Review: Red Faction: Guerilla

Nathan Grayson | 9 Jul 2009 17:00
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Red Faction's single-player campaign isn't perfect. Missions aren't all that varied, and there's a lot of needless driving. You could also pick on the A.I. - especially that of your companions - for showing a distinct lack of common sense when it comes to avoiding cars and shooting anything standing on a ledge. Additionally, despite being broken up into six different areas, the game's world is fairly sparse, and Mars isn't much in terms of beautiful vistas.

Guess what, though? In what's easily Red Faction's biggest nod to Crackdown, you'll probably be way too busy grinning from ear to ear to nitpick out those little flaws. Above all else, Red Faction is fun - pure, simple fun. Knocking down buildings is fun. Shooting people is fun. Jetpacking into enemy encampments and annihilating everyone with your sawblade gun is fun. Comparatively tiny problems are easily overlooked, because when Red Faction does something well, it does it better than nearly any game of its kind.

Red Faction features a fairly typical suite of multiplayer modes, though there are a couple standouts. Of course there's deathmatch, capture the flag and the other usual suspects - all wrapped in an experience-based system not unlike that of Call of Duty 4 - but the multiplayer really shines when it takes advantage of Geomod 2.0. For instance, Siege mode tasks one team with the destruction of the other team's structures as quickly as possible, then switches the roles. Destroyer mode is also a structure-puncturing good time, with one player on each team destroying buildings while the other team tries to kill him. If you're itching for a multiplayer fix a bit removed from the Call of Duty/Halo/Gears norm, Red Faction is definitely worth a shot.

Ultimately, though, Red Faction is at its best as an explosive, empowering open-world adventure - a superhero game of sorts. Sure, it may not actually feature any superpowers, but as far as pure destructive fun goes, I'd say Red Faction: Guerrilla is the closest thing to Crackdown we're going to see until, well, Crackdown 2.

Bottom Line: Red Faction: Guerilla takes the freeform, fun-first spirit of Crackdown, adds a hint of Mercenaries and then lets you knock it all down. Sure, it's flawed in places, but it's also so much fun that you probably won't even notice what amount to small blemishes on an excellent package.

Recommendation: Buy it. The main story will last you at least 20 hours, and its multiplayer mode is surprisingly robust. Also, demolishing a small city's worth of buildings is a great stress-reliever. Never know when that might come in handy.

Nathan Grayson, at one point, thought Red Faction's friendly A.I. was actually doing something smart when a civilian finished off a building for him. He then watched in horror as every last brick toppled over right on top of said civilian.

This review is based on the Xbox 360 version.

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