A good time can always be had when blowing shit up is the primary focus – fact. Red Faction: Guerrilla takes this to heart and delivers one of the most fun, action packed, and explosive experiences I’ve ever had.
Briefly, The Setting
This isn’t Red Faction as we’ve seen it previously. RFG is a third person open-world shooter that takes place on Mars. At the beginning of the game, you arrive on Mars and are greeted by your brother who quickly fills you in on just how shitty life on Mars is. For whatever reason, your character (Alec Mason) decides to stay and get acquainted. After the first introductory mission, Alec’s browser is offed and you’re inevitably recruited to help the Red Faction push the EDF off Mars. Through a series of story missions and side quests, you reduce the EDF’s control of each sector, while raising the morale of the people in order to win the battle.
Whatever the Case May Be, Blow Shit Up!
What makes RFG truly special, is the level of destruction it brings to the table. I was impressed with Battlefield: Bad Company this time last year, but it doesn’t hold a candle to RFG in this regard. You can literally reduce buildings to rubble, and there are no exceptions. If you can see it and reach it, you can destroy it. Massive towers, huge bridges spanning enormous gorges, fortified enemy bunkers… blow it all to hell!
The Tasks at Hand
Mission types vary from simple search and retrieve, to destruction fests, to the ever boring “drive this vehicle from point A to point B before the time runs out”, and many more. The great thing, is that nothing is mandatory, with the exception of the story missions, of course. You don’t have to complete each and every side mission in a region in order to fully reduce the EDF’s control, which means you can skip any missions you really aren’t fond of.
Things to Blow Shit Up
RFG packs an absolutely insane arsenal that is sure to satisfy everyone in some form. Most of which are upgradeable from the many safe houses. The game’s currency is salvage, which can be collected from any destroyed structure or vehicle. This adds an interesting angle, as I found myself running toward things that were blowing up, as opposed to heading for the hills. Aside from salvage, there are a few other types of collectibles which go toward unlocking Achievements/trophies. Needless to say, with the amount of missions and collectibles, it’s very easy to get consumed by RFG.
I flew through the single player campaign in just over 11 hours, with plenty of objectives still on the map. Once completed, other side missions that were previously closed opened back up, but at a cost. You are told that you can continue to clean up Mars once you have forced out the EDF, but things aren’t going to be more difficult. And the difficulty is most definitely stepped up! I found RFG to be quite difficult to begin with, and dropped the difficulty level to “casual” pretty early on.
Plenty of Online Game Play, Too
Surprisingly enough, RFG packs a full-on competitive multiplayer mode that substitutes the open world for smaller, tighter stand-alone maps that are based on locations from the single player campaign. Game modes are pretty typical, but the game play feels anything but ordinary. Along with weapons, you have a variety of backpacks at your disposal. In the single player game, you acquire a jet-pack part-way through. This is just one of the many that are included in the multiplayer modes, and probably one of my least favourites.
Multiplayer modes range from standard fare deathmatch and capture the flag, to an assault mode called Siege, which is an absolute blast! The object is for one team to destroy a series of targets, while the other team defends. Targets are typically buildings, some of which can be hit from great distances with ranged weapons. While others, like bridges, require a more intimate approach.
There’s also a party game type for offline multiplayer, which is also great fun! It’s called Wrecking Crew and there are 4 modes available. The object is to get the highest score, while the conditions change from mode to mode.
A Pleasant Surprise, to Say the Least
Red Faction: Guerrilla is a game that took me by surprise in a big way. I’ve played previous Red Faction games, and while they stood their ground, they were never games that you talked about long after you finished playing. RFG is the exception to the series, and easily one of the most flat-out fun games I’ve played.