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Red Faction: Guerrilla (PS3)

Red Faction: Guerrilla (PS3)


Red Faction was released in 2001 and became an immediate cult classic with a strong fanbase. The newest title by developer Volition is not a first person shooter and has turned into a third person action title that is set on the planet Mars.

Red Faction: Guerrilla takes place quite some time after the first title and the sinister Earth Defense Force (EDF) have control of Mars. You take control of Alec Mason, a new guy on the planet on the hunt for work, however you soon find yourself in the Red Faction resistance group fighting for control against the aggressive EDF. To be successful you have to control a total of six zones on Mars and you manage this by completing a variety of missions.

To gain victory you have to drop the EDF’s control rating which is achieved by destroying various buildings in the environment. Special credit should go to Volition for the way this is implemented, because everything you do has a knock on effect to various characteristics such as morale. Morale plays an integral part of the game because if you keep raising it then your colleagues will join with you and fight against the EDF and help increase salvage collection after completing missions. Much like moral, salvage is important because it is used to buy and upgrade all your tools and weapons and can include anything from armor to rockets and jetpacks. Much like Fallout, all the systems are nicely integrated and work very well within the contexts of the game – everything you do has an impact within the rest of the world.

The interface is intuitive and there is a capable map system where you can see what missions to take on next as well as being able to mark places you would like to visit. The missions offer great diversity and you can blow up buildings, rescue people and achieve your goals in a variety of ways which means the gameplay rarely gets tiring or repetitive.

The side missions are also enjoyable as they are not merely an afterthought in Guerrilla because when you complete them you are effectively lowering EDF control in a sector – an important facet of the game system. I have to say that I didn’t particularly enjoy some of the vehicle based missions because aiming from them is rather cumbersome. Almost every vehicle in the game can be stolen and hijacked in the same manner as Grand Theft Auto.

While fighting from vehicles isn’t a wonderful experience the rest of the combat system is satisfying. Buildings and most objects in the game can be attacked, destroyed, damaged, maimed and reduced to a pile of rubble by using your plethora of explosive weapons (or hammer). You can also drive into some of them with the vehicles and cause destruction which is a nice touch – I will never forget the first time I drove an armored transport right through the middle of a tower and watched it crash to the ground in a realistic shower of bricks and wood. The damage model really does deserve particular mention because there are many ways to damage a building, whether it is using mines to detonate around the base of hitting supports with your hammer – everything reacts in a believable manner. Obviously after a while the desire to destroy everything in sight becomes less of a focus, but for the first hour or two it is probably the only thing I did!

Fighting hordes of enemies can be immensely fun because there are so many variables, such as being able to blow up walls to escape certain situations, or being able to escape on a jetpack while unleashing rockets on wooden ground surfaces to cover your retreat.

As I said earlier, after completing a specific amount of missions in a given area the EDF control in a sector will eventually drop to zero and this opens up a final mission which means you can liberate the location from EDF control. When this is completed, the story progresses and you are either treated to a cinematic cut scene or will hear some dialogue on the radio, relating to the incident.

So far it has been mainly positive, however the story line, characterizations and overall depth of the factions are a little disappointing. I didn’t really care about anyone or anything in the game and although it didn’t ruin the experience for me, I would have liked a little more character development and fleshed out storyline.

The sheer level of destruction is immense and it translates well to the online world because you are not just limited to the pathways the developers created. You have the firepower to blow up walls and objects to bring variety to the landscape and the multiplayer backpacks give you extra destructive power such as shock wave stun attacks and jump jets. While deathmatch is great fun, my personal favourite is the team based online multiplayer and there are various options for defending bases and attacking enemy installations as well as seizing and holding control points. Unique to multiplayer is a gun that can ‘rebuild’ destroyed structures. The guy in the development team who came up with this idea deserves a pat on the back because it is such an incredible experience to be inside a building and to be not only defending it from enemy onslaught but with the ability to repair your surroundings.

The online aspect of the game also has in-depth tracking features such as player and character icons as well as statistics so you can keep track of kills and other useful information. There are also leaderboards, match search options, a spectator mode and an unlock system that is tied to experience earned in matches.

In the attempt to flesh things out further there is even a local multiplayer option which the developers have called “Wrecking Crew” mode. This means that four people locally can take turns with the controller and pass it between them in the round based modes that involve causing damage within the confines of specific limitations. You can adjust any of the maps with weapons and backpacks and it works well although I doubt that long term appeal will be there.

Graphically, the game is impressive with the destructive elements and although the environments are all limited to the orange/red’s of the Mars’ planet it is effectively coded and there are no frame rate issues that I can report.

Red Faction: Guerrilla is a fun game which is sure to appeal to people who like maximum carnage combined with a solid multiplayer element. I certainly don’t think it is a modern day classic, but it is hard to dismiss with this much variety on offer. The campaign is lengthy and there are some great ideas through some of the main and side missions to make sure that long term variety is high on the check list. There are some issues, but for the most part, this is a highly recommended title.



Solid, diverse and addictive.
Great destructible engine however the environments do become bland due to the setting.
Voice acting is poor but the ambient sounds and background music are acceptable.
A long single player and plenty of multiplayer options on offer.

Solid game which will satisfy a large audience.

About Author

Stuart Davidson

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