imperiousrix's Red Faction: Guerrilla (Xbox 360) review

Guerilla Raid-io!

Red Faction isn't a game for everyone.  So very few games actually ARE for everyone that this statement really doesn't say much.  However, Red Faction: Guerrilla seems so aggressively skewed towards the fans of random destruction with as little attachment to world and story that it could scare many away simply with its first few missions.  However, for those willing to smash past the somewhat unpolished and worn exterior will find a unique and intensely fun experience.

The story of Red Faction: Guerilla is... terrible.  Honestly, I couldn't really tell you after finishing it exactly what happened.  The story is just so strangely weighted in paced in many areas with so many seemingly important actions being summed up in off-hand comments by paper-thin characters that the story, for what its worth, just gets out of your way and lets you do what you want in the world without much attachment.  It's as if you were the star in a movie where the director just said, "Here's your motivation: industrialist scumbags killed your brother, so now you're a radical fighting for the vague freedom of a planet that wasn't yours to begin with.  Nooooooow IMPROVISE THE ENTIRE FUCKING MOVIE!"  It's kinda like that.



Improvisation is actually probably the best way one could describe the gameplay in Guerrilla.  Set in an open-world Mars, your job is to free every sector of the occupied planet by completing "story missions" and countless side missions and activities known as "Guerilla Actions".  It's really actually pretty standard free-roaming fair and has ridiculous potential to become repetitive, but the engine running it all and the nature of the activities goes a long way in making each and every time you attempt one of these completely unique.  It's difficult to explain in text form, but essentially, everything breaks.  This plays directly into missions where demolishing is the name of the game, but it also changes effectively everything in the game as no place is safe from a strong enough smack.  If nothing else, Red Faction should be played just for the feeling of being a one man demolition crew.  After the single-player is over, you can explore the games multiplayer suite or try some same console activities known as "Wrecking Crew".  While these are nice additions and the multiplayer is well-done overall, they didn't truly capitalize on the most awesome aspects of the game.

On the presentation front, its difficult to judge Red Faction.  While the player models, weapons, and vehicles look good enough, they just aren't that finely detailed.  The world itself is relatively bland due to the barren atmosphere, but there are the occasional unique and beautiful pockets dropped in here and there.  There are some FMV cutscenes to flesh out the story, but these look remarkably worse than any action taking place in the game, and the voice-actors powering the characters are only serviceable.  The only real standout in the package for Guerrilla is the damage scaling on basically everything.  It's fascinating and terrifying every time something is torn down, and the sounds of twisting metal and cracking brick is just perfect.

Red Faction: Guerrilla isn't for everyone.  Actually, I would go as far as saying its a bit of a one trick pony.  If you aren't intrigued or drawn to the excessive destruction it has to offer, it wouldn't really serve you to even give this one a try.  However, if you've ever just been a wee bit excited to see something blow up real good, you'll definitely find a lot to love.
1 Comments
Posted by zameer

Nice RATM reference!

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    Although Red Faction: Guerrilla will always be known first and foremost as a game about blowing stuff up, it should also be hailed for breaking the bonds of the open world genre. Don't get me wrong, the results of rocket-launching, bomb-laying and nano-reducing 99.9% of the objects on the terrain are an absolute blast to play with (no pun intended) and well worth the standard fare for a 360 title all by themselves. Surely the developers knew that this was going to be the best part of the game, s...

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