Red Faction: Guerrilla Review
Grab your sledgehammer and smash into our review of one of the Summer's hottest titles!
After a seven year absence, developer Volition (Saint's Row) has resurrected the Red Faction series with the newest entry, Red Faction: Guerrilla.
The game takes place on Mars many decades after the events of the first game where the once liberated colonists, are now being held in captivity by the ruthless Earth Defense Force. You play the role of Alec Mason, an honest, hard-working man who has recently come to Mars looking for work. Despite pleas from his brother Dan, Alec refuses to join the newly re-established Red Faction to combat the EDF. Unfortunately for our hero, a whirlwind series of events thrusts him into the middle of the war, and into the ranks of the Red Faction.
In order to win this war, you will have to liberate six Martian sectors from EDF control. The way in which EDF control is diminished, is by slowly reducing their control rating by completing missions and objectives. Each unique area has its own missions and story lines that play out, largely, without cut scenes. Another important aspect of reducing the control of a sector is to increase the morale of the Martian miners. This is achieved by completing side missions and helping miners in need. High morale comes in handy in several situations, such as when you are in dire need of a vehicle, and a citizen willingly relinquishes theirs. After completing each mission, you are rewarded with both high morale and Salvage. Salvage is the currency you will use to purchase upgrades such as better rockets, new gadgets, upgraded armor, and new sledgehammers. Speaking of sledgehammers, this brings me to the most striking feature of the game: Geo-Mod 2.0.
Geo-Mod 2.0 is the new engine that allows Volition to create completely destructible environments. Please bear in mind, I don't mean that you can blow holes in walls and destroy scenery; you can literally level everything in the game. Buildings, wind turbines, walls, towers, crates, and vehicles can all be blown to bits. It is actually staggering to think of how many ways that one building can be brought down. Remote charges can be placed around the base, you can use the sledgehammer to take out the supports, propane tanks can be placed in the interior, etc. The destruction not only extends to downtime fun, it is also incorporated into the main storyline. There are several destruction targets, of various importance, placed throughout each sector that, when destroyed, reduces EDF control by a certain amount.
Another major aspect of this game is the third person game play. As many of you remember, past Red Faction titles have features a first-person view. While some gamers may be concerned regarding this change, the new perspective is actually very refreshing and compatible with the game. The combat is intuitive and is just as engaging as the first-person game play of its predecessors. The gun play is very well done and firefights are hardly ever boring. One of the best additions, albeit small, is the weapon select system. I often hate having to press left or right on the D-pad to endlessly cycle through weapons. The alternative here is to press the RB which brings up a small mini menu with your weapons, which corresponds to a face button. There is also a nifty map that allows you to place way points which can help lead to your next objective. This ensures that you are never lost on the massive planet.