Red Faction Guerilla... Yeah!
So after beating the suprisingly great 50 Cent: Blood In The Sand, i quickly traded it into my place of work, for fear that it's poor sales and the fact that we were having a sale would plummet it's trade value to nothingness. so i brought it, and a copy of Tetris for the DS in, and got about 40 bucks. after my employee discounts i realized i had enough to get Red Faction: Guerilla for about a dollar ten in actual cash, and went for it. i had heard some generally good things about the game, and the comparisons to games i love like Far Cry 2 and Battlefield: Bad Company piqued my interest.
Well i've put about 6 hours into the campaign, and i only baught it a few days ago, so that's a good sign. the game is a great time waster, and i mean that in the best possible way. you're given areas of the considerable map to fuck around in, and you do exactly that. there is little to no linearity to the mission strands, but unfortunately that means there's also a great lack in variety. you've got your "save the hostages" mission, your "blow up this building" mission, and your "chase these fuckers down and fuck thier fucking shit up" mission, and that's pretty much it. they vary up the mission types every once in a while, but it's few and far between. the best missions i've come across in the game have all been the ones that lead out from or directly into cut scenes.
i think a more appropriate but less sellable title to the game would be Red Faction: Terrorist.
Guerilla implies stealthy tactics in order to win a war inwhich you are greatly outnumbered. that's not what you're doing in this game. in the game you're essentially made to bring down an authoritarian government by destroying buildings like Town Halls and Military Bases. you usually have to barrel into a base or populated area in a big car, guns blazing, set a bunch of bombs in strategic places, ignite them, and survive as you try to escape with your life. think of the 80's in Ireland... but IIIIN SPAAAAAACE!
the game's biggest victory is that it's based on a gimmick, but that gimmick doesnt get old. blowing up these buildings in newer, bigger ways is always fun, and getting the fuck away before your balls get blown off is just as intense and engaging. some of the story missions are really wonderful, specifically your first encounter with the savage Marauders.
the game's biggest flaw is that Mars is kind of fucking boring. the whole planet looks just like earth, but, you know, a desert, and a reddish sky. the game reflects that very well, but in capturing the essense of what Mars actually looks like and would look like terraformed, you get a game with bland colours, bland looking vehicles, and an overall monotonal feel that might immerse you, but it sure as hell doesn't grab you the way Far Cry 2's lush jungles or Bioshock's art-deco ruins did.
what Red Faction: Guerilla boils down too is a vast improvement on an otherwise terrible franchise, and a game that isn't quite deep, but certainly isn't shallow. it's a pleasent experience that you can put alot of time into without realizing it, and that's the sign of a pretty damn good game.
did i mention there are giant mechs?
there are giant mechs.