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Review: Red Faction: Guerrilla

Author: servbot_kill!

Red Faction: Guerrilla is terrific fun.

So I’ve been playing this game for a while, and I’m really having a blast with it. There’s little better at the end of the day than sitting down and being able to blow crap up in the most incredible ways without having your neighbors complain about you and getting a visit from the police. 🙂

As long as you don’t feel like thinking about your entertainment, you’ll enjoy it.

This is a game about copious amounts of property destruction as a means of throwing off the yoke of an oppressive foreign Earthling regime. You’ll be running around with a sledgehammer, your first weapon, and acquire remotely detonated mining charges to deal destruction a very short while later. Your arsenal will eventually run the gamut from assault rifles and light trucks to heavy mining walkers and rocket launchers, all suited to dealing destruction in their own way.

Yes, you can drive vehicles in this title. Think Halo’s vehicles and that’s the exact thing, just that you can barrel through structures too due to Volition’s Geo-Mod 2.0 technology enabling the dynamic deformation of structures. You can destroy any building on the surface of Mars, and from the rubble you can pull scraps of salvage that function as the game’s currency for weapon upgrades.

If you’re thinking just a little about it, you’ll actually have more terrific fun.

Sure, you’ve probably gotten the hang of running around and blowing stuff up and smacking the living crap out of people with your sledgehammer, but there’s an element of tactics to Red Faction as well. The Geo-Mod 2.0 technology interacts with the Havok physics engine to an unprecedented degree. Supposing you had a water tower standing on three supports. Take out two of those supports and the tower will collapse in the direction of those missing supports, allowing you to control the direction of your demolition. That tower can end up tearing into an adjoining building or falling across a road, destroying vehicles passing underneath and blocking the path so enemy reinforcements driving along can’t get to you immediately. If there’s a horde of enemies waiting on an upper floor for you, stay under them, fling some charges skyward onto the ceiling, run outside and take the floor right out from underneath them. It’s all possible.

Looking to make your demolitions dramatic, or running out of demo charges? Planting those charges directly on load-bearing columns or walls (or just smacking them out with the sledgehammer) will take down the structure by sheer virtue of its weight. Red Faction’s buildings behave like you might expect them to under controlled demolition conditions– it’s fantastic. The “Wrecking Crew” mode and “Demolition Master” submissions make use of this, giving you limited resources or time, and most of the time you will be counting on gravity to take out the rest of the structure after you’ve blown a couple of critical supports loose. Taking out the larger buildings like this in Wrecking Crew will save you time and resources as you move from building to building.

Don’t think about it too much!

Not everything about Red Faction is top-flight. Characters as a whole are fairly forgettable– the voice acting won’t grate on your nerves, but it won’t land on your list of memorable voices of the year either. Character designs fall here as well, and the script is really not the most compelling thing out there. The story, of an oppressed people resisting the iron fist of their rulers is an age-old concept, but with the way this story is fleshed out you wonder why the player even bothers doing the things he does for the Red Faction except for all the upgrades promised to your for salvage.

This is a giant, entertaining tech demo and it shows. That’s not to say it’s terrible, but connoisseurs will be shaking their heads in disappointment.

Additionally, the Geo-Mod technology, while impressive, will have its occasional bugs and properties that some gamers will find quirky. A guard tower should not be able to stand for over three minutes on a single ladder alone after all the rest of its supports have been blasted out from underneath it. Debris will sometimes fall through the ground plot where it once stood as part of a structure. And for that matter, if you can destroy buildings, is there a good reason why you can’t deform the terrain which should ostensibly be softer than the hard man-made construction materials that make up Martian buildings? Maybe they’re made of cardboard?

Whatever the case, Red Faction: Guerrilla is still terrific fun.

Being able to tear the living crap out of Martian settlements is exhilarating, and seeing them collapse in just the way you’d expect is extremely satisfying. That said though, the meat and potatoes of the game is that very Geo-Mod technology. The garnish isn’t really all that impressive, but you would be a fool to judge it solely on that. Still though, it does hurt the appeal of the game, knowing that there’s not much in the way of a compelling story or memorable characters and dialogue behind the technology. That’s just why you won’t be analyzing the plot at all– you’ll be having too much fun wandering the wide landscape and tearing the crap out of stuff.

Bottom line: enjoy it for what it’s good at, ignore what it’s not good at.


Red Faction: Guerrilla is out for PC, and it includes the entire Red Faction: Guerrilla title as well as all the downloadable content released for the game since it went live for PS3 and 360. Best of all, this package costs just $40. This is for a game that is barely three months old AND the expansions. A fantastic deal, if you ask me.

Want to see what IGN said about Red Faction: Guerrilla? See it here.


  1. Comments  Geek Montage » Red Faction: Guerrilla   |  Tuesday, 22 September 2009 at 2:32 PM

    […] having your neighbors complain about you and getting a visit from the police. Read my review on Red Faction: Guerrilla here. […]

  2. Comments  DarkKnightH20   |  Tuesday, 22 September 2009 at 2:36 PM

    I’ve played 2 and I think maybe 1 — with Wrathie :-O They always had enjoyable character names on those games lol.

  3. Comments  Wrathie   |  Tuesday, 22 September 2009 at 7:51 PM

    Haha, remember TehzTooth DKK…Red Faction bots are hilarious.

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