Red Faction: Guerrilla (PC) Review
It is time to revisit the red planet, this time in higher resolution…
As we all know Red Faction: Guerrilla made a serious impact with both our staff and the gaming public back in the summer. Now a few months later as promised by Volition comes the PC version of the 3rd person demolitions fest. So how does it stack up on the PC? Pretty damn well I will say!
Red Faction: Guerrilla is set almost 50 years after the events of the original Red Faction title in 2208. Originally part of the alliance with the Red Faction operatives that helped save Mars the Earth Defense Force (EDF), have become the main antagonist this time around. The organization has become corrupt and in a desperate bid for survival it has taken to kidnapping people and putting them in forced work camps for their own profit.
This time out you play the role of Alec Mason. Alec arrives on Mars, at his brothers request, to try and put his life back on track after the death of his father. Soon after arrival you notice that the good living and opportunities that your brother lured you to Mars with are a falsity. All around you people are being rough-housed by the EDF, doors are being kicked in and people executed. Your brother explains that the Red Faction are rising once more and that the EDF have become the oppressor they once sought to eradicate from Mars. Shortly after arriving your brother is gunned down by the EDF whilst on a mining trip. Before they EDF can finish you off Red Faction fighters appear and take them down. Alec is given no choice, he has been labelled as a member of the Red Faction by association with his brother so all he can do is seek revenge for his brother.
Now in the original two Red Faction games you spent a large amount of your “destruction” time smacking holes in “most” cavern walls or through small areas inside the games “corridors”. Now with Red Faction: Guerrilla the corridors and underground caverns are long gone. Replaced instead with a MASSIVE (truly HUGE) open world environment. The ability to smash through these tunnels is replaced with the ability to cause some major collateral damage. You can now demolish whole structures and buildings. You have lost the ability to modify the actual landscape in any way but that is a small price to pay for the pure joyous carnage that ensues from twatting a windmill with your Miners Hammer and watching it topple over on some poor EDF grunts.
I’m not going to go in to great depths here about the game, if you want more background info then head on over to the PS3 review for that. What I will do is expand on the PC aspects of the title.
For me this game is the superior graphical version. My PC is not top end beast but I could still manage a solid frame rate and everything on High. Even not in the top most graphical setting this version out performs the console partners. The textures are much higher in resolution, there is a ton more environmental effects in play – sand storms, swirling clouds, darker skies etc. All in all this is the best looking edition of Red Faction: Guerrilla. That said I did find the motion blur far to intense. So much so I had to switch it off after about an hour of play as the a fast turn around with the camera left the screen smeared in blur – this was especially an issue if there was a lot exploding at the time (which there nearly always is!). This might of been an issue with my monitor (LG LCD) or GFX card (GeForce 9600GT) but was no biggie anyways. The light bursting through the holes you have blown of created with your hammer can be truly satisfying at times. A small amount of screen tear takes place when the screen is full of destruction but it does not fully distract from gameplay.
Sound wise too I think you need to see te previous article. Everything is present and correct here and performs admirably well. The explosions are just as meaty as ever.
The PC version includes all the same content as the original console editions plus the Demons of the Badlands DLC. This gives you a handful of prequel missions to undertake which, although short in length, add to the whole experience and provide excellent value for the PC gamer. Another aspect is that this version integrates with Microsoft’s Games for Windows Live service offering you the chance to pick up achievement points and unlocks as if you where logged onto the XBox 360 version. This adds a nice dynamic to the PC version and helps it to feel more inclusive in the online gaming world – sometimes PC gaming can feel so random and solitary.
The same multiplayer modes are all in play as before, including the awesome fun of Wrecking Crew. I know we in the BG dungeons have spent many a gamer night playing the original Red Faction: Guerrilla so can attest to it’s ability to draw you in and create just the right balance of mayhem. The PC version includes a new mode, Bagman, which is coming to the consoles soon via DLC. Bagman is a kind of capture the flag variant where you must grab a bag located somewhere on a level and keep on it for as long as possible before being killed. The longer you hold it the more points you accrue – simple yet fun times.
Longevity wise you can expect a slightl;y longer playing experience on the PC version thanks to that additional content, so the overall experience weighs in at around 18 – 20 hours at most. You may be looking at the other review and scratching your head asw I mentioned that same play length on that review – the reason being? The control scheme on the PC is way better. Support is there for the XBox 360 controller and this operates just as well as it doe son the console it’s self. BUT, if you switch to the traditional PC WASD and Mouse combo the game gets significantly easier and frustrating deaths happen less often. There is still an issue with the fact vehicles control is a little more awkward with keys but overall the traditional PC control scheme provides a better playing experience.
Red Faction: Guerrilla is a superb game, no question. I am still not sure it would be GOTY material due but it IS incredible fun. The PC version offers a significant slice of value for money as not only do you get the DLC content but the price is greatly reduced from the RRP of the console editions. The campaign is great fun, the multiplayer is awesome, especially with some friends. There are a few graphical hiccups, there can be a high frustration level later in the game when the difficulty spikes and the shooting can feel a little woolly at times, hence the points drop, but apart from that the game is as great as it ever was. If you are yet to experience Red Faction: Guerrilla then I suggest you grab this asap and join the fight for Mars.
Tested on the following system :- Windows Vista (32bit), DX10, 2.4Ghz Intel Dual Core CPU, 4GB XTC Gold Edition Ram, GeForce 9600GT 512MB GFX Card, DX 10 5.1 soundcard, 7Mb DSL