Red Faction: Guerilla

Siege exemplifies how radically different the Guerrilla multiplayer experience is compared to other games. No shooter has maps that change so dynamically during a round. In Team Anarchy, an experienced team can edge towards victory by leveling the rival team’s side of the map, nullifying cover and obliterating hiding places, high ground and sniper zones.

Multiplayer has many satisfying moments, but our personal highlight saw us dispatching a pesky enemy sniper who was making a mess of our team by destroying the key stress points on the high tower he was perched. A few well-placed rounds later, we saw him satisfyingly tumble into an ignominious death below. Fully destructible maps aside, there’s something else that sets Guerrilla multi-player apart from the competition. The backpacks.

The ten different packs allow players to switch their play style on the fly. Playing as a sniper? You’ll probably want to pick up the Vision pack, which allows you to see targets through walls. Fan of the one-hit kill sledgehammer? Go for the Fleetfoot pack, which gives you a temporary burst of speed to help close the distance to your foe. Hate falling to the sledgehammer? There’s the Concussion pack, which produces a shockwave that knocks enemy players off their feet should they get too close. Then there’s the Rhino pack, which causes you to plough through walls in a straight line. The Thrust pack is the Rhino’s vertical cousin, which will take out anyone above you and give you a handy emergency escape route should you turn a corner to find yourself outmanned and outgunned.

Oh, and of course, you get a jetpack too. There to give you the feeling of descending upon some hapless fool and collapsing his skull with the hammer of the people, dealing death and humiliation in equal measure. With a single-player and multiplayer demo available on PSN as we speak, you’ll get a chance to experience it yourself soon enough. All being well, we’ll review 2009’s most destructive potential sleeper hit next month.

May 7, 2009