Sledgehammers and buildings are probably my favorite two words when mixed right. As long as it opens up a world of demolishing everything from the ground up and under. And Red Faction delivers it all… at least the “demolishing everything” part. From the dreaded walls you can never climb over, to the towering towers, stairing stairs?! And even huge facilities. It never seems enough despite the lack of an eye-catching environment so why not run them over with trucks, a tank perhaps? Or maybe grab a trunk full of equipment to completely decimate the entirety of Mars. Heck, let’s even hijack a walker and continue the path of destruction to a whole new level. It’s a game that simply screams chaos from every angle, whether it’s on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch or PC. Get it? And now it’s being passed on to their respective children in the form of the Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and despite PC 2 still not being a thing, PC is still getting it.
So what is Red Faction and why should I care? From a newcomer’s perspective such as my own, it’s an open-world shooter game made in 2009, almost a decade in, yet felt like a slightly less pretty Just Cause game with more explosions. The third instalment in the series and the most well-received due to the sheer fun you’ll get from it. With the first two games in a first-person perspective as opposed to Guerilla’s third-person and only this title makes everything except the terrain destructible. A simple and open book game offering the thing that mattered the most, destruction and mayhem. While it doesn’t deliver much on everything else it’s fairly easy to forget the other things it can’t do right because everything gets blown up seconds later.
The game opens up with Alec Mason, a newcomer to the planet that is looking for work only to get mixed up with the Red Faction, a group dedicated into liberating the planet against the oppressive Earth Defense Force or EDF when his brother was violently murdered in front of him for being a part of the movement. Now being mistakenly associated with them, he is now wanted by the EDF. While still having fresh memories of his brother’s death, he stepped up to work with the faction by doing what he does best… and it’s blowing stuff up! But liberating the six areas that makes up Mars is no easy task, so he needs to take care of other businesses along the way from side missions and destruction targets until the EDF loosens its grip before the final push.
It’s a very repetitive and overbearing process and at times a tad bit annoying. From missions that require you to rescue hostages which ends up dead after getting buried in rubble due to unknown and totally “not-my-fault” factors, to riding shotgun with old man Jenkins to blow EDF facilities in a vehicle or even the vehicle transport missions which drifts away from the fun factor of blowing shit up. It’s not a perfect game but it’s one that I can’t help but come back to despite all that.
And mainly that’s because it’s not all single-play style lonely mode with this game. With a game with great and fun moments of destruction, it doesn’t feel right to keep it to yourself. So a multiplayer mode is highly appreciated here whether you’re shooting each other up in the crutch or blowing up asses from behind. Includes a huge arsenal of equipment and backpacks that packs a mean punch so you’re sure to find what suits your style of play. Master the ways of destruction with your not-so-average launchers that shoots off rockets and even discs, and in case you fancy mini black holes there’s one you can set off at your heart’s content and probably throw a few remote explosives along the road… heck let’s not even forget the amount of melee weapons, rifles and a pistol to keep the military at bay along with the backpacks that provides a multitude of ways to obliterate the world around you. From the over-the-top rhino that does what it sounds and charge at everything in sight, a tremor backpack perhaps to unleash devastating earthquakes, or if you just want to fly around with your trusty jetpack and thrusters.
And just when you thought that was everything, there’s also a Wrecking Crew Mode that applies more bang for your buck as you try to compete with your friends in score-based destruction. Offers tons of modes from total chaos which is pretty self-explanatory, behemoth which takes your destruction in a whole new level with the control of walkers, escalation is another mode but with limited ammo yet increases every successive round, barrel dash that puts you in the arena to blow up barrels scattered in the field, rampage which is pretty much do whatever you want yet doing actions costs you some time and challenge which makes you do three specific challenges. And hey! Here’s more… a bonus missions option is also included in the game to sink your teeth in for more hours in case you haven’t spent the last hundred or so hours doing the arcade-y bits of wrecking crew and multiplayer PVP.
You break it, you buy it! There’s really no way around this. If arcade-y destruction is what you want then I don’t think there’s anything worth comparing. Just Cause is a fun game with tons of destructible objects but Red Faction: Guerilla just goes LARGE, the McDonald’s way! Despite not being as pretty as most games nowadays and for a decade old game, isn’t surprising at all. Just keep in mind that this isn’t something memorable in terms of story or exploration. With the story being as bare bones with not much meat into it and the exploration elements being a little too gloomy with an undeveloped Mars that is only filled with trucks, minimal roads and blocky facilities that doesn’t particularly piqued my interest aside from blowing it up. But I have to admit, it’s satisfying!
If you are thinking of purchasing this on the Nintendo Switch, Go Ahead the game runs well, plays well and is just as enjoyable.