Red Faction: Guerilla captures chaos better than most games.Red Faction began its life on the Playstation 2 in 2001. The first entry in the franchise pushed the boundaries of console shooters, as it featured complex levels that could be destroyed and explored with explosives. Developer Volition found greater success in this recent console generation with their absurdist-take on the Grand Theft Auto formula, Saints Row. Red Faction: Guerilla captures chaos better than most games, due in no small part to its showpiece mechanic: mass scale destructibility.
From the tiniest Martian shanties, to sprawling military bases and towering government buildings, every structure in Red Faction can be reduced to mere rubble. Explosions blast huge chunks out of the side of buildings. Even Red Faction’s default melee weapon, the mining hammer, can level the most massive of structures, as taking out key support points realistically brings the foundation crumbling around you.
Red Faction: Guerilla puts you in the shoes of a miner with a promising future in Martian construction. You quickly end up an enemy of the Martian government, and end up uniting the people of Mars against the oppressive government. The open world design and formula will be familiar to most gamers, as you steal vehicles, find secret collectables, and cause a ruckus.
The story doesn’t impact your enjoyment of going hog-wild with explosives and rocket launchers.The graphics are merely passable, and the audio is generic and forgettable, but Red Faction’s aim is to capture the chaos and open-ended destruction of guerilla warfare. The story is wafer-thin, but that doesn’t impact your enjoyment of going hog-wild with explosives and rocket launchers, as you bring the dictatorial government of Mars to its knees. Story and side missions simply highlight the biggest set-piece buildings, and do a good job keeping the scenery fresh.
Your arsenal makes you a ruinous force, and suitably opens up the gameplay to allow for a variety of play styles. You can sneak into a base and plant remote explosives on your high-priority targets, only to safely and distantly detonate your charges with your enemy none the wiser. Or you can call allies to your side, and use rockets for a bombastic frontal assault. The persistent destruction in Guerilla allows for a great deal of flexibility when strategizing missions, and offers great incentive to experiment with your own approach. Things open up even more once you unlock and upgrade a highly advantageous jetpack.
You start Guerilla with smaller-scale—though no less devastating—weapons, and build towards more exciting toys. Even at the outset, your satchel of remote explosives makes short work of any wall or support beam. Eventually, giant, building-decimating missiles, mini black hole mines, and electricity guns are at your disposal. The highlight weapon is a special rifle that fires hungry nano-machines that disintegrate materials, and can quickly bring even the largest structures crashing down. Regardless of whether you favor precision strikes or all-out bedlam, Guerilla gives you the flexibility to tackle objectives in a multitude of ways.
Guerilla’s campaign can last anywhere between 10-20 hours depending on your propensity for exploration, side missions, and doodad collecting. The side missions can be more fun than the story sometimes—certain side missions impose limitations, like a single explosive, or rocket, and task you with destroying a key building with your limited arsenal. With these restrictions, the missions turn each target into its own destructive puzzle, as you must figure out key structural weaknesses in order to bring the target down with what little ammo and resources the particular challenge provides.
Red Faction: Guerilla will delight and impress you with its ambitious game design and destruction.Volition’s sequel to Guerilla, Red Faction: Armageddon still sees the series’ trademark destruction at the forefront, though Armageddon ditches the open-world level design for a more linear, level-by-level approach. The open-world structure of Guerilla pairs well with the open-ended approach to missions, which arguably makes Guerilla the superior Red Faction title. Even as new titles and new graphic engines bring unseen realism and gameplay, looking back and playing Red Faction: Guerilla will delight and impress you with its ambitious game design and destruction.