Red Faction Guerrilla Review
Posted by Sammy Barker
Red Faction Guerrilla follows the tale of Alec Mason, a simple miner looking to make an honest living on the developing surface of Mars
But politics are rife on Mars - and the EDF are taking control in none to friendly ways. Unable to resist the temptation of avenging his brother - who fell at the hands of the EDF - Alec Mason is dragged into the rebel team known as the Red Faction - whose sole objective is the liberation of Mars.
Red Faction Guerrilla is an open world third-person shooter with a main campaign that will take approximately 8 hours to complete. However, completing all the side-missions will take upwards of 30 hours. There is also a rather thorough online campaign included and a "pass-the-pad" style local multiplayer component.
It's hard to stress how important this bullet-point is in making Red Faction Guerrilla such a worthwhile product. Simply put, Red Faction Guerrilla has the best destruction physics in a video game, ever. Destroying buildings is much a focus of all of Red Faction's mission objectives, which is natural considering it is the game's strongest element by a country mile. Weakening buildings with sledge-hammers and explosives becomes almost puzzle-like - a thought emphasised by Guerrilla's restricted weaponry focused destruction side missions. The thing about Guerrilla is, you don't need to learn game mechanics to take down buildings. Demolitions are so true to real life you can expose the weak points of building simply by observing them. It truly is phenomenal and is worth the asking price alone. The excellent frame-rate which rarely dips help to make explosions look all the more exciting during heated fire-fights.
Red Faction Guerrilla never really tries to be anything more than a fantastic demolitions simulator. It has many concepts - weapons, driving, open-world - and it uses them all well. But it's clear from the start of the game that demolition is the headline in this game. And that's admirable. Rather than cluttering the game up with too many ideas - Volition allow the other concepts to be a side-show, something to keep the action flowing, and allow you to really focus on the things you want to do in Red Faction - which is blow stuff up.
The music score used in Red Faction Guerrilla suits the tone perfectly. It's cinematic, flowing and suits the mood of whatever is happening on screen. It's also remarkably catchy. It's a real complement to the gameplay.
Although not the star of the show - open-world games have a common theme of having pretty terrible driving mechanics. Not so in Red Faction Guerrilla - all the cars handle well and are actually quite fun to drive. Who would have thought?
We totally respect Red Faction Guerrilla for focusing on its explosive strengths. Alas, some of the mission-types leave a lot to be desired. Prison-breaks can get repetitive and where the main campaign could have been more cinematic, it essentially becomes a showcase for blowing stuff up. Which is totally fun, but you always wonder if it could have been more.
The enemy AI in Red Faction Guerrilla is either hideously good at aiming or insultingly stupid. Most enemy types can simply be tackled with a sledgehammer - highlighting their stupidity. They just stand there while you thwart them. Silly billys.
Early on in the game, Red Faction Guerrilla allows you to take time analysing buildings and finding their weak points. Taking the time over bringing a building to its knees can be beautiful. Sadly later missions spam the screen with so many enemies you simply don't get the time. Something that's really rather disappointing. It can be tedious taking out enemies when all you want to do is blow things up.
As far as open-world games go; Red Faction Guerrilla's setting is probably the worst. There's plenty of buildings to destroy but other than that there's just rock. Red rock. And lots and lots of it. It all becomes a bit dull and tiresome within time — although it works within the context of the game's narrative.
Red Faction Guerrilla includes a full online multiplayer component which we'll be covering in more detail in the near future.
Despite being set on a dull, lifeless planet - Red Faction Guerrilla succeeds by providing some of the most satisfying destruction physics we've ever encountered in a video game and making them an integral part of the experience.