The original Red Faction is an awesome game and was unique for it’s time. It was a first-person shooter that allowed for environmental destruction. You could destroy almost anything. The story wasn’t too bad either. Then Red Faction II came along. It was nowhere near as good as the first game and just because it has a celebrity voice cast didn’t make it any better. I’ve had Red Faction: Guerrilla in my collection for a while and I would play it on and off. It was about time I actually completed it.
The story in Red Faction: Guerrilla is nothing too exciting. In fact I lost interest in it before I got halfway through the game. It contains similar elements to the first game. The protagonist, Alec Mason, joins the resistance to assist them in overthrowing the EDF (Earth Defense Force) on Mars. The character development in this game is pretty bad. Even Alec himself lacks depth. He’s just your typical revolutionary hero saving the planet from oppression. The revolutionary theme has been done before. The original Red Faction and even Half-Life 2 did it better.
The gameplay here has it’s ups and downs. The series is noted for it’s impressive destructible environments and that’s no exception here. Almost every structure can be demolished which is pretty cool. However, that’s the only stand-out feature here. The combat itself is pretty standard. You aim your gun and shoot shit from bad guys to exploding containers. Alec can also snap to cover which can be helpful if your facing a hoard of EDF drones. The enemies don’t really vary and they all seem to look the same. The AI isn’t anything special either. Enemies will run directly in the line of fire as will your allies. Speaking of allies, when attempting to take down EDF property or an EDF base, sometimes you will randomly gain the help of some resistance fighters. It’s a cool concept but since the AI isn’t too smart they’re rarely helpful. The most help they can offer is when they draw the enemies away from you. The more EDF property you destroy the more control the resistance has and the more you will increase morale. Completing side missions will also increase morale. Story missions seem to activate based on morale so keeping morale up is key. This isn’t too difficult unless you decide to kill a ton of innocent civilians. Each time you kill one it will lower morale. During your journey to destroy Mars you collect salvage. Every time you destroy a building, amongst the wreckage will be salvage to collect. The salvage is used as currency allowing you to purchase new weapons, armor, abilities, and upgrades.
There is little to no mission variety in Red Faction: Guerrilla. Story missions begin with some text and narration explaining your objective accompanied by a small video. It didn’t really help immerse me into the story. In the end each mission boils down to one thing, kill the EDF. That’s about it. Every mission has you go from point A to point B to kill EDF or blow up EDF property. The difficulty ramps up the further into the game you are but all this means is more enemies. Red Faction: Guerrilla does have a lot of side missions but most of them are not that great. The side missions that employ a time limit are the worst. These include driving vehicles to a base as well as destroying a building with limited items before the clock runs down. The best side missions have you shooting enemies, destroying buildings, and rescuing hostages. There’s only a few types of side missions which makes them feel just as repetitive as the story missions.
Red Faction: Guerrilla isn’t a bad game but it isn’t a great one either. It’s marred by repetitive missions, a weak storyline, and lack of interesting characters. The environmental destruction is a neat feature and it works well but it’s the only thing that works well.
Check out our play through of Red Faction: Guerrilla.