The Nintendo Switch has seen an influx lately of remastered titles that hark back to the good old days of the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360. That’s not a bad thing either, as in my opinion that generation of gaming spawned some very playable games, more so than some of the current generation’s crop of games, plus I have to admit to have been having a wale of a time revisiting some of my favourite games from that era. The latest of such ports comes in the form of one of my all-time favourite games ever, Red Faction: Guerilla Re-Mars-tered as it makes an explosive release onto the Nintendo Switch.
Developed by Volition and Kaiko, with publishing through THQ Nordic, this open-world, third-person shooter takes place on the red planet of Mars (whence the title) and follows the exploits of Alec Mason as he takes revenge on the EDF authorities after they kill his brother. He soon finds himself embroiled within the Red Faction, a rising of freedom fighters determined to free the planet from oppression, as he fulfils a series of quests and missions to take back the planet, district by district. In order to achieve this, you have to concentrate on a series of objectives that involve gaining influence and supporters, whilst at the same time diminishing the grip of the EDF within each section of the map.
There’s never any shortage of things to do here, from rescuing hostages to leading raids, searching out propaganda signs and rich concentrations of ores to demolishing a series of important and key installations to reduce the effectiveness of your oppressive foes. It’s here where the bulk of the gameplay lies, as you take part in some thrilling set-pieces and literally demolish the landscape with some very satisfying weaponry that is simply explosive. Everything structured is destroyable here, as you run around flinging sticky grenades, launching rockets or just simply hacking chunks out of the buildings with your trusted sledgehammer. Take out the weak points of the structure and the whole lot comes crashing down in spectacular style.
Alongside this, you also undertake a series of story-driven assignments to further influence the cause and gain a step further to taking back control of the planet. Some of these missions, as well as some of the side-quests, produce some of the games more compelling moments that simply oozes with atmosphere and produces one of the most playable and compelling games to date. There are a lot of elements that makes the game so satisfying, not just the raucous satisfaction of blowing everything up, but in how the developers have created a superb living and breathing world around you for which to play in. Construction vehicles go about their day, EDF patrols police the highways and skies and your fellow freedom fighters are constantly surveying the area or taking to firing practice within the safety of a variety of base camps.
It’s this atmosphere that simply draws you into the game, as some of the missions produce tense and exciting affairs; further complimented by NPC interactions and a rousing soundtrack that produces a blockbuster setting. The more your influence spreads, the more the world comes alive as passers-by call out your name or take arms to aid you on your quests. It’s a premise that never tires, even when you are hours into the game, the thrill of the chase or the satisfaction of watching a building or smoke stack collapse produces some of the most fun that you can have with a video game.
This remastered, or re-mars-tered, version of the game boasts a number of graphical improvements through certain points of rendering and lighting techniques. On the Switch, everything here looks beautiful, from the various landscapes of Mars, dust clouds, model details and explosive destruction. The majority of my time with the game has been spent in handheld mode, where everything looks sharp and detailed to produce, in my opinion, one of the best looking ports to have appeared on the Switch. You can choose between two settings of performance and quality, my personal preference being the latter and although playing in handheld mode, have not come across any significant performance issues to have hampered my play time in any way, shape or form.
On the Switch, this game looks every bit as good as it did on the Xbox 360 where I first played the original. It still contains the same level of fun and engagement as it did then, not bad for a ten-year old game and has been another title that I’ve found incredibly difficult to put down. If you think Grand Theft Auto meets Total Recall, then you’ll be pretty much there with what to expect from the game. My only issue has been with the aiming mechanics of the game, which, for me, feel a little bit off and over-responsive. This is largely down to the architecture of the Switch and limitations of the joy-cons’ analogue sticks. However, the game makes use of the Switch’s gyro controls too and adding a touch of that to the conventional controls does alleviate the problem and adds a touch of accuracy to the aiming. I also found the lack of touchscreen support a missed opportunity here, as selecting your world map would have been a seamless transition had this been implemented.
A couple of nuances aside, such as some instances of strange NPC behaviour, gravity-defying rag-doll physics and civilian vehicles getting in the way of progress, the overall level of entertainment this game provides, makes it another must-own title for Nintendo’s system. As with other remastered games, this title also boasts additional DLC content, such as the prequel Demons of the Badlands, as well as a host of other game modes that incorporate online or local multiplayer to prolong its overall long-term appeal. Each of the extra modes focus on the destructive qualities of the title, adding further to the fun that can be had with this game by pitching you in co-operative and competitive play styles that covers time-trialled styled play up to variants of team deathmatches that sees you protecting and demolishing a series of key structures.
Overall, Red Faction: Guerilla Re-Mars-tered presents one the best remastered ports to have seen a release on the Nintendo Switch. You can’t help but be in awe at the technical level of excellence in playing this game in a portable manner. It’s atmospheric, immersive and contains such a level of gameplay and fun, that it soon becomes irresistible and difficult to put down. The planet of Mars too, has been perfectly portrayed with varying districts that change their appearance and varying weather conditions to bring the planet to life. Back in 2009, on its original release, this game was a masterpiece and it still remains one today, with a solo campaign that can take weeks or months to complete and a series of other game modes and DLC that will simply keep you playing for a long time to come. To put it simply, this is game that is just explosive on the Nintendo Switch.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Nintendo Switch 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 - 10/10
Graphics - 10/10
Sound - 10/10
Replay Value - 10/10
User Review( votes)
Red Faction: Guerrilla Re-Mars-tered on the Nintendo Switch is simply explosive.