When we reach the compound, I tear into the guard towers, which fall in a shower of gunmetal matchsticks. That gets the attention of an entire garrison of EDF troops, which promptly begins to shower my impervious vehicle with rockets and bullets. Swerving wildly, I'm nonetheless careful not to expose my glowing rear. I don't want the show to start early, and my plans hinge on preventing even a single bullet from striking the remote mines clustered around my tailgate.

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Backing my truck and its precious cargo up a mound of Martian soil, I take a moment to get my bearings, confident that the EDF won't advance while they're lobbing missiles. My goal is in sight - a quick right turn and I'm roaring uphill towards the EDF barracks and the destructive crescendo of my mission. With a breathless right-click, the mines go off as I reach the top of the ramp. Thrown by the exploding mines, the truck sails through the air in a somersault. The momentum of the climb carries my chariot over the top of the barracks, then crashing straight through the roof. The EDF stop firing for a moment, while their stammering AI tries to work out where I am.

It's beautiful. The whole system collapses - the game's rules are irrelevant, the EDF are dumbstruck, and their barracks are a maelstrom of filing cabinets and death.

The Aftermath

All I'm doing is screwing around, but with great power comes great opportunity. Suddenly I'm playing a different game. I'm no longer sneaking around, dying and cursing and twiddling my thumbs while the map reloads. I'm no longer restrained at all by the rules encapsulating my avatar. Instead, I'm surrounded by a set of physical laws that are a lot more fun to butt heads with.

A revolution is only ever the start of something better, and after all I've done, it was Volition's technology that enabled me to triumph over their story and world design. The sheer wasted potential of Red Faction: Guerrilla's unprecedented free-form destruction was impossible for me to tolerate. Certainly, there may be writers and designers at their studios working on a deeper, smarter story for the next Red Faction game, but couldn't they just design fifty more ways in which things can break, bend, melt, shatter and explode?

Guerilla is, despite everything, a great game. Its worst injustice is that, at some point after the creation of that gloriously destructive central mechanic, it was smothered by story and characters and missions. With cheats, I successfully washed away that shallow coating, and made it my own. As a gamer, it is your duty to do the same. You have nothing to lose but your health bar - and you have worlds to gain.

Jaz McDougall is a freelance contributor to The Escapist.

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