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Red Faction: Guerrilla

Red Faction: Guerrilla. In a sentence; you’re a Space Asshole with a big hammer. I’ve seen it referenced recently as Red Faction: Gorilla which is utterly apt description of the game. I also appear to have a spare copy of the game from owning Metro 2033, hehe :)

In any case, please watch this before continuing:

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(Thanks to the ever-great Chris Remo for making the song!)

Building destruction makes it hard to take screenshots
Building destruction makes it hard to take screenshots

Boom! Kapow! BOOM!

A few seconds later…

BOOOOOOM! CRASH!

It’s a sandboxy game set on Mars (thus almost a literal sandbox! ho ho!). You’re basically a person thrown into a rebellion where your job is to blow everything up of importance in a world. You’ve got no reason for doing this whatsoever, unless the opening cutscene really persuaded you that fighting in a rebellion against a huge army good idea. The game is pretty bare faced about it: You blow things up and then blow more things up.

Short-lived brothers can't be killed until the second cutscene silly!
Short-lived brothers can't be killed until the second cutscene silly!

It does this pretty well; play it in a lighthearted way and you’ll enjoy some of it, the bits involving explosions at least. Generally though it is pretty subpar. The third person combat is boring, pretty dumb, and pretty overall hopeless to enjoy (add up poor allied and enemy AI, limited ammo and weapons and no real cover system into the mess). Blowing up buildings people are in or dropping buildings on them are much more fun. Getting killed because there are a dozen enemies out of reach of your explosive grenades is not as fun; because hell, if I’m in demolitions, why can’t I blow them up? Who says I need to use a gun?! Being able to blow up the vehicles at least proves to be an effective countermeasure to them coming in massive waves. :)

You also get a hammer; one of the more satisfactory melee weapons I’ve used in a game, since you can destroy buildings (slowly) with it; but sadly the enemies all come armed with guns. How is that fair?! :(

What else?

Look, look, equality! A sole female NPC! She upgrades weapons and needs rescuing in a very early mission (no joke).
Look, look, equality! A sole female NPC! She upgrades weapons and needs rescuing in a very early mission (no joke).

I’ve almost run out of things to say about this, which isn’t good. I’ve not finished it; I might sometime, but it’ll take some effort such as deleting all other games from my PC first. I’m being a little tough – but really this is a very basic game, but I got it cheap so can’t complain since the building destructions are just fun to do. Explosions are exciting, especially when you can place them all down yourself :)

This is a defiantly anti-AAA title; real lack of breadth since there is one thing to do but it does it really well and is utterly polished to gem like status. Almost a tech demo of blowing buildings up with structural damage; there’s no way you can take seriously your in-game job of blowing up “key structures” for the rebellion, but just revel in the fact you can blow lots of things up in very imaginative ways.

It is a passable excuse to have something to play in between games; but don’t go out expecting anything amazing. Gone are the days of Geo-mod which is something I’d welcome the return of, buildings might be fun but blowing up cliffs, the ground, whatever would be massively fun; imagine having water flooding, or lava, or collapsing terrain, or tunnelling beneath the world…

The in game codex fails to give any useful information on generic enemies.
The in game codex fails to give any useful information on generic enemies.

Gone are linear levels and boss fights. In is the rather empty almost literal sandbox. In are the mindless swarm of stupid allied and enemy NPC’s. In is a plot and set of characters you simply can’t care much about; they pretty much shout at you to get on with the plot, even the protagonist doesn’t seem to care about it, something that I shared with him!

Did I mention you can blow things up a lot in this game? It seems to be worth mentioning again in case you missed it.

To Sum Up

You’re thrown in there to do what you do best no questions asked; blow things up.

You do this for no logical reason except you can.

You go blow everything up.

Right up.

Often into the air.

Often on top of people.

Often allies stupid enough to stand in buildings you need to blow up.

Thus becoming the utter Space Asshole that is totally unavoidable as far as I can see.

Game that forces you to be a Space Asshole, I salute you!

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