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Multiple Factions

Screenshots of RFII multiplayer emerge

THQ has released a couple of mutated hands worth of Red Faction II screenshots showcasing its various multiplayer functions. That's 12 screenshots, by the way. As you might expect, these highlight its four-player split-screen modes, and we've also caught wind of the precise details of the game's various multiplayer elements.

There are around 40 maps and characters to choose from, not to mention bots to blast, and quite a few different play modes, ranging from vanilla deathmatch and the team-based variation to more obscure derivatives like Bagman and Team Arena.

The goal in Bagman is to find the bag and hold onto it for as long as possible without getting killed. Players accumulate points for frags and seconds with the bag, and the match ends when a player reaches the target score. A neat twist is that if they're lined up correctly, players can see where the bag is and how far away it is from their location at any time, so camping isn't going to help anybody...

Arena is Rocket Arena-style event with rounds rather than free-for-all blasting. Players don't respawn once dead, instead waiting for the next round, and the last surviving player at the end of a round gets the points. The player with the most points wins. Team Arena, a variation on the above, could be equated to the ludicrously popular "Clan Arena" online mod for Quake III and other first person shooters. A handy inclusion for Red Faction II.

Officially, THQ is keeping schtum about Regime, the third obscure gameplay mode, but we've heard that it involves running around after Sopot's crown - Sopot being the evil dictator in control of Mars. Then again, you won't find out until you beat the single player game - Regime is locked until you do.

In a recent preview we also drew attention to the game's power-ups, and now we can bring you the official list of what's on offer. The Damage Multiplier doubles a user's damage for a short period of time, allowing you to allocate some serious pain to those who deserve it, while Slo-Mo shifts everything into slow motion, surprisingly, but only for your opposition. Magnet is rather like the Gravity Well power-up from the classic Quake modifcation Painkeep, dragging enemies into your firing range for a short period, and finally, a shield power-up offers a brief spell of invulnerability to the player who finds it. Always a crowd-pleaser.

Red Faction II is due out on November 15th, and the more we hear about it, the more we want to move to Mars.