Red Faction: Guerrilla was a defining title for the open-world game experience, but its initial release in 2009 fell short. The popularity of the Grand Theft Auto IV releases and little excitement of a Red Faction sequel definitely impacted its popularity. The switch from first-person to third-person may have confused players as well, but spending some time with Guerrilla would make players realize that this was the true Red Faction experience they were looking for. The destructive GeoMod engine was removed and a new high-level of destructive gameplay elements were introduced to let players continue their path of destruction and chaos. It has been nine years since the initial release and we will once again join Alec Mason in Red Faction: Guerrilla Re-Mars-tered Edition.
Alec Mason’s arrival on Mars is met by his brother and intrigue at the state of affairs that are currently unfolding within the political sphere. An escape to Mars with the dream of beginning anew with a sledgehammer in hand to acquire riches through salvage is abruptly halted by his brother’s death at the hands of the Earth Defense Force (EDF) who aim to conquer the inhabitants of the planet through fear and tyranny. A peaceful tool once wielded turns into a weapon and symbol among the people that will crack the very foundation of the EDF and lay waste to the oppression.
The occupied area of Mars is divided up into several sectors which house several storyline missions that need to be completed in order to liberate the citizens from the area. The Red Faction revolution includes a small group of individuals and so their main tactics feature guerilla combat against the EDF to slowly evict their occupation on Mars. Missions include destroying structures, gunships, tanks, creating ambushes against enemy convoys, clearing checkpoints of EDF presence to grant safe passage for Red Faction supplies, removing snipers perched atop buildings as they lawlessly fire at citizens, and kidnapping and interrogating an EDF officer before ridding of him by driving a vehicle over a cliff. One of my favourite main mission involved retrieving a stolen heavy walker from EDF possession and laying waste to everything that was placed before my path en route to the getaway truck. This mission fully captures the excellent destruction mechanic system that is featured within the game. Alongside these storyline, missions are also numerous guerrilla actions that can be completed to acquire control and morale points and salvage.
The control that EDF maintains over each sector is represented in the control bar. Completing specific missions or destroying their property slowly decreases their control value which will grant the final mission for a sector upon reducing the value to zero. Similar to the control meter, morale is represented by completing guerilla tasks that aids the inhabitants and continual success against the EDF will result in citizens joining the fight and increasing the intensity of the revolution. If heavily fortified EDF areas seem impregnable at first, it is best to raise the morale meter within the specific sector as your eventual return to the area will be met with other citizens who will fight alongside you and distract enemies while you engage and destroy your targets.
Salvage is acquired through missions, destroying EDF property, and by mining ore deposits scattered throughout the environment. It is the currency that is utilized to purchase new weapons, gear, and upgrades. These items include proximity mines, a rocket launcher, jetpacks, armour, and even a rifle that can reduce objects or individuals to matter. Your basic rifle will grant you temporary success, but continual progression throughout Mars will put you against more powerful opponents. Acquiring their weapons in combat will introduce you to a pistol, shotgun, sniper rifle, and an improved automatic rifle. Players should always take a moment to collect their earnings when demolishing structures or vehicles as their purchases to increase their arsenal will aid in every step of the revolution and the eventual goal of a free Mars. It would have been more enjoyable to have access to unlocking the jetpack early on as it created much more exciting encounters due to the environmental traversal.
Destruction is where Red Faction: Guerrilla ultimately shines. The ability to run around and utilize your arsenal to bring buildings crashing down was very rewarding. It is no surprise the several missions are heavily focused on causing massive damage to the EDF infrastructure on Mars. The Wrecking Crew mode is only concerned with destruction as it allows players to destroy structures without the hindrance of enemy soldiers. You can select your location, jetpack, and weapon of choice as you look to achieve the highest score within the allotted time. The behemoth mode puts you in the seat of a walker as you tear through everything in your path.
Vehicles played a large part from travelling to new sectors, locating missions, and causing chaos on the roads. It was difficult to operate the machine guns on certain vehicles with the hope of firing upon the selected enemy while the tank and armoured EDF vehicles made it significantly easier to aim and remove threats. Vehicle handling also felt unbalanced at times as you would explore the red landscapes of Mars.
The implementation of a cover system felt out of place as it was never needed due to enemies swarming your position from all corners and going into cover would ultimately lead to your death. Combat is not set up to properly utilize it as enemies also do not seek cover. The game difficulty felt slightly unbalanced as early missions posed a little difficulty while end-game content felt a drastic switch to the other end of the spectrum, throwing countless enemies in your direction during each encounter. Enemy NPCs also always came charging at you upon making your presence known, even before stirring the revolutionary pot. Fast travel to safe houses was allowed upon liberating the second sector and this saved much time from being behind the wheel.
A major inconvenience during my gameplay experience was with the game-ending bugs that occurred repeatedly. The game would either crash back to the PlayStation main screen or the screen would go black after accepting or completing a mission, but audio could still be heard. This was more frustrating due to the fact that there are no checkpoints and any mission failure would put you back to the mission’s starting point.
Red Faction: Guerrilla Re-Mars-tered edition makes us relive an experience from almost a decade ago. The improved 4K graphics, textures, and lighting make huge improvements to the overall visual presentation and showcase the destruction gameplay mechanics perfectly. Various missions will lead you to help free the oppressed citizens of Mars and rise up to deliver the decisive strike against the EDF once and for all. Players whose appetite for destruction is not fully satisfied can venture to the Wrecking Crew game mode and enjoy countless hours of chaos. While not perfect, Red Faction: Guerrilla Re-Mars-tered edition will keep you entertained for several hours and is worth a look.
- Wrecking Crew mode
- Improved look
- Several game ending bugs
- Unbalanced AI
- Covery system not needed