthy injection of a brand new villain and his monstrous hordes. There’s no point in beating around the bush, this brief hint at the storyline of Armageddon bears a striking resemblance to that of Gears of War 2.

Red Faction Armageddon Trailer Enemy

Seeing any game employ a ceremonially-dressed leader quoting prophecy and promises while sending his mutated alien soldiers to fight the scourge of mankind is going to bring back memories of the Locust, especially when Gears of War 3 is fast approaching. But maybe that isn’t a bad thing.

Red Faction games have arguably always been more focused on successfully implementing mechanics and proper environment physics than compelling story. The games certainly weren’t boring or dull, but the traditional ‘colonists-vs-evil army’ conflict can get old fast. Perhaps the protagonist’s relationship to Guerilla‘s hero and this new enemy could be all it takes to bring Armageddon to new heights.

The brand new weaponry will undoubtedly be what blows our mind when Armageddon arrives, but there’s no reason that should be all the game has to offer.

Red Faction Armageddon will be released on the PS3, Xbox 360, and PC in May, 2011.

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