I have to come clean, I didn’t game very much in the 2000’s. Well I was gaming, but only on my PC in World of Warcraft. After about 10 years or so though I was finally able to step away for good and get back to consoles, where my gaming hobby started. Sadly I missed a few great titles in that time. One of the series I kept hearing about over the last 10 years or so was Red Faction. So when I heard the third game in the series was being brought to current consoles as Red Faction Guerrilla: Re-Mars-tered I had to give it a shot and see what I had been missing.
Red Faction Guerrilla: Re-Mars-tered may have a stupid ham-fisted new title, but the original has been called a cult classic by many, and given the absurdity of the concept; a freedom fighter on a populated Mars, armed with a sledge hammer, I can totally see why they went with this title. Players take on the role of Alec Mason, a miner who comes to Mars to start a new life and reunite with his brother. After his brother is assassinated by the private military, the Earth Defense Force, or EDF, he is rescued by a group of freedom fighters called the Red Faction. From there Alec must travel around the various sectors of the planet, completing different tasks and freeing the area from EDF control.
Red Faction Guerrilla: Re-Mars-tered plays like many of the open world games of this time period, reminding me most of Far Cry 2. Players can stick to the story and just focus on the main quests, but there are a ton of little side things to do, from saving hostages, to blowing up EDF buildings, to just mining for scraps to upgrade your weapons and armor. All of these add up and increase the control and morale of the Red Faction in the district, eventually taking over. While fun at first, many of these side jobs end up getting pretty repetitive unfortunately, there just wasn’t a large variety like in current games, such as Grand Theft Auto V. Traveling around the districts is a bit of a headache as well, as the vehicle controls are very slippery. The addition of an alert system similar to GTA police levels felt unneeded and could be a pain in the ass to drop down to green status if you wanted to start a new quest and not screw around with EDF patrols.
Graphically Red Faction Guerrilla: Re-Mars-tered looks great. While I never played the original for comparison, I can say that if I didn’t already know it was a remaster, I would be super impressed for any original title that looked this good at this low price point. While the dialog is a bit cheesy, the voice work is solid and the music matches up well with the barren landscape. The story is rather uninspired but is easy to follow and honestly, the overall open world means you can just do whatever you want until forced to move along with the main quests. Combat is definitely dated and a bit frustrating. The third person based shooting seems so antiquated now. Sometimes I just found it easier to speed run into my opponents and just bash them with my sledge hammer. Eventually even on the lowest difficulty settings, at later stages of the game, I would still get destroyed by large troop assaults because of the system. If the option was there for a first person view I would of been much happier.
What Red Faction Guerrilla is best known for is the amazing destructible environments. I had heard about this and it definitely lives up to the hype in Red Faction Guerrilla: Re-Mars-tered. Everything can be blown up or smashed for scrap. Using multiple sticky mines and detonating a building in one huge timed explosion, watching it fall from a safe distance, is so very satisfying. Just swinging your hammer and busting through walls to come up from behind an enemy is one of my favorite aspects to this game and what made it such a cult hit. I have literally spent hours just running around the open world and blowing shit up. This level of detail and destruction is why I can recommend Red Faction Guerrilla: Re-Mars-tered to anyone who missed it the first go around. While folks who played the original back in 2009 may not really see any point, because essentially this remaster is just a graphics overhaul, nothing else is changed.
Red Faction Guerrilla: Re-Mars-tered is a must buy if you never played the original. At an MSRP of $29.99 it is a great deal. There are hours of enjoyment here, even after completing the main story. Is it flawed? Yes. But so was the original game. The destruction elements just overshadow most of these issues for me, creating an enjoyable experience anyway. Sure combat is dated, the driving is a mess, and the story isn’t anything special, but just go blow a few things up and tell me you’re not smiling? I ended up enjoying myself so much that I even went back and purchased the original Red Faction and Red Faction II for my PS4 (They are even on sale at the time of this review.) Now like the the movie says, “Get your ass to Mars.”