Red Faction: Guerrilla
Red Faction: Guerilla puts gamers in the role of Alec Mason, a miner who ends up joining a rebel group on Mars known as the Red Faction
- Insanely engaging action, fun side missions, large amount of freedom throughout
- Difficulty ramps up quickly, some minor graphic and AI quirks
Though the game has a few faults, such as some occasional background pop-in and a few minor AI issues, the whole experience is a blast (literally), and you'd be missing a great action experience by not checking this one out. I didn't even mention the deep multiplayer which only adds to the fun.
Price$ 109.95 (AUD)
Some games want to engulf you in an intricate story full of plot twists and deep character development, while feeding you action at a slow burn. Other games want you to work to make progress, presenting puzzles and conundrums that require gamers to think a great deal before they act. Red Faction: Guerrilla does neither of these, instead throwing you straight into the action from the start and not letting go until its explosive conclusion.
It's become a rare thing for me to actually stop playing a game to call one of my friends and gush about something amazing that happened, or how much they need to play it when it comes out, but I did this countless times while playing Guerrilla (and probably annoyed quite a few people along the way). The game isn't perfect, but what it does right it does insanely well and it's easy to forgive some of its minor issues in favour of enjoying the hell out of the rollercoaster ride of maniacal action found within.
Red Faction: Guerilla puts gamers in the role of Alec Mason, a miner who ends up joining a rebel group on Mars known as the Red Faction. I'll just get this out of the way: the ensuing story isn't particularly deep. The Red Faction are the good guys, you know the Earth Defense Force are the bad guys, yadda yadda yadda; thankfully, the storyline takes a back seat to the gameplay. Gamers are given the freedom to explore Mars, carry out main missions or take on Guerrilla Actions (smaller, more specified missions). I didn't mind at all that the story was thin because the gameplay more than compensated for the lacklustre plotline.
The Mars depicted in Guerilla is broken up into 6 sectors, each of which you must liberate from EDF control. This can be done in a variety of ways, such as blowing up EDF-controlled structures, performing various Guerrilla Actions and taking on the longer Red Faction missions. Each time you hurt the EDF in a sector, their control meter goes down. In turn, the morale of the people in the sector goes up. The higher the morale of a sector, the more people will join to aid your cause; eventually, you'll notice fellow Red Faction members coming to your aid in firefights.
The system works fairly well but it was a little wonky at times; I'd notice in the middle of a particularly hairy shootout that so many Red Faction members would show up that they'd become a liability. It was great having backup but it's not very helpful if your comrades run you over with a vehicle or walk right into your line of fire.
Liberating With Ease
One thing I really enjoyed while playing through Red Faction: Guerilla was the feeling that I really had a large amount of freedom. For instance, the game gives you the option of performing every Guerrilla Action in a sector, and though not necessary, it's a great way to collect salvage (the in-game currency, which you can use to purchase new weapons and upgrades) and also loosen EDF's grip on the area.
There are nine different types of Guerrilla Actions you can pursue, and I thoroughly enjoyed most of them. Heavy Iron, where you're given either a destructive mech-like vehicle known as a walker or some huge tank to destroy a barrage of EDF vehicles and enemies was a definite highlight, as well as Collateral Damage, which tasks you with riding on the back of a vehicle armed with a giant cannon and causing as much damage as possible. I did find myself avoiding a few types of Guerrilla Actions that weren't as exciting to me, but the variety is there, and I never found myself wishing I was doing something else.
Guerilla also has an awesome arsenal of weapons to play with as well. The game offers players a vast array of weapons to use, and many of them feel fresh and unique. I found myself switching between the sledgehammer (one of the coolest and most versatile starting weapons I've ever seen in a game), assault rifle and remote charges early on, but as I progressed more weapons opened up. In addition to the variety of weapons you can purchase and upgrade at Red Faction safehouses, you can also permanently utilise enemy weapons. If you happen to find a weapon on a fallen enemy that you've never seen before, pick it up, and it will be available for the rest of the game from any Red Faction safehouse.
But the most impressive aspect of Guerrilla was the Geo-Mod 2.0 engine, which Volition used (along with the Havok physics engine) to create the ultra-realistic destruction physics in the game. When you blow up a building, smash through structures with walkers, or simply go on a rampage with a rocket launcher in tow, the sense of satisfaction is unparalleled. To me, the game's story and characters could've been as shallow as Crackdown and I still would've had a decent time blasting away.
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