A Good Sandbox Game that Takes Place In A Sandbox
Red Faction Guerilla is a very nice take on the open world sandbox game that actually takes place in a sandbox. While it does nothing in the way of groundbreaking the genre it offers some mindless fun when destroying almost everything around.
The Mars world itself is set in a surprisingly large arena. While impressive at first you quickly find that there is almost nothing at all in the wasteland of mars. That is forgivable, but I often times found myself bored as I had to drive from one outpost to the next across a literal expanse of nothing. Traversing the world would have been much more welcome if there was some sort of quick travel system for the safe houses.
The gameplay mechanics of the world for the most part are pretty good. Shooting is par for the course and driving is about as abysmal as you find in any open world 3rd person sandbox game. The highlight of all of this is of course the destructibility of the environment. Whether you are driving an armored personnel carrier through a building, detonating a radar tower with explosives or just taking down a barracks piece by piece with your sledge hammer, there is something incredibly satisfying about ripping apart structures in this game. You can almost do it all day long if it wasn't for the boredom that existed inbetween these outcroppings as you had to travel to them. The gunplay in the game is OK. Nothing to write home about, but there are some interesting weapons, especially the nanoforge rifle. One of the biggest failings though is the cover system. I could never get it to work properly and once the enemy AI hits you, you find several instances where it could be useful. I unfortunately just found myself running around behind cover to recharge my health or instead charging towards an enemy to pummel them with my sledge hammer.
As you have probably heard from reports the enemy AI in this game is bearing. They will come down upon you like a pile of bricks once an alarm is triggered and once around you can get overwhelmed quickly. Depending upon what you want to get out of this game the AI can be a burden or a welcome challenge and will ultimately dictate the difficulty you will want to play this game at.
One of my biggest surprises through the game was actually the sound design and music. It was incredibly well done and subdued. I often times found the music to be appropriately moody and it did accentuate the desolation of the mars desert. I would highly recommend one pay attention to it during their play through
On the whole the gameplay is pretty good. The weapons are fun and the destructibility is very satisfying. The missions themselves do get long in the tooth though as they are all essentially "go here and kill these people". Variety could have been welcome to an extent and I found myself towards the end completely avoiding any of the side missions simply because I was tired of driving all the way across the map for the same reason.