Red Faction: Guerrilla PS3, Xbox 360 Review

Volition’s Red Faction: Guerrilla is the third installment in the Red Faction franchise. Before Guerrilla, I was not overly familiar with the Red Faction games having never played the previous entries, but had always heard good things about the series.

Guerrilla plays out on the red, dusty, and mountainous setting of Mars as its predecessors did. Picking up years after the events of the first Red Faction, you assume the role of Mason, a simple miner looking for work and opportunity just like everyone else. All that changes when you see the corruption and violence that the Earth Defense Force (EDF) enforces on the population firsthand with the death of your brother. Before you know it, whether it be from necessity or revenge, you join with a resistance movement know as Red Faction. Red Faction seeks to undermine and drive out the EDF from Mars by any means necessary. This is where you come in.

Mars is divided into six EDF controlled zones. To liberate these areas you must help advance the resistance movement. EDF property must be destroyed, convoys halted, and guerrilla prisoners liberated. Each of your actions directed towards these objectives will loosen EDF control and boost the morale of the people resulting in greater weapons, assistance and upgrades.

Do you like blowing stuff up and watching it crumble to dust in your wake? If so, then Red Faction: Guerrilla is for you. Every building, structure, vehicle, or even street sign in this game is destructible. Whether you use explosives, a sledgehammer, or even the jeep you’re driving, they all can be used as your destructive agent.

Not only is creating a swath of destruction fun, but it also can add elements of strategy to your play. It looks impressive but also seems to be based on some actual engineering principles. Random explosive placement will rarely topple a structure. Instead you must target the structural supports and load-bearing walls to achieve results. There is nothing more satisfying than strategically collapsing a ten story smokestack onto unsuspecting EDF or taking out a bridge holding an EDF convoy with my personal favorite weapon, remote charges.

During a firefight with the EDF the enemy will take cover, advance or flank which is commendable and expected from a next-gen title. On the flip side, you can blow up half of the Mars colony and the enemy force seems to forget everything once you run back to your rebel camp and the areas alert status goes down. In most cases I just had to run out of sight and the enemies were almost instantly more complacent. Guerrilla actions lose their intensity when you can just set off a bunch of charges at an EDF facility, run back to camp wait thirty seconds until the enemy has forgotten they were attacked and return to finish the job.

Friendly AI does not fare much better. In one of the early EDF controlled zones I accidentally blew up a major bridge on a primary roadway. For the duration of time I spent in that zone I watched vehicle after vehicle drive off that shattered bridge and explode on top of each other in the wreckage below. It was mildly amusing but negatively impacted the guerrilla cause.

Crisp graphics and some killer particle effects are plentiful but overall Red Faction: Guerrilla’s presentation is fairly simplistic. Buildings are largely empty, and although there is plenty of stuff to blow up, the majority of Mars is exactly what you would expect: dust and rocks. Speaking of Mars, how am I running around breathing without eye-popping aka Total Recall? Perhaps this was explained in previous Red Faction Installments.

Without question, my journey to Mars with Red Faction: Guerrilla was at the very least fun. However once you get past the thrill of blowing stuff up the game can feel a little hollow and I believe that’s partly to blame on the setting. There simply isn’t enough to see and do in this bleak and barren world other than build an urge to return to Earth.

– Jason Krahn

TheHDRoom may be paid a small commission for any services or products ordered through select links on this page.