Red Faction: Guerrilla
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From first person shooter to third person shooter,
Red Faction: Guerrilla transforms the series into an almost sandbox
like experience in this open-world shooter. With strong links to the
previous games, the game is set 50 years after the original Red Faction
game. The story parallels the classic Arnold Schwarzenegger film
Total Recall where Earth is dictating to the Martians and in
Red Faction: Guerrilla, the oppressive force in this game is the
Earth Defence Force.
From the very first moments of play, you immediately know
that you are in for a treat from the spectacular pre-rendered cutscenes
to the amazing in-game graphics which are unparalleled in terms of eye
candy and scope.
The story immediately throws you into a world gone made
and when your brother is murdered by the Earth Defence Force troops, you
found guilty by association. Unwillingly you are forced to join the resistance on Mars
who are called the Red Faction and from there, you need to assist in the
liberation of the planet. From peaceful engineer, you are turned into a
professional guerrilla who does not take no for an answer.
The gaming environment in the game is massive and the developers have
successfully managed to capture the vastness of the Martian planet from
the very look of the rough, barren and reddish coloured landscape.
course in the future, mankind has successfully terraformed the planet which means man
can now breath without the need of special breathing apparatus.
Unfortunately for the miners of Mars, The Earth Defence Force hold the
planet in an iron grip with a shoot first and ask questions later
mentality. Your role as Alex Mason is simple, assist the newly re-established
Red Faction from loosening the grasp of their oppressors and if this has
to be done one brick at a time, so be it.
However, things are not what they seem on Mars as there is an offshoot
faction or group of mysterious humans called the "Scavengers" who have
thrown a spanner in the works for the both the humans and the EDF.
Without spoiling the story, Red Faction: Guerilla is a very epic tale...
just what is the "Nanoforge"? ;)
With that said, the destructible environment of the
original game makes a thoroughly welcome return in the third game as
players can use a variety of items from futuristic Thor-inspired
sledge-hammers to knock buildings apart, explosives or weapons.
to say, it’s a very satisfying experience, however once you start the
destruction, the forces of the Earth Defence Force come into play and
this does become tricky.
terms of open world play, gamers can explore a vast area of Mars,
however thankfully these are limited as only certain areas are
accessible to the player. You can steal vehicles, enter buildings and
explore on foot, with gun in hand and sledge-hammer in the other, it's
so much bloody fun to reign mayhem on your oppressors. In reference to
vehicles, the game contains a variety of 4WD or pickup type vehicles,
trucks, tanks and other interesting and futuristic vehicles. Best of
all, each of these handles quite differently.
actions in the game also raise the moral of the locales and by
destroying the buildings of the Earth Defence Force, some of these
Martians will even join in for some basic squad mechanics. As with Grand
Theft Auto IV, your character has a red or green alert on your GPS with
green meaning your safe and red meaning your wanted by the EDF. When
your red, the EDF are out in force to get you which makes it quite
exciting as your trying to get away either on foot or a vehicle.
Your missions are generally located from a hidden base in
Parker, a large area of Mars where you can restock your ammunition,
create new weapons thanks to “salvage” which is found by destroying
buildings and of course be given missions. Missions are also available
throughout the map which can be located from your GPS. Simply by
selecting "select" in your controller, this will bring up a map with a
variety of different icons from safe houses, red faction missions,
places of interests and areas to demolish. Click on the location and
this will add it to the GPS with a nice yellow breadcrumb trail.
It should be
noted that salvage is
the key to the game, however can be quite painful to collect as you need
to run over the pieces to be collected. A small price to pay that
actually does come useful later on in the game.
The game uses a breadcrumb technique to assist on your
missions, giving you a clear path to where you are headed. Missions are
sometimes given through your radio and this helps break up the sometimes monotony
of destroying everything. Even so, blowing things up is a pure treat and
after 20 hours, I’m still having fun.
At times, the game feels like a
futuristic version of Grand Theft Auto due to the amount of
interactivity in the game such as rescuing rebels, finding a truck or
vehicle to escape and then making your route to home base, all while the
Earth Defence Force are on your tracks. Exhilarating fun! And yes, you
can control a mech and even a jetpack later on in the game.
In reference to controls, they are
perfectly mapped on the DualShock controller and the learning curve is
quite low as the game does not throw you into the deep end all at once.
The force feedback of the controller is used quite well with the gaming
environment for that additional realism... a perfect control system.
The combat is a tad tricky in the game due to the third
person view, however it is quite fair and balanced and you do need to
use the gaming environment to assist such as cover. You have access to a
variety of weapons, both from the Earth Defence Force and the Red
Faction which allows for upgrades and new weapons from your base. Best
of all, the rail gun returns in this game, allowing you to see your
enemy behind walls... delicious!
course, nothing is more satisfying than throwing a bomb onto an enemy
truck and then blowing it to smithereens. Destroying buildings allows
for some great creativity, whether you’re using the sledgehammer, sticky
bombs or other weapons, it’s all up to the gamer to get in touch with
their inner muse.
Once you have completed the single-player game which
takes around 15 – 20 hours of average gaming, it’s time for some
multiplayer fun that offers the gamer a variety of different gameplay
modes from traditional deathmatch to capture the flag. There’s also a
twist to “chicken” which has the gamers hunting a particular player who
is attempting to destroy key parts of the map. Thankfully the
multiplayer aspect was not put in as an after thought and allows for a
deep and meaning online experience.
Graphically, I must admit that this is easily one of the
most impressive games of the year, especially for this genre. The
graphics are clean and crisp, highly detailed and move with a decent
frame rate. The star of the game are the indestructible environments as
you destroy buildings with bricks, rubble and metal going everywhere.
I’m still reeling by the very first time I saw Mars in this game,
however almost as good as the graphics is the professional voice acting
and brilliant soundtrack that just adds to the atmosphere of the title.
The sound effects truly RUMBLE through a surround sound system and
sometimes you need to play this game loud.
Final Thought? THQ and Volition should be commended for an outstanding
game that not only compliments the series, however goes beyond its
predecessors. With next generation graphics, brilliant gameplay and a
story that actually makes you care, Red Faction: Guerrilla is an almost
perfect game that takes us back to those classic games of the 90’s,
however with modern soul and essence. Brilliantly addictive!