The 9-year-old Red Faction Guerrilla gets a breath of fresh air with this new remaster, or rather, re-mars-ter. Other than having an incredibly stupid pun in the title, the game brings with it some fun destruction-based gameplay and a lot of cool weapons to play with. However, it does suffer from a number of technical issues and a rather boring game world.
Note: This review covers just the singleplayer experience.
Fun destruction-based gameplay. The game’s greatest feature is easily its destruction-based gameplay. Considering that this is the game’s main selling point, this should be expected, but the developers have really done a nice job in this regard. Just about everything in the game can be blown up, be it buildings, vehicles, and bridges just to name a few. So long as it is not a part of the terrain, it can be destroyed, simple as that. However, whatever is destroyed is gone forever. Every change the player makes to the game world is a permanent one. Some may be annoyed by this, but I liked actually having an impact on the game world, one that lasts the entire playthrough.
Excellent weapon and vehicle variety. Red Faction Guerrilla has a massive amount of weapons and vehicles to play with. Even though I beat the game, there were still a few that I had not even used yet. The game has simple weapons, such as the assault rifle, rocket launcher, and remote charges, but also has some more complex and interesting weapons, such as the grinder and the nano rifle. The latter of which actually lends itself well to the destruction aspect of the gameplay, as it dematerializes whatever it comes in contact with, making it incredibly handy for structures that do not blow up easily. It is not just the weapons though, the vehicle variety is also pretty good. Vehicles all have their own strengths and weaknesses, particularly with the handling. Considering that the game takes place on Mars, the gravity definitely leads to some wonky vehicle handling, so it was a challenge in itself to find a vehicle that was both fast and was able to stick to the ground.
Copy-pasted game world. For a game that tries to sell itself on its large, fully-destructible open-world, it is a bit of a shame that that world is so repetitive. Landscapes are barren, buildings are copy-pasted, and, as a result, the exploration was just boring. The game does take place on Mars, so the barren landscape is a given, but it could have easily been populated with more buildings and such, rather than just leaving large, open areas devoid of anything but roads. This is a game that emphasizes its destruction features, so more structures would have definitely helped in that regard. As it stands, it just feels like a cheap Just Cause game.
Annoying ragdoll physics. The physics may be fun to play with overall, but the ragdolling can be quite annoying. For example, getting hit by a vehicle or by falling debris causes the player to ragdoll, sometimes for extended periods of time. In these scenarios, the ragdolling is expected, but it sometimes happened out of nowhere, particularly when walking or jumping down ledges. In this case, the player would just ragdoll out of nowhere, collapsing to the ground and falling until coming to a complete stop. It was really quite annoying, especially given how random it seemed.
Constant game crashes. Unfortunately, this remaster is prone to constant crashing, about once every forty minutes or so. It definitely does not help that the game lacks any sort of quick-save feature, but it at least has auto-save, although primitive. As a result, I was constantly losing my progress over the course of my playthrough, sometimes during the middle of long missions (which do not allow manual saving). Taking a look at the Steam community for this game shows that this problem is pretty common, so hopefully it gets fixed in a future update. As it stands though, it is definitely a struggle to get through the game without any sort of progress loss.
I would honestly recommend this game if it were not for the constant crashes. The gameplay itself is fun and the weapon variety is great, but the crashes really killed a lot of the fun I had with the game. Outside of that though, the game still does have a rather bland game world and some annoying ragdoll physics, but at least those cons are not game-breaking.
You can buy Red Faction Guerrilla Re-Mars-tered on Steam here.
I was provided a free review copy of the game in order to write this review. Read more about how I do my game reviews here.