I picked up Red Faction: Guerrilla for the Xbox 360 on launch day and decided to write a review of it, but it took me much longer then it should have to finish it. It wasn’t the game’s fault, I was just being lazy. Well, better late then never, eh?
I was a big fan of the original Red Faction games and was surprised to find out that they were taking a different path with Guerrilla and making it an open world, third-person game. I was also a little disappointed at first to hear that Geo-Mod 2.0 only dealt with the destruction of buildings, and not the deformation of the landscape. “How much fun could destroying buildings be when compared to burrowing tunnels into the ground with a rocket launcher?” I asked myself. Well, after playing through the game, I got my answer: lots.
Overall, Red Faction: Guerrilla is a blast. It has its flaws but none of them are so big that they detract overly much from the game. The building destruction seems super realistic and is so much fun that I totally forgot about not being able to blast holes into the ground. It’s not just a gimmick, either. Volition Inc. made sure to take advantage of the Geo-Mod 2.0 engine and did a really good job at putting the destruction at the center of the gameplay.
In the game you play as Alec Mason, a new member of the Red Faction. Your goal is to liberate Mars from the EDF, or Earth Defense Force, sector by sector. You do that by completing missions and destroying important targets. There are tons of vehicles in the game, including civilian cars, tanks, and huge demolition walkers. You can take control of any of the vehicles, except for the flying ones, and each has its own distinct feel to it. There are also plenty of weapons and technologies for you to unlock and upgrade as you progress through the story.
The game’s story, unfortunately, would have to be one of the weaker parts of the game. Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t bad, it’s just very simple. The writing is solid and everything makes sense, but I feel like they could have done more with it. There is one part, close to the beginning, that seems to hint at something strange going on. It made me think that there was some kind of alien technology involved, but it didn’t go anywhere from there. They could have taken something like that and ran with it.
The game has a full-featured multiplayer component to it, as well. There are plenty of maps filled with destructible buildings, bridges, and towers. Standard gametypes like death match and capture the flag are available but there are two special gametypes that focus on destruction. In Siege, teams take turns attacking and defending important structures on the map, while in Demolition, team mates have to protect their Engineer as he does as much damage as he can to the environment to rack up points.
One of the coolest features of the multiplayer are the backpacks that give players special abilities. There are ten in all and they can allow players to turn invisible or even smash straight through walls.
There is one more multiplayer mode which is a little different. It’s called Wrecking Crew. In it, players take turns on the same map, using the same weapons and backpacks, and try to do as much damage as possible before the time runs out. It’s simple and fun but it doesn’t have Xbox Live connectivity. The only way to play Wrecking Crew is on the same Xbox 360 by passing the controller over to the next player when their turn comes up.
Like I said at the beginning, Red Faction: Guerrilla is a blast. If you would enjoy hitting people with a huge hammer and blowing shit up, I definitely recommend it.
Tags: Geo-Mod 2.0, Red Faction: Guerrilla, Review, Volition Inc., Xbox 360