Back in the day, open world games used to be a rarity as only few select studios, and publishers had the creative and financial freedom to pursue sand-box centric projects. And therefore, many including Avalanche and their open world wreck fest series, Just Cause, have made a name for themselves due to being behind the handful of open world games, which often bathed in seemingly endless popularity due to the exceedingly high demand. However, no matter how profound or complex those titles have been, they could never match the quality of the Grand Theft Auto series. And most, tried to fill the gaps in content with zany and out of the box features and mechanics, in order to divert one’s attention from the fact that they had very little to offer. And Red Faction: Guerilla was no different, when it launched back in 2009.
Prior to its launch, Red Faction: Guerilla was advertised as the next step in video-game development, as the Red Faction engine upon which the title was built, allowed the studio behind it to include never seen before levels of destruction and demolition. And while the series has long been known for giving player the ability to terraform the terrain, it has rarely allowed one to completely demolish buildings bit by bit. And while Battlefield: Bad Company did allow the players to destroy environments a year prior, back in 2008, it did so in a very scripted fashion, whereas the destruction of Red Faction: Guerilla was completely reliant on the title’s physics engine, and in real-time simulation. And most will be happy to hear that the destruction of Red Faction: Guerilla, has been emulated in full within its recently released remaster, Red Faction: Guerilla Re-Mars-tered.
Red Faction: Guerilla Re-Mars-tered, unlike most modern remasters, is proudly brandishing the now infamous F word, which has been driven into the ground by certain publishers. And that’s because unlike other new and improved ports of last generation titles, Red Faction: Guerilla Re-Mars-tered is a complete remaster, or rather re-mars-ter. Meaning that unlike 2K’s port of Bioshock 2, Red Faction: Guerilla Re-Mars-tered features all of the previously released content, as well as all the multiplayer components, which are fully playable on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. And it has to be underlined that feature wise, Red Faction: Guerilla Re-Mars-tered is one of the best remasters on the market.
Upon downloading, you will be given a choice to either start with the single-player or the multiplayer component of the title, and it has to be said that this is a fairly pleasant surprise, as it shows that the studio behind the title has put in the time and effort, to deliver the best possible experience for modern consoles. And on the mechanical level, Red Faction: Guerilla Re-Mars-tered is simply superb as it takes the tired and old PlayStation 3 era smash-em-up, and delivers it in 1080p, 60fps, for the new audience. But it has to be underlined that despite of its highs, Red Faction: Guerilla Re-Mars-tered is not entirely flawless as at least the PlayStation 4 version of the title, does feature from some rather undesirable technical glitches.
As mentioned above, Red Faction: Guerilla Re-Mars-tered aims to deliver its core experience in full HD, and the now industry standard 60FPS. And while the title at hand does run in full HD, it does not always live up to the 60FPS promise. And while the title’s frame-rate does suffer from rather noticeable hitches infrequently, it is largely inconsistent throughout as the standard 60 frames-per-second frame-rate is rarely maintained in full, and screen tearing is present throughout. And this is rather disappointing as Red Faction: Guerilla Re-Mars-tered is by no means breath-taking or even impressive when it comes to its visual side.
As mentioned previously, the original Red Faction: Guerilla was released back in 2009, meaning that at this point in time, it is 9 years old, as its original launch was back on the second of June. And it has to be said that despite of the increase in resolution and minor polishing, Red Faction: Guerilla Re-Mars-tered has aged rather gracefully. And it is not ugly or repulsive by any means, but its age is clearly showing, and the title’s rather drab and uninteresting art direction consisting from a mundane color pallet is unfortunately not doing it any favors. And sure, games are not all about graphics, but considering that the title at hand is attempting to reach younger demographic, it may struggle to do so in the age of colorful and flashy titles the like of Overwatch or The Crew 2.
If you have spent the last year or two wasting your life on Overwatch, then you may come to a conclusion that Red Faction: Guerilla Re-Mars-tered is not a game for you. But if you have enjoyed either of the recent open world games such as Shadow of Mordor, Mad Max, or Just Cause 3, then you will surely fall in love with Red Faction: Guerilla Re-Mars-tered, as in its core structure, it is just like the above-mentioned titles – but better. And that’s because its demolition based mechanics, and rather advanced physics engine – for its time – does wonders for it, and ultimately elevates it to the next level.
Red Faction: Guerilla Re-Mars-tered is by no means the Grand Theft Auto on Mars, as its core structure does not revolve around highly polished, narrative driven missions, full of scripted moments. In fact its core story missions are spread thinly throughout the title, as its proverbial meat is not located within the narrative, but within all the extracurricular. And you will spend the vast majority of your time in-game freeing hostages, demolishing buildings, rampaging through military bases, and indulging yourself in all-out chaos. And once you get your fair share of carnage, and are happy with the flaming aftermath which you have left behind, you can then proceed with the campaign missions, which you have unlocked while raging through the desolate surface of Mars.
The above description of Red Faction: Guerilla Re-Mars-tered campaign will surely appeal to some, but others, will more likely than not despise the fact that the core of it is nothing more than a series of chores, which serves as a padding for an otherwise shallow, and soulless game. And those who share that opinion would not be incorrect as Red Faction: Guerilla Re-Mars-tered, can feel a little shallow and underwhelming at times, especially when its mask slips. But considering the B-movie quality of the title’s plot, sub-par acting, high-school level script, it is in fact for the better that the developer behind Red Faction: Guerilla Re-Mars-tered, or rather the original Red Faction: Guerilla has opted for the chore-based approach, instead of a full-blown narrative.
When all is said and done, Red Faction: Guerilla Re-Mars-tered can be described as a title situated between the rather disappointing Mafia 3, and somewhat successful LA Noire. As it is not an entirely shallow game devoid of any meaningful content, just like the prior; but it is also not the narrative experience which many may expect from an open world game, such as the latter. And that’s fine, as the balance between side-content and story missions, seems relatively decent, and while it does tend to lean heavily towards the quote-on-quote chores every now so often, then it has to be underlined that any negative effects are ultimately nullified by the title’s fun and engaging gameplay, and the downright euphoric destruction mechanic.
To summarise, Red Faction: Guerilla Re-Mars-tered has to be praised for the fact that it is not just a cheap and easy port. As unlike most quote-on-quote remasters, it features a wide array of content which is usually cut from the overwhelming amount reheated, sloppy-seconds which most publishers tend to serve the customers. But while it does pack a punch for the proverbial buck, it does have its own flaws. And unlike the large portion of what I’ve just called sloppy-seconds, Red Faction: Guerilla Re-Mars-tered tends to be a little inconsistent when it comes to its frame-rate. But when push comes to shove, it has to be said that Red Faction: Guerilla Re-Mars-tered is ‘all that’ and even a little bit more, and what can be said for certain, is that it is a title for a very specific taste, and not all modern gamers will fully appreciate what it tries to achieve.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Sony Playstation 4 code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Red Faction Guerrilla Re-Mars-tered Review
Gameplay - 7/10
Graphics - 7/10
Sound - 7/10
Replay Value - 7/10
User Review( votes)
Red Faction: Guerilla Re-Mars-tered may not be a complete rework, but it is a remaster through and through and comes complete just like it was released back in 2009 – unlike some remasters of this generation.