It has been a while since I’ve come across a game that I truly enjoy as much as Red Faction Guerrilla. When they released the single player and multiplayer demos on Xbox Live I had a good time with them but normally a demo just gives you a feel for the best part of a game. When you actually play the full release there end up being little annoyances that you do not find in the demo because it is so short. However, with Red Faction Guerrilla that has not been the case for me. I’m not saying the same is perfect or anything but that I’ve yet to find any major things that bother me about it. The destructible environments are not just a gimmick, but a core part of the game that fit well with the story and the setting. Every structure, building, and bridge in the game can be destroyed. Some easily with just a few swings of your sledgehammer and others only with large amounts of explosives. The destructible environment is what makes the game so fun. Deciding if you want to just run in and hit a few key pillars, drive a truck through, or use some rockets to level a building never gets old.
Starting off with the single player I really love that the game opens up the world of Mars and lets you choose how you want to play. There are some missions that are required to advance the main story line but you can do those whenever you want. In addition to the main missions there are dozens of different side missions you can complete for moral and money. These side missions can also be completed at any time and vary from escort and driving missions to defending and area or destroying a certain amount of property. Later in the game these side missions would be tedious if you had to do them all, but you don’t. You can play the ones that are fun to you and ignore all the rest. For me, that means playing all the missions where I blow stuff up and skipping all the escort and driving bits. The main story missions are also really fun to play. They vary quite a bit in length and structure, but it seemed to me that the later in the game you are the more fun the main story missions were. Once you complete the main story arc of the game it does not just end. You are back on mars with all of the side missions available for you to complete if you want. The overall world is quite large and there are tons of hidden things to find. Some which will get you achievements, like radio tags, and others that are just funny, like NASA’s Mars Rover. Overall, I really enjoyed the story of the game as well as the openness of how the world is laid out.
The multiplayer is a little different than the campaign because there are no vehicles but there are a lot of different packs you can use. Effectively combining the packs with a complimentary weapon and then getting a team of friends who are doing the same is great fun. The different packs really lend well to good team working winning matches. For example, one person on your team might grab a sniper and a jet pack and head up high to provide covering fire while someone with a fleetfoot pack goes in full speed to try and capture the enemies flag. The game has the normal deathmatch and capture the flag modes which are fun, but the modes specific to destroying stuff are some of the most fun I’ve had in multiplayer in years. Siege mode is possibly my favorite game mode. In it one team defends a building or set of buildings while the other attacking team tries to knock them down. Then, after a set amount of time the teams switch. It requires good teamwork and communication to win as Siege because you need to figure out where enemies are attacking from. If anyone already repairing a building or should you stop trying to kill enemies and repair it. Or, does one of the buildings have a structural weakness you can exploit. There are a ton of maps to play through and even more customization options that keep things fresh and interesting even if you play the same map all night long.
In addition to the single player and multiplayer there is also a pass the controller verse mode called Wrecking Crew. In Wrecking Crew you play against up to three friends and try to destroy a level with a set amount of time or ammo. Then, the level resets and your friends try to beat your score. It really is a fun mode that I think gamers might overlook because you have to play it locally and not over Xbox Live. However, it is well worth having a couple friends over to play because the face paced destruction focused game play is fun over and over again.
As you can tell by now I love Red Faction Guerrilla and I would highly recommend people try the demos if they are even remotely interested in it. Once you see the real physics based destruction you will be hooked.