Red Faction: Guerrilla Review (Xbox 360)

Red Faction as most of you are aware, started off as a First Person Shooter (FPS) back in 2001.  I loved the way the Geo-Mod engine was implemented even on the Playstation 2, and even when I wasn’t playing the game as intended I would sometimes find myself messing around randomly creating tunnels with a rocket launcher through the walls.  Great fun was to be had!

Red Faction Guerrilla is the third installment in the series (not counting mobile conversions) and the first to be played in Third Person (for those not in the know, Third Person is over-the-shoulder camera view and First Person is seen through the eyes of the character).  I’ve heard a few negative comments regarding the change in camera view as its not traditional “Red Faction” and cannot possibly be good.  This is where I disagree.

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The game is based in the year 2128 and starts off where you’re introduced to your character Alec Mason, who came to Mars to make a living mining.  You are then introduced to your brother who then proceeds to take you on your first mission where you learn how to play and what the controls are.  Things suddenly change for the worse which then sets up the rest of the game.

The controls are simple and changing weapons on the fly is as easy as holding the Right Bumper and pressing one of the face buttons, and you don’t even need to stop running.  You’re best friend throughout the game will be the Sledgehammer which can pretty much smash through anything (well anything that isn’t made of rock), including large buildings and towers, just make sure you move out of the way when things start to collapse!

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Graphically this game is really pretty to look at.  Each area or location is instantly recognizable by the color of the environments, for example the area you start off in is called Parker and it has an orange/red color to it, then if you move into its neighboring area known as Dust the color blends into a grey-like hue.  So far I have noticed little to no tearing for those of you who want to know these things, the edges are smooth and the draw distance is amazing.  There is a very small amount of landscape build in far off into the distance but considering everything else that’s going on that is nothing to worry about.

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The insanely huge map is made up of various different sections of which it is your job to liberate from the EDF (Earth Defense Force) who are taking control of everything and treating the people like slaves.  In each section there are a number of main missions, side missions (which vary from destroying buildings, timed vehicle runs and helping small groups of miners defend themselves from wave after wave of EDF forces), important building targets to take out , and from time to time you get radio calls informing you of various tasks such as taking out a convoy before it reaches its destination or even hijacking it.  Don’t worry about failing any of these mission either they are all available to try again, even the radio calls as you will be asked to do them again if you enter the same area should you have failed the first time.

The multiplayer in Red Faction surprised me.  In most cases I can get bored quickly of the same old game modes, but in Red Faction there are twists.  At first you are restricted in terms of which game modes you can play but as you level up online you gradually get access to the rest of them.  Game modes range from the basic deathmatch to destroying your opponents buildings, but to help you along the way are various backpacks you can pick up from locations within the maps.  These backpacks give you abilities such as extra speed, jetpack, increased weapon strength etc so chances are you will never see the same game twice.  Don’t worry if the game modes sound confusing, there are helpful tutorial videos that explain everything.

If my reviews used a scoring system then I would rate this game very highly, to some people the single player game could be repetative as most of the time you’re asked to go to a location and destroy building/liberate a residential area/save some hostages, but because the destruction is so random, the outcome could go either way.  The Geo-Mod 2.0 engine basically works on gravity and architecture so taking a building down quicly is a simple case of taking out its crutial foundations and stand back to watch the carnage!

Overall in my experience this game is a joy to play, and even though I’ve played it and reviewed it already, I still have an urge to go back and play it some more.  You should never fall short of things to do as there are plenty of collectibles to find and destroy, such as propaganda signs to take out, Ore to mine and Hidden Tags to find and unlock their secret.

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