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

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Red Faction: Guerrilla - Breakin' stuff has never been sweeter.

Red Faction: Guerrilla is an third-person open-world action game developed by Volition, Inc for the Xbox 360 and PS3. You’ll assume the role of freelance miner Alec Mason, a newcomer to Mars, who’s made the trip in hopes of mining for red planet coinage with his brother Dan. Things immediately go awry when Dan is mercilessly killed in a “misunderstanding” with the Earth Defense Force. The EDF, a group originally assigned to terraform and occupy Mars, has overstayed their welcome causing Martian colonists to take up arms. Alec learns of his brother’s association with the resistance and is considered guilty by association. Having no choice but to join the organized rebel force called “Red Faction”, Alec begins his journey to avenge his brother’s death and fight for a free Mars.

Unfortunately, that's just about the end of any significant back story in RFG. Alec is a pretty interesting character at the start, but his story doesn’t really progress….at all. Sure, it progresses in the sense that he ends up helping the Red Faction and defeats waves of EDF to move towards his final goal, but I didn’t really learn much more about the guy (or any of the other characters for that matter) in terms of character evolution or history.

While remaining enjoyable throughout the game, a good chunk of the main objective missions end up feeling like nothing more than glorified side quests. This is easily forgivable though, considering the game seems pretty self aware and doesn’t attempt to throw in annoying, random plot twists or make sudden attempts at serious storytelling. In addition to the main objective missions, a seemingly endless amount of side quests are at your disposal.

Side missions feature plenty of variety, offering an enjoyable break from the main objective missions or a chance to gear up if you’re having a difficult time. I found Transporter missions to be the only unappealing side mission type. Players are asked to drive a desired vehicle across the map to a safe-house within a time limit. Difficulty increases significantly with each Transporter mission completed, often requiring a trek halfway across the entire world map. It starts to get pretty meticulous and I can almost guarantee that you’ll have more fun intercepting an EDF convoy, defending a Red Faction stronghold, or tearing down a few enemy buildings.

Chances are you know about the reputable “destroy everything” aspect of the game. Every piece of architecture was built from the ground up, piece by piece, just like real life structures. I’ve never hammered down a five story building in real life, but I’d say RFG gets closer to emulating the experience than any other game has. Destruction plays a huge role throughout the experience and is definitely one of the most redeeming aspects of the game. It’d be a mistake, however, to label it as a game-selling gimmick.

Red Faction Guerrilla has tons to offer. In addition to a groundbreaking destruction engine, some really exciting gun-play, and tons of re-playability, RFG also features a robust online multiplayer mode. The game is already available for less than the starting price, but I don’t regret a penny of the sixty bucks I forked over to experience this excellent open world action game.

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