Who doesn’t like blowing stuff up? I think there’s a demo man in each and every one of us who loves watching things go BOOM. That demo man within is in for a real treat as developer Volition has taken the term environmental destruction to the next level with their latest game, Red Faction Guerilla (RFG). Now we’ve already spoken about the game at length in our preview, hands on preview and developer interview so feel free to expand your information with those articles.
__STARTQUOTE__Volition has taken the term environmental destruction to the next level with their latest game, Red Faction Guerilla.__ENDQUOTE__
As you may have heard or seen by now, the Red Faction series has now made the transition to third person as opposed to the first person shooters the first two games were. The reason developer Volition took this franchise in that direction is so players could experience the true power of their Geo-Mod 2.0 engine. But before we talk about blowing stuff up, let’s take a quick look at the game’s plot.
In RFG you play as Alec Mason, a miner who’s come to Mars to earn an honest living. Upon arrival you find out that the Earth Defense Force (EDF) aren’t the good guys they once used to be and they’re now using their power and resources to oppress the locals. Fighting this oppression is an organization called the Red Faction and your brother just so happens to be a part of this organization. He persuades you to join this noble cause but you politely decline at first and it’s only once he ruthlessly gets gunned down by the EDF do you pick up your sledge hammer and vow revenge.
If you’ve played Volition’s Saint’s Row series, gameplay in Red Faction will seem vaguely familiar. Unlike the linear corridor shooters the first two games were, RFG has now gone the open ended way which means you’re given a free reign as far as progression is concerned. Of course like the Saint’s Row series you’ll have to undertake and successfully complete a certain amount of side quests to unlock story based missions. During both side quests and main missions there are two things you have to keep an eye out for - EDF presence in a particular area and the morale of the locals in that very same area. To recruit more people or have them fight by your side you’ll have to increase their morale and this can be done by driving out the EDF presence in a particular area. You can do so by destroying random EDF structures, denoted in red on your map or by undertaking Guerilla missions. Reduce EDF presence to zero and a story-based mission pops up that allows you to liberate the entire sector once and for all.
But Mars is a huge planet and liberating it will mean you’ll have to liberate five of its distinct sectors in the above mentioned way. The only problem over here is that liberating every sector is pretty much the same experience. You have a handful of Guerilla missions like rescuing hostages, driving vehicles back to your base in a certain amount of time, etc. that get repeated all the time. As you progress, enemies become tougher and they’ll wield more powerful weapons but gameplay essentially stays the same.
Story-based missions are variations of the side quests (or vice versa) so you’ll be craving variety by the time you hit the halfway mark. This comes as a bit of a disappointment since Volition’s last game, Saint’s Row 2 offered a tremendous amount of variety. But then again, the game does such an awesome job of letting you blow everything up with reckless abandon, you may just about excuse the monotony.
Each and every structure, be it a building, a bridge, a tower, a garage etc. can be blown up in this game and how you go about doing that is up to you. You can either drive your vehicle into a structure taking out all the supporting beams in the process or you can run around planting sticky mines on all four sides. If you prefer taking a more direct approach, roll up and just blow it to kingdom come with your rocket launcher. If you’re really bored in life, it’s possible to take it down using nothing but your sledgehammer. It’s time consuming, but it’s satisfying as hell.
The way each and every structure crumbles in the game is a sight to behold; slabs of concrete fly over the place, glass shatters violently, walls start crumbling in real time and once you damage a structure enough you’ll hear it creaking and groaning while your controller vibrates. This is an indication to get out of there ASAP before the roof quite literally comes down on your head. Certain structures like billboards do tend to crumble in a scripted way no doubt, but all said and done no game till date has done environmental destruction this well, so some serious props going out to Volition for that.
Besides blowing stuff up you can melee objects/people with your sledgehammer or riddle them with a plethora of diverse rifles, shotguns or rocket launchers. The more stuff you destroy, the more scrap you earn and this scrap – that basically doubles as the game’s currency – can be used to buy armor for your character, newer weapons or even upgrade existing ones. On the flip side gunplay is a tad weak and customization is limited.
Even so you’ll find your arsenal more than sufficient to bring the whole of Mars down. Just make sure you don’t get bored of all the destruction because besides that, there’s really nothing that’ll grab you by the family jewels. The plot’s horribly clich
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