#974 Red Faction Guerilla

Posted: 27th January 2021 by Jeroen in Games
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926th played so far

Genre: Shoot ‘Em Up
Platform: PC/Playstation 3/Xbox 360
Year of Release: 2009
Developer: Volition
Publisher: THQ

I’ve really enjoyed the Saints Row series stylings, both the aggressive glee of the second games and the over the top feeling of its sequels even after it descends into hell, and weirdly Red Faction Guerrilla is repeatedly referenced in the series as the evil corporation Ultor corporation is shared between both series, while the science fiction levels of this game come back in some bonus content.

So what I know is that this game is set in the distant future on Mars and that there is a lot of focus on the destructability of buildings – it was the engine’s main selling point. Crackdown did something similar a few years before this game, but some time after the first game in the series.

Our Thoughts

I suspect this installment in the game specifically was because it was the most recent game in the series when the book was written, but its sequel didn’t seem to have done that well and ended the series with the exception of some recent remakes. I haven’t played other entries in the series yet (perhaps once I finish this list I’ll have time), but aside from story references they don’t seem to be that important to get.

Early on, you’re told that the main way to get money and resources on the planet are by breaking down old buildings, gathering the dropped items and trading them for the upgrades and such you expect from a game like this. There’s something quite fun about this – having been on a Train Station Renovation obsession as a quiet game to relax, this feels similarly therapeutic. There’s a real satisfaction in destroying things, seeing numbers go up and seeing everything slowly break down.

In comparison, the gunplay is the weak part of the game. It wouldn’t be a shooter without it, but it doesn’t feel as satisfying, a bit loose, relying a lot, for me, on the backup of my allies.

What helps hit those dopamine rushes though is the control system, where you perform missions to increase your standing and take over, with the usual extra assistance as you do better. There are some story missions involved in each as well, but it feels a lot like the same system in Saints Row 2 – one that works, even if it can get a bit repetitive. Still, it felt like a good driver to keep going.

Final Thoughts

The unique points of this game – the district system and especially the destruction of buildings – feel really good and those feel like enough to make me want to try more Red Faction games. It also avoids the slapstick humour Saints Row got stuck in, and that works out here – the tone is darker, more grim, and it creates for a more desolate planet to explore. With that said, I feel like the shooting in the game still lets it down and I never got to the point where I actually enjoyed that part. It stopped the game dead in its tracks for me early on, especially when it’s required in places where you can’t make up for it as much. Without the support you get during this missions, it feels like it would be impossible.

  1. […] a side note, Red Faction Guerilla, the previous game, was in fact made by the same studio – Volition Studio was previously […]