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Red Faction: Guerrilla

AT A GLANCE
  • Makes the sandbox super convenient
  • Gleeful destruction is more than a gimmick
  • Smart AI buddies
  • World is a bit sparse
  • Could be prettier
  • Not much story

You know what’s annoying? When you’re driving a mission-critical vehicle in GTA and somehow manage to roll it, only for it to burst into flames and explode. This game doesn’t do that. In Red Faction you can flip any car, buggy, or juggernaut back onto its wheels with a few quick nudges. It’s a small feature. Tiny. Wee, even. But there it is.

Losing your car in the middle of nowhere really aggravated us too; crashing your sole transport into the side of a mountain while out roaming in the open fields of San Andreas meant miles' worth of walking to the nearest road. Guerrilla doesn’t do that either. You can run so fast you’re never more than a short walk from the nearest set of wheels. If you’re catastrophically lost, a Red Faction soldier will inexplicably roll up in a car, get out, and wander off. It’s certainly silly but at least your blood doesn’t curdle in your veins every time you make a trifling navigational mistake.

It’s as if they knew. It’s as if Volition spent every minute of every day studying every open-world game with the intention of making their own game flawless. Name any annoyance from any sandbox game and Red Faction probably addresses it. On Red Faction’s Mars every vehicle is a colossal bouncy Tonka toy which barrels around the world in a hilarious, unstoppable fashion. The minute you hop behind the wheel your truck becomes the heaviest vehicle on the road – crash into another similar vehicle and it’ll bounce off like a rubber ball. Hit a smaller truck and you’ll smash straight on through. Drive it to an enemy base and you’ll forge on like a drunken lout through a wall of bouncers, smashing walls, tearing down support beams, and reducing the structure to rubble.

Red Faction has been sold on that one gimmick, but it’s a game of hundreds of parts, all polished to perfection. The destruction is a tool, and one that will immediately ruin you for every other game ever to feature four walls with a roof on top. You’ll walk past mud huts in Far Cry 2, castles in Oblivion, bunkers in Mercenaries, and skyscrapers in GTA and you’ll want to smash them down, to carve your own paths and infiltrate enemy territory your own way. Guerrilla is freeform gaming on a level you’ve never enjoyed before, where every path you take and every tactic you choose is your own.

While ambling around the world searching out EDF structures to collapse you might receive word of a raid on a critical EDF base. The Earth Defense Force took control of Mars several years earlier and has been running wild like Hulkamania ever since, all up in everyone’s face with its 24” Pythons and worryingly tight yellow underpants. Together with the rest of the Red Faction you’ll overthrow the EDF, at first by weakening their hold on Mars and then by smashing them and driving them out of sectors as they fall under Red Faction control.

En route to the EDF base you’ll pick up a handful of squadmates in your truck. Accustomed to dunces, you’ll want to coddle them like babies, but these NPCs are smarter than the usual rabble. They’ll take cover, keep their heads down, and get themselves out of danger without any hand-holding. They’re not geniuses in danger of becoming self-aware and overthrowing humanity by any means, but in any given fight there’ll be well over a dozen characters fighting while the world collapses around them; with so much math being thrown around it’s a wonder Guerrilla has time for AI at all.

More Info

Release date: Jun 02 2009 - Xbox 360, PS3
Sep 15 2009 - PC (US)
Jun 05 2009 - Xbox 360, PS3
Sep 15 2009 - PC (UK)
Available Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3, PC
Genre: Shooter
Published by: THQ
Developed by: Volition
ESRB Rating:
Mature: Blood, Strong Language, Violence

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  • alex-roy-bristol - June 22, 2014 8:30 p.m.

    Playing this game right now, it never gets old. I literally just want a new Red Faction game. That's all I need. More like Guerrilla, less like Armageddon, but still a bit of both. Don't even improve much, do a Crackdown 1 to Crackdown 2, I don't care, just make it happen please <3
  • swagger21 - November 2, 2009 5:25 p.m.

    oh mannnn, if you like destruCCCtion buy this game, im still playing it and blowing shit up never felt so good. If your looking at this review your already one step closer to making your little pLMS SWEAT LMAO!!!
  • GamerTagsSuck - July 30, 2009 5:48 a.m.

    I got this game for the same reason I got Prototype. Some douche at the store messed something up and called my house saying the game we reserved was in. 5 dollar discount here I come.
  • shockolate - June 22, 2009 9:27 p.m.

    Micheal Gapper seduced me with his words.
  • redsolobird - June 7, 2009 6:45 p.m.

    This game is NOT good it is a game in which you can seemlesly barge through huge structure in a 'tonka toy' it is ridiculous the missions are repetative shooting is flawed and online is remeniscent of hell. 'nuff said'
  • TripleAD - June 7, 2009 11:30 a.m.

    one of my favourites soo... much fun but my only dissapointment is that things stay destroyed so when you finish the story theres not much else to do but then again I haven't finished it yet soo... who knows Personally from your review it sounded like you'll give it a 10 'cuz you said only a few problems ReCAPTCHA: $5-million craft... blimey that must be one hell of a craft
  • Fancy Rat - June 3, 2009 10:50 p.m.

    I've been FUCKING PSYCHED about this game for so long and no one gave it the attention it deserved. Now I get to say I told you so.
  • anubisduo13 - June 3, 2009 10:30 p.m.

    Oh, and it's very true about the lack of story. But the destruction factor is oh so amazing. Honestly, the lack of story doesn't bother me so much, because I love how much strategy, or lack of, I can put into destroying structures.
  • erreip199 - June 3, 2009 9:47 p.m.

    u know something what might be fun? coming back sometime later to ur destruction playground and see the NPCs building it back, so u can destroy it later or simply destroy what has been rebuilded so far with the npcs with it
  • FingeredPope - June 3, 2009 9:15 p.m.

    Argh the wait is killing me. APO shipping just takes too long. I want it now, and not in anotherr week!
  • DRILLERDUD - June 3, 2009 8:24 p.m.

    i still have red faction 2. I didn't like the story that much but I still kept it for the multiplayer with the bots. I want this game badly
  • anubisduo13 - June 3, 2009 6:52 p.m.

    This game is amazing. It feels a little like Far Cry 2, at least in my opinion. It's so much fun destroying everything. Everything!
  • Moosebomber - June 3, 2009 3:51 p.m.

    i remember the first red faction, ahhh nostalgia.
  • madmatt49 - June 3, 2009 12:20 p.m.

    i played both demos of this and 1 thought crossed my mind this game is awesome getting it on friday
  • NipplesTheSuperHippo - June 3, 2009 4:29 a.m.

    I might look into it. thanks GR
  • Mittenz - June 3, 2009 3:39 a.m.

    If I only get get one game this summer, I will make sure its Red Faction Guerrilla
  • totalsniper - June 3, 2009 2:07 a.m.

    im getting this Saturday and wanted to see a good review...so i came here knowing ied get a strait forward review good job guys and gals :)
  • Samael - June 3, 2009 2:02 a.m.

    Aw man, I was hoping they would do a US super review for this. Oh well.
  • FluffyDestructo - August 25, 2009 8:17 p.m.

    It's a great game, i haven't beaten it yet though i've only rented it but i'm gettin it in a couple days.
  • louiec314 - June 16, 2009 6:10 a.m.

    lol @ the total recall reference