Red Faction: Guerilla - hands on

We’re fresh from our first hands-on time with Red Faction: Guerilla at THQ’s Editors Day. We were fortunate enough to have Dan Cermak, Vice President ad developer Volition, to walk us through a small slice of Red Faction: Guerilla’s open, destructible world.

Red Faction: Guerilla is the third game set in the Red Faction universe, 50 years after the events of the first game. Mars has been terraformed, and the Earth Defense Force (savior of the first RF) has become Big Brother. They kill the main character’s brother while putting down a miners’ rebellion, sparking the Red Faction to re-emerge and fight a guerilla war against the sinister EDF.

The goal is to destroy the EDF’s infrastructure in order to take back Mars for the People. The more EDF soldiers killed and facilities destroyed, the more locals’ morale improves. Improved morale inspires locals to fight alongside you or even to surrender their vehicles to you. Cermak pointed out that destroying the EDF’s propaganda trucks will improve morale as well, though none were in evidence in the town we visited.

Our demo centered on the town of Dust, which felt like a wild-west outpost on a lawless frontier. True to the developers’ boasts, every inch of Dust could be razed to the ground in spectacular fashion using explosives, vehicles, or the trusty sledgehammer which slams through reinforced concrete as though it were as delicate as an egg shell. Over the hill from Dust, a group of rebels were staging a raid on an EDF facility. Sub-missions are delivered through a radio broadcast, and locations are flagged on a minimap. The optional sub-missions spring up organically around the open world. We were able to experience the aforementioned raid, and an ambush on an EDF convoy that rolled through town. In both cases, strategic use of structures was critical. Flanking enemies took on a whole new dimension when it was as easy as knocking a hole in the wall behind their position. Bringing buildings down on top of enemies was another good way to maximize kills. “We’re trying to get people to think in six directions, rather than four,” Cermak suggested.

In another EDF facility, we found the piece de resistance: the Mining Walker. This giant industrial robot tore through EDF structures with brutal abandon, swinging its arms wildly about and crushing every person, vehicle, or wall in its path. At one point, a Burnout-style damage meter kicked on, showing us just how many millions of dollars worth of destruction we’d caused to the EDF. Take that, fascists!