Blowing shit up is fun. Therefore Red Faction Guerrilla, with the best in-game destruction system ever to grace an open-world of pixels and polygons, should be bloody entertaining. And for the most part, it is.
Taking place 50 years after the PS2 FPS games, former liberator 'The Earth Defence Force (EDF)' is now an evil empire occupying Mars. After terraforming the surface to give the red planet blue skies, the EDF's gotten cocky and is now kidnapping the planet's inhabitants to put in its work camps, and then sticking up propaganda posters to tell everyone how wicked it is. It's time to rebel... again.
You play as newcomer Alec Mason who's thrust into the Red Faction's war when his brother - a known guerrilla - gets filled with military lead. Bruised and craving revenge, it's up to you to disrupt the corporation's grip on Mars and rally the civilisation to your cause. in gameplay terms this means blowing lots of things up.
Watch tons of other game videos in HD over on our video channel!
The magic behind Guerrilla's bangs is a true physics-based destruction system, which sees individual bricks and support beams dynamically falling to the might of your weighty sledge hammer.
It looks impressive and feels all the more satisfying; ploughing a truck through a load-bearing corner of a three-story building will send brick and mortar collapsing to the ground - and crushing whoever might be loitering underneath it. It's instantly gratifying and lots of fun.
You'll probably spend the first few hours of Red Faction knocking things down just to watch them fall, which is a pretty good proof of concept if we've ever seen one. If you want to be clever about your destruction, you can. Placing remote charges on the load-bearing pillars and arches save ammo.
You're rewarded for blowing up buildings with collectable salvage, Guerrila's answer to cash. Using salvage collected from your sledge hammer carnage you can purchase new weapons, upgrade old ones are toughen up your armour.
The destruction is a refreshing foundation for an open-world game and Volition's decided to keep it simple.
Mars is split into different sectors with everything accessible from the off, similar to Realtime World's Crackdown. Completing missions and blowing up government property lowers the evil EDF's hold on a sector, while performing sidequests (rescuing hostages, destroying propaganda) will increase local resistance.
There aren't any closed bridges restricting the next area, and neither is there a barrage of narrative and cut-scenes forcing you down a specific path. This suits the themes of Guerrilla well and again, like Crackdown, it can be enough fun just running around the sandbox having your own fun.
That said, Guerrilla's missions are a real highlight. There isn't an abundance of tasks on offer (three or four per sector) but this means Volition's been able to be a bit more creative.
No two missions feel the same; one moment you'll have to kidnap an EDF leader and lob him into a canyon, in another you'll go ballistic in the driving seat of a giant mechanical walker.
Red Faction Guerrilla is a great example of having fun in a sandbox environment. One mission saw us having to destroy what could have been Tower Bridge. Remote charges weren't going to do it and so commenced an hour of strategically eliminating girders and even smashing inside the bridge's innards to take out pieces with a sledge hammer.