THQ’s Volition team have been busy at work creating a new addition to their Mars-based franchise. Red Faction games have long been famous for their environment crushing Geomod engine and once more it is back with a vengeance.

Red Faction: Armageddon is set some fifty years after the events of previous series title Red Faction: Guerilla. We’re still on Mars, but dysfunction, angst and fighting within and between groups of humans has since caused damage to the planet’s Terraformer. The destruction of the technology led to the planet’s surface becoming uninhabitable, forcing the over ground population to flee to mines beneath the ground.

That was 10 years ago though, and since the events colonies have set up underground in an attempt to rebuild civilization. Unfortunately for the colonists, they share their new-found underground hideout with a shedload of ancient aliens who’ve been in slumber for a number of years. While they’ve remained in hibernation for so long, the aliens, known as The Plague, have been disturbed and aren’t too happy with the humans occupying their tunnels.

Our protagonist is Darius Mason, the grandson of Alec from RF: Guerilla, and his mission is help guide the mine-dwelling folk away from the imminent alien threat. Unfortunately for him he was somehow involved in the destruction of the aforementioned Terraformer so they’re not exactly warm upon his arrival.

Volition have opted to take a massive stray from the last game’s openworld setting in order to make something a littler more linear; a path-based affair set amongst dark, winding tunnels full of goodies to collect, weapons to upgrade and bits of environment to destroy.

A number of new guns in Armageddon are encountered including an innovative and rather unique weapon named the magnet gun. It works by allowing our protagonist to shoot at one thing and then another. The second shot causes the first object to be pulled towards the second with massive force. Using this opens up a pretty big range of possibilities, as the Geomod engine allows walls, buildings or pretty much anything to be dragged into your second choice. If you’ve managed to grab and hurl something pretty essential to progressing, for instance, the stairs, then don’t worry and just whip out your nano rifle. The gun uses nanoforge technology to put obliterated stuff right back together with a pretty blue shiny effect. Very handy.

Also new to this addition is the stasis gun, which will freeze an enemy right where it is, be it in the ground or even mid-air, leaving them defenseless to do as you wish. Then there’s the Singularity Cannon, which fires a huge black hole wherever you point it, sucking everything nearby in before obliterating it into tiny particles.

One moment sees Darius enter a massive Red Faction mech complete with a rapid-fire railgun, heat-seeking missiles, and huge arms that are able to smash through both enemies and general environmental stuff.

We’re told that Armageddon will have tons of different locations, with ice caverns and lava levels, plus certain sections will actually be above ground in some pretty inhospitable weather conditions.

We don’t know much else just yet, but there will be a lot of focus on upgrading weapons much like in Guerilla, plenty of side-quests and a range of vehicles. That’s all we can tell you about right now though.

As a compliment to Armageddon, THQ Digital will be releasing a downloadable title using the same mechanics featured in the game proper. Set to come out on both Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network, Red Faction: Battleground is a multiplayer vehicle-based game offering players the chance to control a plethora of rather interesting vehicles in a series of different game modes.

RF: Battlegrounds boasts items such as proximity mines, remote charges and a singularity bomb. It possesses nine arenas and allows for both local and Xbox Live multiplayer. Modes of play include Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, Capture The Flag, King of the Hill and Flag Frenzy (which requires players to pick up several flags and drop them off at specific points). Apparently certain Achievements and Trophies unlocked in Battlegrounds will do you favors in Armageddon too.

There’ll be a load more stuff to download for Battlegrounds at some point too: an Armageddon pack with vehicles from the game along with an Origins pack that will tie-in with the TV series due out this year.