Red Faction: Guerrilla - Cheat Happens Game Review
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Red Faction: Guerrilla
PC, Playstation 3, XBox 360

Reviewed on: XBox 360

Developer:
Volition Inc.
Publisher: THQ
Rated: "M" for Mature



CHEATfactor Game Review
by Joe Sinicki

   
   
   
Audio/Visual: 6
Gameplay: 5
Lasting Appeal: 5
Overall: 6
   
CHEATfactor: 6
   
     

It must take an impressive amount of balls to take a much loved franchise, strip away its conventions and give it a complete overhaul. If it works, as in the case of Mario 64, a title can become a much needed rebirth but if it fails like it does more often than not – you not only risk creating a subpar game, but alienating the franchise’s core fan base.

Luckily, Red Faction: Guerrilla is one of the rare, successful revamps. By ditching the series’ all too familiar first person shooter style gameplay for a third-person over the shoulder action game, the team at Volition Studios have created an experience that’s memorable, challenging and rewarding. Sure, at times it’s repetitive and the story could use some work, this new Red Faction is one of the most refreshing titles in recent memory.

In RF: Guerrilla, you control Alec Mason, a guerrilla hell-bent on taking down the Earth Defense Force. And just how does Mr. Mason take down said Defense Force? Fire-power and lots of it of course!  Much of the game’s campaign requires the player to take down buildings or bases and unlike other games with a focus on structural damage (ie Mercenaries 2) doing so is incredibly rewarding.  RF: Guerrilla uses Geomod  2.0 technology, allowing players to do unique damage to the world and its structures. As a result, you’ll get unique explosions and damage effects based on what you do.  There’s nothing more satisfying than taking down a massive base and just before it crumbles, stepping back and watching your handy-work. The whole thing is incredibly impressive -- the best part? Literally everything is destructible. Everything.

"...destroy surrounding enemies, vehicles and buildings."

 
   

The destroy-anything mechanic is far more than just aesthetics, it can be both a blessing and a burden at the same time. Say you’re taking cover against a troop of heavily guarded enemies – you better have a backup plan as those enemies can take down buildings just like you and your cover is only a temporary blessing. You can of course also use it to your advantage – sniper giving you trouble? Take out the foundation of the building he’s attacking from. What’s really cool is being able to set-up an almost domino like effect with enemy vehicles. Creating a big enough explosion allows you to destroy surrounding enemies, vehicles and buildings.

I never thought I would say this, but blowing stuff up repeatedly can get really repetitive. 
At the beginning of RF: Guerrilla there will be so many moments where you just can’t help but call your friends and tell them about the awesomeness that just occurred, but by the middle of the game your excitement is likely to diminish. It’s not that the game gets any less impressive, it’s just that all you’re doing is blowing things up and rescuing. The story is vague at best, which doesn’t help things much.

It’s a good thing then that RF: Guerrilla is incredibly challenging. Enemies come at you fast and hard, and at times you’ll feel a bit overwhelmed, but it’s incredibly rewarding when you’re victorious.  Feeling a bit too overwhelmed? You can skip certain missions that aren’t essential to the game’s main story (which can be accessed after the game is complete).

For all of its glitz and new technology – RF: Guerrilla also manages to nail the basics at the same time. The controls are tight and responsive – except for the sometimes twitchy cover system and the weapons feel like they can truly do some damage. Visually though, RF: Guerrilla is a mixed bag as the explosions and environments are impressive but there can be a bit of slowdown when the action gets hectic – which is often.

"...this is the natural evolution of the Red Faction series."

 
   

In some franchise reboots, it seems like the developers trade a titles heart and identity for flashy graphics and online play. While it does have both, RF: Guerrilla still feels distinctly like a Red Faction game.  I can still remember playing the original Red Faction on the PS2 years back and having a blast – a feeling that was also present when I popped in RF: Guerrilla. The view and mechanics may have changed, but make no mistake about it, this is the natural evolution of the Red Faction series.

Much of the game’s multiplayer suite is of the typical death match and team death match variety, but there is one key difference. Using the reconstructor gun, players can rebuild any structure that was destroyed in the battle, not only is this a unique strategy element, but it’s also a pretty damn brave development choice. The core of RF: Guerrilla is made up of two things; exploration and destruction. To base two of the game’s multiplayer modes on the exact antithesis of one of these values is incredibly risky but more than pays off.

Red Faction: Guerrilla takes not only the storied franchise, but open world gameplay in general and turns them both on their heads. The game’s impressive destruction engine and its challenging difficulty make for an incredible gem of a title that everyone should try.  

 

CHEATfactor

CHEATS USED: Achievements, Trophies, Unlockables

The best part of Red Faction: Guerrilla is the incredibly amazing explosions and destructions – and the developers knew it. By getting the “coming down” achievement you unlock the super debris effect which literally triples the damage from explosions. Yeah, it’s that cool.

You’ll also be able to unlock the gold hammer and turrets among others that don’t overheat by reaching achievements/trophies. While not technically cheats, the game does reward players who do play through the game with some pretty cool stuff.

 

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