Gamasutra reported that Battlegrounds is a "topdown car, mech and rover combat title [...] with up to four players on the same screen" and offers the ability to "unlock unique elements in Red Faction: Armageddon." As for why a downloadable Red Faction game comes so close to a major retail release, Whiteford said that while " margins were looking very healthy in this space," a key part of the strategy is "building awareness and loyalty for the company's core brand products." And it seems to be working. This is our fourth post mentioning the game and it's only just been announced!
[Update: THQ has dropped the press release – found after the break – and it's got some additional details. First, it's due for release in 2011 so, keeping with Bilson's earlier comments, we imagine an early 2011 launch. The game features destructible environments, just like its console cousins, and supports four-player local and online "pick-up-and-play multiplayer." The game is described as "a fast-paced multiplayer-focused vehicular combat game in which fast-attack vehicles, heavy tanks and combat walkers wreak havoc above ground and beneath the surface of Mars."
It's apparently playable at Gamescom this week in Germany, so expect some impressions here shortly!]
[Update 2: We've got the first trailer and screens from the game here. Or you can always click the handy "screens" or "video" tabs above.]
Signature Destruction of Critically Acclaimed Sci-fi/Action Franchise Comes to Xbox LIVE Arcade and PlayStation Network
AGOURA HILLS, Calif., August 16, 2010 – Mechs or tanks? The age-old debate will be settled on Mars as THQ Inc. (NASDAQ: THQI) today announced the development of Red Faction®: Battlegrounds™, the first downloadable title in the history of the acclaimed Red Faction® sci-fi/action franchise.
Scheduled to explode onto to Xbox LIVE® Arcade for the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft and PlayStation®Network for the PlayStation 3 system in 2011, Red Faction: Battlegrounds is a fast-paced multiplayer-focused vehicular combat game in which fast-attack vehicles, heavy tanks and combat walkers wreak havoc above ground and beneath the surface of Mars. Staying true to the Red Faction universe, players can demolish anything that stands in their way, from military compounds to enemy vehicles, using advance Martian artillery and explosives.
Developed by THQ Digital Studios UK and executive produced by Volition, Inc., Red Faction: Battlegrounds pits four players either locally or online in a variety of game modes, including Survival, Annihilate and Flag Frenzy. Players rank up and are rewarded with unique bonus content that will be playable in the upcoming Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 system and Windows PC game, Red Faction®: Armageddon™.
"The pick-up-and-play multiplayer action of Red Faction: Battlegrounds adds a completely new perspective to the acclaimed Red Faction franchise," said Kevin Kraff, Vice President of Global Brand Management, THQ. "Just as in other Red Faction games, you can pretty much blow up everything. Only this time, you do it with your friends using hulking mechs, armored tanks and combat walkers."
Red Faction: Battlegrounds will be playable at Gamescom 2010 in Cologne, Germany, from August 18-22. THQ will be located in the Business Center at Hall 5.1, Both B10, and on the show floor at Hall 8.1, Booth B31.
About Red Faction: Battlegrounds
The signature destructive gameplay from Red Faction®: Guerrilla™ comes to the downloadable arcade with Red Faction: Battlegrounds! Jump into your favorite tank or mech using your Gauss Cannons, Rocket Launchers and Singularity Bombs to destroy the competition, and environment along with it. Battle your way through treacherous Martian deserts, terraformed enclaves and more in a variety of different multiplayer modes and single player challenges. Rank up by defeating the competition and unlock new content including maps, vehicles, weapons and even items for the upcoming Xbox 360, PS3 and PC game, Red Faction: Armageddon.