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Luke Mitchell
12 Jun, 2009

Red Faction: Guerilla Review

360 Review | Time to smash stuff.
It takes a lot nowadays to do something special in a videogame; something that makes it stand out from the pack and really grab you, suck you in and make you want to play it until the very end. It could be an intense narrative, the satisfaction of gaining a new ability or special attack, or perhaps something even as simple as a new special feature to unlock. In Red Faction: Guerilla, the one thing that makes you want to play the game over and over again is quite simple. It lets you smash things. You can basically destroy whatever you like. The destruction can come in many forms, using multiple weapons and explosive devices, and is always satisfying. Where the previous Red Faction games got their acclaim from being able to make holes in walls, Red Faction: Guerilla takes it to the next level, letting you make holes in any structure you want. Behind all this mayhem and destruction, however, also lies a fairly competent third person shooter, and these things combined make the new game in the franchise from developer Volition hard to resist.

The game is set some years after the first game on the planet Mars, which is completely in the control of the EDF (that's Earth Defense Force for those playing at home). Playing as Alec Mason, you very quickly find yourself playing an integral role in the Red Faction resistance, trying to gain control over the various zones on the planet, thus taking the power away from the oppressive EDF and giving everybody a happy ending. To do this, you have to complete certain tasks to try to loosen the stranglehold they have on the planet, such as destroying key landmarks, freeing hostages, defending specific areas and just generally making life for the EDF as difficult as possible. These missions and sub-missions of sorts are marked on your map, and it's up to you how you want to tackle each objective and in what order, so you have the freedom to explore the planet in your own time.

BOOM!!

BOOM!!
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You start off in one sector with only a few missions that you can partake in, unlocking more as you progress. As you complete tasks, you'll gain morale in that sector, so you'll find that later missions actually will have you being assisted by some of your AI team-mates, and the areas will be less populated by the EDF as well. By completing missions and doing the occasional bit of mining along the way (and by mining we mean, smashing up some ore here and there), you'll gain salvage, which is crucial to upgrading your weapons. There are plenty to choose from too; while you'll start with your basic sledgehammer, guns and remote mines, you can upgrade those to be stronger and more powerful, as well as getting much beefier firearms such as rocket launchers down the track. All the better to destroy things with, and that's the best part!

Any of the structures that you see in Red Faction: Guerilla can be demolished with relative ease, with some of the more complex structures requiring a little bit more thought if you don't have the ammo in your arsenal to do so. Sure, you could just smash the foundations of every building with your sledgehammer (which is pretty satisfying, to be frank), but you could place some explosive barrels around the outskirts of a building and then watch the fireworks display as they all explode in a wicked domino effect. Of course, remote charges are also fun to use, and lining up a few of them in the right places can sometimes work a charm as well. The bottom line is, whichever way you do it looks and feels awesome, and there are enough options in terms of destruction that you can always tackle things differently and experiment with different ways to topple the large buildings in front of you.

Prepare to get rubbled.

Prepare to get rubbled.
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Taking on the EDF is often going to resort in being some sort of gun-fight, and Red Faction: Guerilla provides all the right tools to make the battles interesting. There are a variety of weapons, and if you're in close range, sometimes it works well to just use your sledgehammer to crack some skulls. You can take cover of course and also take advantage of your environment, causing rubble to fall on your foes or even running them over with the various vehicles at your disposal. The vehicles can be used as tools of destruction as well; after all, what better way to take down a building than to smash into it with a truck? The game also offers some 'alternate' means of transport, including mech-like creations and jet-packs - but going into detail about how much fun these things are could require a separate review, so just trust us when we say that they rock, big time.

Red Faction: Guerilla both impresses and disappoints in the graphics department. The amount going on at one time on screen is very impressive, the character detail is nice and the explosions and destructions look gorgeous. Watching a building fall in front of your eyes with explosions going off and gunfire zooming past is a nice touch. That being said, Mars is very... orange. There's not much detail in the landscapes, and while it's understandable that there's no shrubbery or interesting elements of a planet such as this, it would have been nice to see something to differentiate the scenery a little bit from the rocks and dirt. Buildings are also usually ugly grey structures, and while it does make sense to the oppressive world the EDF has created, it does get a bit repetitive. The enemies are also sometimes hard to recognise, given that your own team-mates sometimes blend in with them. We often found ourselves losing morale for accidentally smacking someone from our own side in the face with a sledgehammer. Oops.

Smash stuff. Just don't let it fall on you afterwards.

Smash stuff. Just don't let it fall on you afterwards.
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It's also worth mentioning that the game features a pretty good amount of online fun as well. There are your standard free-for-all and deathmatch modes of course, but even these are jazzed up by special backpacks that contain bonuses like healing, jump-jets and upgrades to how powerful you are. Add that in with the fact that you can potentially create your own pathways to kill your opponents, and you never quite know where the next attack will come from, which creates a nice level of competitive intensity. There are also more complicated modes where as a team you must defend a certain point from incoming attackers, and the games are generally easy to get into with a pretty good matchmaking system, which is good to know for those who like their online gaming to have as little flaws as possible.

It seems when the development team sat down to discuss Red Faction: Guerilla, the main thing they were concerned about was making the experience exciting, cool and most importantly, fun. On this level, the game well and truly succeeds as one of the biggest riots available in gaming, and is a pleasure to play through from beginning to end. The game also succeeds on other levels too. It looks amazing, works pretty well as a competitive shooter and has enough creative spins on destroying things that the experience doesn't really get old. Some might argue that the game is 'samey', and on some level, Red Faction: Guerilla does come close to being a one-trick pony. The bottom line is, you won't really care; destruction for the sake of destruction has never been this much fun, and this is easily one of the most exhilarating games you'll buy this year.
The Score
Lots of destruction, lots of action and a whole lot of fun, Red Faction: Guerilla is a must have for anybody who occasionally gets the urge to needlessly smash things and have a good time.
Looking to buy this game right now? PALGN recommends www.Play-Asia.com.

Related Red Faction: Guerilla Content

Red Faction: Armageddon delayed
14 Sep, 2010 Fear not citizens of Mars, it won't be too much longer.
Red Faction: Guerilla Preview
12 Aug, 2008 We get destructive with some serious beta.
Red Faction: Guerilla Preview
16 Apr, 2008 Destruction has never been this awesome.
11 Comments
4 years ago
Another game I really want. I really enjoyed the single player demo, and could only get one match of multiplayer but I enjoyed that as well. Will definitely get this one day.
4 years ago
You had me at Guerilla.
4 years ago
Its alot of fun. The destruction just never gets old. I generally just forget about following the story and just blow shit up for hours on end.
4 years ago
So many good games at the moment. Thoroughly enjoyed Red Faction: Guerrilla. icon_smile.gif
4 years ago
This game is insanely fun, but it's crazy because in the last couple of weeks we've had 3 great open-world games. The hardest part is picking which to play first, gaming overload at the moment.
4 years ago
i asked this on the prototype review as well, whats the longevity?

the biggest decider for me is the $$:time spent playing factor.
4 years ago
I'd imagine at LEAST 10-15 hours depending on the main campaign and missions etc, but then there is a lot of time spent just stuffing around smashing stuff too which extends it... and many of the missions are repeatable to try to get better scores/times!
4 years ago
There are only about 18 or 19 main storyline missions, but to access them you need to lower EDF presence in the area (similar to earning respect in Saints Row to access missions) by doing side-missions etc. There's over 100(!) side missions, with a fair amount of variety, though mostly revolve around blowing shit up. There's also certain EDF buildings all over the map that you need to destroy, as well as 300 ore mounds scattered around the map. Overall, there's a ton of content here.

As well as that, there's both online and offline (pass the controller) multiplayer.
4 years ago
cheers Luke, ill probably get if I can squeeze 20 hours out of all the content
4 years ago
Awesome game, could only have been better if there were lots of lamp posts and you had a bionic claw for an arm. icon_smile.gif
4 years ago
That's a great review and I agree with it completely.

I am still having a blast with this game, I have nearly finished the single player storyline, and I'm looking forward to playing a bit more multiplayer. I've had a few games already and they were all great fun, especially once you get a feel for the maps. There also appears to be a bit of depth added in multiplayer in the way that you earn experince as you play which allows you to unlock various visual upgrades.
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| More
  Pre-order or buy:
    PALGN recommends: www.Play-Asia.com

Australian Release Date:
  1/1/2009 (Provisional)
Publisher:
  THQ
Genre:
  Shooter
Year Made:
  2008

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