You can tell, immediately, that the series gets some inspiration from the classic 1990 Arnie movie Total Recall, with the resistance trying to free Mars, so, the same scenario for both the movie and this game!
The premise sees you arriving on Mars to work as a miner where your brother meets you after you have landed and gone through security. After a brief conversation about family life, the organisation he is working with show up. You head out to reclaim some scrap by levelling an abandoned EDF building, at which point your brother is gunned down. A few people arrive and save your bacon, prior to welcoming you to the Red Faction. All of this happens within the first five minutes of the game!
The game, itself, is an open world affair. At the time, Infamous and Prototype were also shown at E3 of the same year. So, you have two games with superhuman-type abilities and one with a guy with a hammer. As you can probably guess, this one didn’t fare too well against the other two. The open world thankfully isn’t overly crammed with objectives and collectibles like more recent games, such as the Batman series and Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor and Middle Earth: Shadow of War. The large map is broken down into five distinct sectors, all of which have their own feel and looks. The object of the game is to liberate each sector by destroying as much EDF property as possible. Help the Red Faction steal items, rescue people, stop convoys and so on. Once there is 0% threat from the EDF in an area, you venture to the next and start again.
The story plods along during your time with the game: Alex Mason and the Red Faction in general are quite a boring lot! I say Red Faction there, but they hardly do anything. Occasionally, they may arrive and help out, but nothing more. The fun to be had comes with the destruction! You’re armed with a hammer which feels weighty enough when you swing it, plus there’s sticky and proximity mines, numerous modern day type weapons (assault rifle and pistol), arc welder, rail gun and a few others. Now, using the standard Earth-type weapons is a bit lacklustre. They don’t zoom down an iron sight – the cross-hair just gets smaller for a steadier and more accurate aim, and they also feel as if they lack punch. The fun to be had is using items like the arc welder which blasts out electric bolts and can hit numerous enemies when they are close. Even better, a carefully thrown mine can stick to an enemy just waiting for you to click the detonator.
As for the destruction, it is a blast (no pun intended) and it is as good as anything you may see today. You can put sticky mines on key points of a building, then clicking the detonator can leave it in a bad way or completely toppled. As you progress, you’ll learn structural points and will be able to level buildings with ease using a combination of hammer and said mines. If you don’t fancy getting to up close and personal, you can always just drive a tuck through the building to bring it down – the choice is yours!
The combat is okay, but the gripe comes from the fact that the enemy AI is way too sensitive. As soon as you take a connecting swing at a building, a squad of EDF soldiers will turn up, which is fair enough… but what isn’t particularly great, however, is that more and more squads keep turning up, and there is no way you can take them all out so you have to high-tail it out of there, and return when the area quietens down again. There is a mission once Parker (the opening area) is cleared of EDF and you have to take out towers in an armoured vehicle, where the car itself feels like it is driving in mud (most of them do). You head to the towers to ram and destroy them, but after taking out the first few, there are EDF vehicles everywhere and it feels like your vehicle is a giant electromagnet! I tried to get out and then jump into another vehicle, but ended up at the bottom of a pile of EDF vehicles – it was beyond a joke! It is exactly the same for the foot soldiers, constantly arriving when you are trying to do missions.
Red Faction Guerilla – 4K 60 FPS ULTRA / Max Settings PC
– Dust Mission & Destruction Showcase – G RAG3R
The graphics overhaul is genuinely nice. New reworked textures and new special effects which makes the game look great. If you have a 4K monitor or TV, you can put the resolution right up as this has full 4K support. Understandably, with this being Mars everything can be a bit drab-looking at times with reds and browns being the main colour scheme but it is fitting, and it certainly didn’t put Matt Damon off when he took a trip out there. The only gripe, visually, is that the cutscenes can look a bit dated with no work being done to them. They work, but do let the overall presentation down a bit.
I do, however, wish they had fixed the floaty weapon and vehicle controls and sorted the overactive enemy AI. They do let down a decent game. If they had done this, I feel it could have been much better by comparison.
The multiplayer and Wrecking Crew game modes come on top of the lengthy campaign, but personally they are not really my thing. I have tried them out, but they just didn’t gel with me at all. If you like these, then you will get longer play time from the whole package.
If you have never played this game first time round, then Red Faction Guerilla Re-Mars-tered is worth it if you like open-world experiences. Yes, it has a few gripes, but it is a solid title. I would like to see a sequel to this someday, so I am hoping they are testing the water with this release. One addition worth mentioning is that if you already own the previous version on Steam, you will get this version free, and until July 10th, the game is just £7.49, while the complete Red Faction Collection is just £13.20 as I post this, and contains: Red Faction, Red Faction Armageddon Soundtrack, Red Faction Guerrilla Re-Mars-tered, Red Faction II, Red Faction: Armageddon Path to War DLC, Red Faction: Guerrilla Soundtrack and Red Faction: Armageddon. It’s hammer time!
- Developer: Volition (original) / Kaiko Games (remaster)
- Publisher: THQ Nordic
- Players: Single-player, Multiplayer
Retro at heart and lover of all things ’80s, especially the computers, the music and the awesome movies and TV shows! Crazy huge retro gaming collection spanning the ’80s and ’90s with hundreds of tapes, discs and carts for various machines on top of a 600+ strong Steam library that is ever-growing. No I am not a serial hoarder, just a dedicated retro gamer!