RED Volunteers: Too Tired to Kill?
Posted By: Mark LevinDate: 3/26/04 2:07 p.m.

The first thing to notice upon launching RED is the slow, dissonant theme music and redone menus. The sections of the preferences dialog have been renamed, and there's a rather creepy... something staring out at you from behind the logo. There are actually a few beta testers listed in the credits, although there's definitely some question as to how good a job they did :P

After a nice chapter screen, we drop into part 1 of the scenario: Resistance. The first level introduces the general story and some of the new tricks RED has up its sleeve. The first quirk to notice is that "shield canisters" have been changed to pieces of body armor. This doesn't really change the dynamics of the game, but it's interesting to notice- shield recharger panels will be dealt with later. The HUD is all-new, and the motion tracker no longer identifies friend from foe. Your weapon is a ".33 Mercury Pistol", but we won't get a chance to use it until the next level- there's absolutely no ammo here, and even your fists don't work. The health colors have changed: Level 1 is red, level 2 is a bright green, and level 3, when we see it, will be grey.

The key to getting off this level is one of RED's new features: Talking to characters. To your right as you exit your quarters (or whatever) and enter the area named "Lounge", there's one of the new RED marines. These guys are described in detail (along with most of the other enemies) on the RED Bighouse site. The new marines are far bulkier than the original Marathon sprites, echoing the change from shields to armor, and they're immune to fists, so don't think you can just steal their ammo when no one's looking. Ian has a good point about the pulse rifles, too :P You talk to the marine by hitting your action key, which activates a hidden terminal containing only a Picture section.

This level has a bit more to do on it than just get to the cargo bay. Directly across from you as you exit the marine room is a small door which can be activated with the switch to its right. In there is the "Hydroponics", and one of the new Science Bobs, made to provide the utterly helpless victims that have been missing in the games since Marathon 1. Not much else in there besides a switch that will get you back out of the room (be careful not to hit it too quickly, or you'll have to wait for the doors to cycle again).

The textures and scenery on this level foreshadow the art of the rest of the scenario: Grey and red are the primary colors, with the occasional brown thrown in. There are cylinders containing partial human bodies lying around, much more bold than the more subtle "Pfhor experiments" in Marathon 1. The texture set also contains some custom lighting, as we saw in TI, but it's not applied with the same polish (look around the cargo bay doors).

Once you enter the cargo bay, you see another of RED's new creations: The assault drone. These things really aren't used much in the game, although they look pretty cool and pack a wallop. On that page, Ian mentions complaints of "too much grey". Oh, if they only knew...

You exit the level by (eventually) figuring out that you have to talk to that dude in the far right, who identifies himself as... Ian. The idea of inserting yourself into your own scenario is frankly a bit silly; fortunately it's easy to ignore this fact as the story progresses. He explains that you're going off to investigate a dead Pfhor scoutship and download the contents of its databank. What could possibly go wrong?

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Pre-2004 Posts


RED Volunteers: Too Tired to Kill?Mark Levin 3/26/04 2:07 p.m.
     Re: RED Volunteers: Too Tired to Kill?Ben A. Potter 3/26/04 3:05 p.m.
     Re: RED Volunteers: Too Tired to Kill?Ernie 3/26/04 3:09 p.m.
           Re: RED Volunteers: Too Tired to Kill?Mark Levin 3/26/04 7:39 p.m.
           Re: RED Volunteers: Too Tired to Kill?Mista_B 3/26/04 9:10 p.m.
                 Re: RED Volunteers: Too Tired to Kill?Document 9/9/07 10:05 a.m.
     Re: RED Volunteers: Too Tired to Kill?Steve Levinson 3/27/04 3:49 a.m.
           Re: RED Volunteers: Too Tired to Kill?Mark Levin 3/27/04 5:40 a.m.
           Re: RED Volunteers: Too Tired to Kill?Elliott 3/27/04 8:41 a.m.
     Re: RED Volunteers: Too Tired to Kill?Dylan 9/3/04 6:39 a.m.

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Pre-2004 Posts



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