Red Faction: Guerrilla

Volition and THQ have scored with the high enjoyable third chapter in the Red Faction series, Red Faction Guerrilla. The game wisely ignores the very disappointing second game in the series and returns the game to it’s’ roots on Mars. Picking up years after the events of the first game, players take on the role of Alec Mason; a minor recently arrived on Mars who is looking to reconnect with his brother.

When his brother is killed for being a suspected insurgent by the Earth Defense Force (EDF), Alec narrowly averts being killed himself and finds himself as the newest member of the Red Faction resistance.

Alec embarks on a series of covert mission in an attempt to undermine the EDF. Missions range from raids on strategic locales, to intercepting couriers and freeing prisoners. Most of the time Alec works alone, but his action does cause random A.I. characters to join in the fight and also allow Alec to take part on missions with other resistance fighters.
The true joy of the game is that it is very open ended and gamers have the choice on where, when, and how to strike. As an example, in an early mission, I decided to forgo to the soft targets on my mission objective screen, and decide to do a strike on the key facility in my sector. Upon arrival, I found I was severely outgunned and decided to try a new approach rather than retreat. After taking command of an armored enemy vehicle, I drove over anyone or anything in my way. This allowed me to approach my objective and after ramming down a few walls and guards, I was able to place some charges and bring the building down in a spectacular pile.

Another time I had to stop a convoy and after running out of charges, I found that there were two vehicles left. Undaunted a confiscated a car and made a full speed run at the underside of a tanker truck. This allowed me to flip the truck which soon exploded. Undaunted, I ran after the remaining car and was able to bring it down with a few whacks from my trusty sledge hammer.

To say that the freedom to in essence run my own campaigns, chose a campaign, or select the order in which I went on missions was a huge plus which speaks greatly to the enormous amounts of freedom I had in the game.

The game is divided up into sectors and after liberating a sector, you move onto a new sector. Naturally the bad guys and objectives get harder as do the weapons facing you. Thankfully new weapons also become an option as time passes and thanks to collecting scrap from your missions, players are able to upgrade and gain access to new weapons.
The weapons in the game are diverse and range from pistols, rifles, machine guns and explosives, to more complicated weapons such as rail guns, arc welders, rocket launchers and some great surprises which I will not spoil here.

While the A.I. characters are fir the most part set dressing, they are a key part to the game as you do not want to let them die if you can avoid it as excessive loss will demoralize a zone and make your missions more difficult. As a result, if the moral is high due to mission success, then random people are likely to join in and lend a hand when needed.

The graphics in the game are first rate and the HD output of my PS 3 version really added to the immersive quality of the game. The sound FX as well as the music and voice were first rate and make the game a complete experience.
The multiplay in the game was solid and I loved playing the modes from Deathmatch, Capture the Flag, and teamplay modes which results in six modes of online play. Being able to use such perks as a jetpack or Rhino to take down an opponent are richly fun, and complete this solid game.

Some may take issue with the A.I. in the game and say that a sharp story was lost due to the open ended nature of the game. I think the designers did a solid job of providing the setting and framing the action in a way that allows gamers to create their own storylines but yet stay within the arc of the game.

Red Faction Guerilla is a very solid and enjoyable game, and a must own for action fans who crave total destruction.

4.5 stars out of 5.
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Skewed and Reviewed the Magazine Coming November 2009

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