Monday, August 9, 2010

Red Faction: Guerrilla Review

 Jet packs and explosives = limitless fun.When you think of interstellar tyranny and galactic civil war, Red Faction isn’t the first game that comes to mind. But when you replace those two things with Mars and unprecedented destruction, you have a different story entirely. Red Faction: Guerrilla is Volition’s third entry in the series and brings with it the most unmeasured, gratuitous destruction this generation has seen.

The story isn’t going to win any awards, but it does what it needs to do. For what it’s worth it follows Alec Mason as he arrives on Mars to work with his brother. Shortly after, the Earth Defense Force (EDF) kills his brother and targets Alec for being part of the resistance, part of the Red Faction. From here Alec is assimilated into the rebel ranks and must help them push the oppressive EDF back. The only problem is, well, the EDF has an entire army. Guerrilla warfare anyone?

Unlike its predecessors, Guerrilla deviates from the conventional first-person viewpoint by going third-person. Along with this change comes the shift to a free-roaming, mission based environment ala Grand Theft Auto. If that sounds strange – you’re not alone. But surprisingly, the change works incredibly well and, if anything, infuses the game with explosive variety that many open-ended games lack.

Mars is setup into six distinct zones that must be liberated from EDF control. Each activity you undertake will earn you salvage (the game’s currency and means of purchasing new equipment) and/or lower the gauge of control for the EDF. Lowering control allows you to gain access to the story-based Red Faction missions that will progress the game and unlock other zones. These missions are all very fun and in case you misstep, the checkpoint system is very forgiving. This setup works extremely well as you’re given the choice of just running rampant, destroying EDF structures or partaking in the various activities around Mars.

It wouldn’t be a Red Faction game unless it put a tremendous amount of effort into destruction and Guerrilla is no different. Every single building on Mars can be brought to the ground in glorious fashion. It looks great, feels satisfying, and simply never gets old. The only problem I have is when you’re trying to destroy a building it sometimes is kept standing by just one or two supports. In that regard, the destruction physics can be a bit off, but for the majority of the time it’s a blast to swing through obstacles and watch the debris fly.

Yes, it is this much fun to blow things up.

If you’re not one to constantly follow activities, Guerrilla rewards for taking out important EDF structures. These targets range from small, less important buildings to heavily fortified, high importance structures. Destroying targets is a quick way to unlock Red Faction missions and is quite fun at that. There’s nothing like collapsing a power planet surrounded by EDF troops and making a quick getaway. If running off the beaten-path doesn’t appeal to you as much, activities like Demolitions Master, Heavy Metal, and the rail-shooting rides with Jenkins are among the greatest in the entire game. Demolitions Master is probably the best activity since it’s so unique. It’s basically a puzzle that requires the annihilation of a building in a certain way. 

 He was in the way.There are also a couple different multiplayer components worth noting. One is called Wrecking Crew which is more of a pass the controller, party mode. It has various modes such as limited ammo or simply blowing up barrels, but they all deal with blowing buildings apart. It’s a good time with multiple people but not something you’ll be spending most of your time on. The other component deals with the competitive side of things. You’d think meshing destructibility with the diverse range of weaponry available would be something unbelievable. And it is – it’s unbelievably ridiculous and broken. It’s setup like Halo and in that respect it works well. It also uses various unique backpacks, like the Rhino which can charge a short distance through buildings. But it all goes to hell once the games begin. For instance, on certain maps teams can spawn-kill the entire time. Weapons are completely unbalanced and make otherwise close matches into blow-outs. While I found the different gametypes very unique, the gameplay online was simply too chaotic and unrefined to be anything worthwhile.

The destruction and campaign in Red Faction: Guerrilla is unquestionable great and something definitely worth experiencing. Unfortunately, full retail price isn’t justifiable as once you’re 15 hour romp is done, there’s little reason to revisit Mars.

Enjoyed the article? Follow me on Twitter!

No comments:

Post a Comment