Red Faction: Guerrilla Reader Review
This game is a bit of a gem really, Especially these days where it can be picked up very cheaply. The main standout feature is the outstanding damage modelling. The first time you take down a building is one of those rare jaw dropping moments in gaming that really remind you how much fun it can be. There is something incredibly satisfying and primevaly rewarding about smashing something to smithereens.
Initially you have to make do with a few sticky grenade like charges and a sledgehammer. Pleasingly though, upgrades are gradually unlocked until you receive a gun that dismantles things at an atomic level. This opens up all manner of possibilities. Ever fancied collapsing a huge bridge by vapourising its support struts? Get stuck in then. Later on you get something tantamount to a mini nuke which leaves buildings decimated in its wake.
This is an open world game by the same developers that brought us Saints Row. There are the usual sorts of missions to progress through. Escort missions, vehicle time trials, escape with prisoners, area defence and raiding feature prominently. The two best recurring missions though are the score attack destructathons and the demolition master missions. The former make you ride shotgun on a ludicrous bike with an overpowered rocket launcher and challenge you to do a certain amount of damage in a certain time period. The latter are more akin to isolated puzzle levels where you are tasked with destroying a building under defined parameters. Some of these can be a little tricky, perhaps relying a little bit too much on luck or the vagaries of the physics implementation for success. They are usually a lot of fun though.
Destroying the buildings is so much fun that it is a shame that that aspect of the game was not implemented with more subtlety. Invariably, as soon as you start to destroy a building, you are attacked by relentless waves of police. It soon becomes far too chaotic and any attempt at considered demolition goes out the window. There are too many police around initially and the alert is raised too easily for stealth to be a useful tactical option. It would have been great fun though to pick off the defences, carefully plan your demolition using available assets from the environment, retreat to a safe distance and then marvel as your master plan is realized in all its destructive glory. That is the game I want to play. That is what this game could have done.
As in other open-world games. Trekking back to the beginning of a mission after a failure is a chore. Eventually, the ability to teleport back to a safehouse provided the alert level is low is unlocked. This was very welcome.
The vehicle handling can be a bit tricky with the digital nature of keyboard steering. You can play with a 360 pad but then you lose the improved aiming of the keyboard and mouse.
The final level is about as chaotic and frenetic as anything I have seen in gaming. It is a wonder my PC didnít burst into flames. The developers deserve some credit for producing a game engine that could cope with that amount happening on screen without everything grinding to a halt.