Red Fac­tion: Guerilla Re-Mars-tered

Red Fac­tion: Guer­rilla Re- Mars-tered best de­struc­tion in games ever. brings back the

PC GAMER (UK) - - CONTENTS - Red Fac­tion: Guer­rilla’s By Sa­muel Roberts

It’s a damn crime that no game ripped off Geo-mod de­struc­tion fea­ture. You take a ham­mer and you use it to smash out a panel of a wall and break through a pil­lar. Smash out a few more walls and maybe the build­ing creaks. A few more whacks of the ham­mer later and the whole thing comes down, per­haps with you in­side. And hey, maybe it knocks through an­other build­ing on the way down. It’s still amaz­ing to watch.

Guer­rilla does this one thing re­ally well. It’s an oth­er­wise unin­spired open world game, with okay driv­ing, unim­pres­sive shoot­ing and a bor­ing story. Hell, Mars doesn’t even look that nice, be­cause it’s Mars. But knock­ing down build­ings in an open world is more than enough to carry this game. You’ll crash a jeep through a base. You’ll det­o­nate mines and blow up a bridge, which will then col­lapse on top of an en­emy set­tle­ment. You’ll melt the beams of a tower and watch it fall over. This de­struc­tion felt great in 2009, and it still feels good now.

In this Re-Mars-tered edi­tion, which is free for own­ers of the Steam ver­sion, THQ Nordic touts re­worked tex­tures among other im­prove­ments, along with bet­ter shad­ows, light­ing, a shader and post­pro­cess­ing re­work and na­tive 4K sup­port. For a free­bie, it seems pretty good af­ter four hours or so. I can’t say I no­tice vast vis­ual im­prove­ments, but en­vi­ron­men­tal tex­tures like rocks and the ground

look a lit­tle sharper. The light­ing is nice, too, but it’s not a vast up­grade.

To any­one pick­ing this up for the first time, I rec­om­mend fo­cus­ing on the cam­paign. That’s where the big­gest de­struc­tive op­por­tu­ni­ties are, like a huge bridge and a mas­sive tower, which take metic­u­lous use of the ob­ject-melt­ing nano rifle and rocket launcher to bring down. You’ll wait a while to un­lock all the re­ally good toys, but the sin­gle­player will give you plenty to blow up along the way, as well as a dull story about min­ers re­belling against an army that’s a bit like a bor­ing ver­sion of Fire­fly. The big de­struc­tive op­por­tu­ni­ties in this cam­paign need to be seen, though – I still talk about them with friends years later.

I’m not in the mood for fin­ish­ing the cam­paign these days af­ter do­ing it twice be­fore, but that’s where the game’s Wreck­ing Crew mode comes in. It’s ba­si­cally a score at­tack that gives you a quick dose of the game’s de­struc­tive physics in a va­ri­ety of set­tings. You pick a load­out, set the pa­ram­e­ters, like time lim­its and how eas­ily the build­ings fall, then knock them down as quickly as pos­si­ble. It makes a great pass-the-pad party game, and there’s a chal­lenge mode with leader­boards, too.

No im­i­ta­tors

It’s weird that no one else made a game like Guer­rilla af­ter its re­lease. De­struc­tion fea­tures in ev­ery­thing from Bat­tle­field to Minecraft to Just Cause, but Vo­li­tion’s game still of­fers some­thing that no other game does. It’s the idea of blow­ing each build­ing up like it’s a puz­zle, ef­fi­ciently us­ing your ar­se­nal so it col­lapses in the most sat­is­fy­ing way pos­si­ble.

It might’ve been Red Fac­tion’s sparse Mars set­ting that made

Guer­rilla work in the first place. It’s no­tice­able that all the best build­ings are far away from one an­other, and it prob­a­bly wouldn’t have been pos­si­ble for Vo­li­tion to repli­cate the Geo-mod sys­tem in the vast cities of Saints Row. But that is the type of open world game I’ve al­ways wanted to play, where you can ma­nip­u­late the en­vi­ron­ment. We’re in­stead in an age of open world games packed with busy­work and tow­ers to climb. I like those, too, but Guer­rilla shows open worlds and de­struc­tible build­ings are a per­fect match.

Even old THQ didn’t seem to know why Guer­rilla was good. Vo­li­tion fol­lowed this up with

Ar­maged­don in 2011, a bad se­quel that took us away from big open set­pieces to the te­dious, more lin­ear un­der­ground. Still, if THQ Nordic is bring­ing Dark­siders back for an­other shot, per­haps Red Fac­tion will get its chance again, too. I just wish its in­flu­ence, and its col­laps­ing build­ings, had car­ried a lit­tle fur­ther.

It’s weird that no one else made a game like Guer­rilla af­ter its re­lease

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