Red Faction: Guerrilla, the latest offering from Volition Inc. ‚ is a hotly anticipated and overwhelmingly exciting title on paper, but does the action and total destructibility actually achieve what the studio worked so tirelessly to create?
Marc threw himself into the multiplayer mayhem at New York Comic Con in February and his eloquent conclusions can, and should be read here.‚ However, the single player campaign demo came to Xbox Live and The PlayStation Network last week allowing everyone, everywhere the chance to experience the weak gravity, heavy weaponry of the Red Planet as well as the first inklings of what looks to be a dynamic story that Volition’s writers worked so very hard on.
I played through the very short demo on Xbox 360 in less than 15 minutes, but in such a short time was treated to a very fresh, inviting, and wholly awesome experience, the summary of which is below.
First starting up the demo you’ll be treated to a glorious cut-scene briefly describing the heavy story elements of the title as well as scenes depicting the violence and destruction that lies ahead.‚ In a nutshell, when humans first migrated to Mars everyone got along.‚ Somewhere down the line however, the Earth Defense Force, once a group aimed at helping the people, turned sinister, power-tripped and forced the Red planet inhabitants into a life of submission.
You play as Alex Mason, a member of the resistance group Red Faction and your mission in the demo is to recover the mighty and destructive Walker by breaking into an EDF base and seizing it by force.
What you’ll first notice is your total ability to destroy anything, anything, and everyone in your way.‚ With the swift swing of your hammer walls will fall, creating entrances to buildings that enemies cannot account for.
The demo also introduces you to the Morale system, in which if you kill a citizen the morale level drops at a significantly higher rate than if a member of the EDF does the deed.‚ You really must watch your friendly fire.
The level design of “Dust,” the aptly named locale in which the demo is housed, is robust and shows off the true capabilities of the game.‚ The environment is expansive but yet to trudge to a “far away” building is not a trek at all and is partially facilitated by the low gravity great for long jumps, and the uber speed at which Alec can sprint. ‚ ‚ Environment design is also wonderful.‚ Buildings are numerous, cover is plentiful, and enemies are everywhere.‚ ‚ Oh, and did I mention total destruction capabilities?
Enemies in the demo come at you in packs too large to suppress with Rambo-style antics alone.‚ You truly must take advantage of the aforesaid ubiquitous cover, and also use destruction to your great advantage.‚ If the door to a room is sealed off simply make a grand entrance by busting the door in.‚ It’s just that simple.
After you’ve reached the EDF base and stolen the powerful Walker your next task is to courageously make your way to the transport vehicle back where the mission started.‚ When operating the Walker you can swing the arms high and low and truly rip apart everything your way.‚ Simply walk into a building, swing your arms and the structure drops.‚ However, when ripping apart gargantuan EDF bases the frame rate does drop a bit, but really, did you truly expect it not to?
When recklessly, or strategically, destroying the EDF camps you’ll notice both a “killing spree” icon pop up as well as a monetary damage indicator.‚ Your purpose in Guerrilla is to take back the Red Planet from the EDF by way of destroying their bases and subsequently racking up a tab they cannot pay off.‚ Throughout my play-through of the demo I racked up $29.41 million in EDF damages, and no, I’ll never pay a cent back!
The brief demo ends with a rail-shooter type experience on the back of the Walker transport vehicle.‚ Here is where your classic video game instincts kick in as your only task is to destroy oncoming EDF vehicles and EDF bases on either side.‚ The demo ends at the height of a heart-racing crescendo and I was truly bummed to be finished.
The available weaponry in the demo is limited to just enough to get you through and certainly does not incorporate the famed “ostrich hammer” or any of the other dynamic weapons Volition has shown, but nevertheless is a sweet, sweet taste of what’s to come.
The third-person view is a handy one, as your sights need to lie not only directly in front, but also on either side, above and ahead.‚ The corresponding cover system is simple to learn and wholly effective, you know, until the wall your head is resting against gets blown to smithereens.
Inventory will be a large part of Red Faction: Guerrilla and from what little was available in the demo, the need was already there to strategically equip certain ammo and weaponry depending on the situation and the corresponding control set up on the Xbox 360 controller allows for the simple swapping of items.
Detriments to the experience for me truly only included the ability to have the crouch ability toggled to stay on without holding down a button, but really, that is just nit-picking.‚ In addition, sometimes the cover system and firing from cover was a bit of a testy endeavor and it is easy to become frustrated when repeatedly smacking LB doesn’t keep you behind cover.
The single player campaign in Red Faction: Guerrilla seems to be coming along quite swimmingly, but I feel multi-player will truly make this title if handled appropriately.‚ As stated earlier, Marc got his hands on the multi-player component and you should absolutely read his findings here.
Overall, Red Faction: Guerrilla looks and feels like an incredible title, one at least worthy of the time spent to download and play through the demo.‚ If you hate shooters, violence, destruction, and compelling narrative I’d stay away from this one.
Red Faction: Guerrilla is due out on Xbox 360, PS3, and PC in June
Start your download for Xbox 360 here.