Red Faction: Guerrilla

With each post the time between them doubles. Huh.

I’ve got a treat in store for you!

I got this thing ages ago for 0.99€ for the same reason as I got F.E.A.R, even though I had completed the campaign. But goddamn, this game is just too amazing.

It’s a third person shooter with an open world, which is fully dynamic to the player’s actions, and not in the classic story-driven “choose __ or ___” style.

This is the 3rd installment in the Red Faction series (RF1, RF2, RF:G). I haven’t actually played the first two, so I can’t compare them.

Anyway, here’s the deal.

The Story

I can honestly say that the story in this game is the weakest feature. While it isn’t anything bad, it’s pretty forgettable. The protagonist, Alec Mason, is a demolitions expert who has come to Mars to make an honest living. His brother is already on Mars, but he has joined the local rebellion, the Red Faction, which fights against the occupying force known as the Earth Defence Force (EDF).

When Alec arrives, Dan shows him around and explains the situation. Shortly after, the EDF rain down upon them, Dan dies and Alec almost gets executed, but is saved by a Red Faction ambush. And from there on out, you do missions for the rebellion to liberate Mars.

I must also say that the “twist” in the story is… meh.

 

The Game

In short, it’s a third person shooter with cover mechanics. The AI is pretty decent, however mostly they end up killing you by outnumbering you, rather than with actual tactics, but that’s not always the case. I recommend playing the game on Hard/Insane for more satisfaction.

The arsenal of this game has a nice variety. You have 4 weapon slots, one of them is locked to your trusty sledgehammer. Everything else is a ranged weapon (one exception, the Marauder Gutter, which just looks fucking badass and brutal). They start with the classic pistol, the standard assault rifle and shotguns. However, it gradually builds up to more devastating stuff, like improvised rocket launchers and thermobaric rockets. Mid-game you also get a very fancy Nano Rifle, which is the best multi-purpose weapon there is.

1370049-rfg_2010_01_25_23_09_13_93
Just look at that. Nathan Explosion would be proud.

The enemies are pretty standard. You have the early game goons who are total pushovers, the more competent drones who are there for the whole game and end-game heavies who can withstand a few sledgehammer blows to the head. There are also the Marauders, who are basically the descendants of a lost martian colony. Much like Japan, they’ve gone weird living in isolation and are very xenophobic.

The Mechanics

This is where the game shines. Everything that isn’t terrain can be demolished. Everything.

It’s just so glorious. The EDF have a certain amount of control over each sector of Mars. To bring it down, you have to undo their buildings in the sector, and goddamn if that isn’t fun.

The Fun

Most of the time when I played, the following scenario plays out:

I’m just driving somewhere and, oh my, an EDF high-value building happens to catch my eye. I swiftly change my course and crash through a wall. The alarm sounds as every EDF goon in the sector is heading to end me. In the little time I have, I unleash the fury of my sledgehammer and demolition charges on anything EDF nearby. Soon the message “EDF Property Destroyed” displays and their influence decreases.

It’s just so, so fun and satisfying. I’ve played through the game about 4 times now, and it still hasn’t gotten old.

Back to the Mechanics

Everything else is pretty standard. The in-game currency is salvage, which you get by destroying EDF property or completing (side)missions. Every sector also has its own morale, the higher it is, the more help you get from your fellow rebels. You get more ammo from hidden ammo caches if the people believe in the cause, same goes for reinforcements.

You have the cover mechanics, which can be nullified by your sledgehammer or explosives. Your health is regenerative. There isn’t much else to say. I guess you also get a jetpack later on, which makes controlled demolitions a bit easier.

(Also, a quick tip : while bringing down bridges is amazing fun, it’ll bite you in the ass later when you have to take the loooong route. Trust me.)

The Environment

I quite like the sound design. The OST is also very spot-on.

Having this play in the background while gunning down EDF, dashing from cover to cover, all the while planting demolition charges on their buildings? Just makes it very… immersive.

I would love to share my opinion about the graphics and whatnot, but I’m afraid I can’t because I play it on low settings.

I dream of the day I get a proper rig.

Recap

A third-person shooter where you can blow everything to hell with improvised weaponry or be a man and wreck anyone and anything with your trusty sledgy.

Be careful not to go in a bloodlust driven frenzy, as the EDF will gun you down should you stay out of cover for too long.

I haven’t felt the game become repetitive, and I’ve played it through 4 times. It’s that good.

So, the question “Should I get it?”

If you like to undo massive buildings, YES. ABSOLUTELY.
Even if you don’t like destruction so much, it’s still a great game. Get it!

Until I find a game I can write about.

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