The Red Faction series of games has gone through many iterations and changes in the three console generations that the series has been around. The first two games on the Playstation 2 system were first-person shooters and then entered the open world sandbox genre. The one thing that has remained the same throughout four entries is an amount of environmental destruction that for its time was unsurpassed. Red Faction was mostly limited to walls that could be destroyed. Red Faction 2 was able to increase the amount of destruction that players could create, going so far as to allow players almost unlimited freedom to clear a path for themselves. Red Faction Guerilla was the first in the series to take the destruction and really make it a gameplay mechanic.
Releasing for current generation consoles, Red Faction Guerilla has been remastered – sorry, reMARStered (cause it takes place on Mars, geddit?) – with updated visuals and enhanced physics. But today, does it hold up as a fun game when the Just Cause series has stepped into the hole left by the Red Faction series’ absence?
Gameplay: The Hammer of Mars
Red Faction Guerilla is a game about destruction from its premise to its gameplay. The first mission begins with main character Alex Mason (whose name is as generic as his character) arriving on Mars looking to put his vague criminal past behind him. He is met by his brother, who proceeds to take Mason to an abandoned military complex to look for “scrap”, which introduces the character to the destruction mechanics. Then, suddenly, Mason is part of the resistance, the titular Red Faction.
The player is tasked with taking over districts by reducing the enemy’s power and upping the Red Faction’s control. The main way this is accomplished is by finding special sites and destroying them. It is impossible to separate the destruction aspect from the rest of the gameplay. The story missions are locked behind a certain amount of control. There are 5 districts to control, each with their own side missions to explore.
The gameplay isn’t varied enough to remain interesting. Everything boils down to go here, destroy that and shoot enemy soldiers while you’re at it. The destruction mechanics are not enough to keep players interested in the long run.
The remastered edition changes a few things, such as a reduction in damage if the player is inside a building when it collapses which was artificial difficulty of the original. The ragdoll physics of the game has been turned up to the max. Enemies fly around when shot or hit with the hammer, sometimes distances that a rocket would be envious of. These changes make the game not feel stuck in a certain age like some remasters have done. It just shows that Red Faction Guerilla is a game that was ahead of its time.
Story: I’m Sure It’s There Somewhere
The story of Red Faction Guerilla is a masterpiece of simplicity. Where most games are always forcing some absurd story to keep pushing the players forward from start to finish, Red Faction Guerilla’s story has nothing more complicated than destroying everything and run the bad guys off. The players are part of the rebellion against the evil corporation that runs everything and mistreats the citizenry.
It’s nothing new, nothing players haven’t seen before, even back when originally released. From the perspective of someone who thinks gameplay trumps story, the story is non-existent.
Graphics: Brown on the Red Planet
The original release of Red Faction Guerilla was firmly in the drab days of every video game being brown. Brown meant realism to game developers, and Red Faction Guerilla is no different. It’s the biggest difference between Guerilla and the Just Cause series which have much more colors in its palate.
Beyond the brown color that stains everything, the remaster ups visual fidelity, making a game that already looked excellent for the time look excellent for this time. There is a level of detail in the game that takes advantage of the increased console power. There is no noticeable slowdown even in the most chaotic moments of combat.
Unfortunately, there is a bit of pop in, noticeable when driving around in the open. Mountains on the horizon will just appear. It doesn’t affect gameplay, but it is distracting when noticed. Some of the geometry in the world is also easy to get stuck in, and that does effect gameplay, unfortunately.
Red Faction Guerilla: A Good Remaster for an Aged Game
From start to finish, it seems that Red Faction Guerilla ReMARStered Edition is an excellent entry into the remaster market. The game itself looks excellent, and the increased processing power is used to make a game that seemed to have bit off more than it could chew when first released. On the other hand, the game is stuck in the past where many of the fads that were popular when first released are present. It’s not enough to keep modern players interested, and players with some nostalgia may discover that it’s not as good as they remember. Red Faction: Guerilla ReMARStered Edition is a good way to play this game from the previous generation, but it brings with it all the baggage from the previous generation.
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- THE GOOD
- Updated Visuals
- Much Better Performance
- Heavy Destructability
- THE BAD
- Everything is Brown
- Repetitive Gameplay
- Lack of Story