Here we have a remake of a fun open-world third-person shooter. However, is it good enough to stand out in this day and age?
Red Faction: Guerrilla Remastered has interesting storytelling but it has some glaring problems, too, so ultimately, it fails to make an impact. For starters, the Red Faction is a guerrilla organization that is at war with the EDF (Earth Defense Force) which is a military organization that serves the interests of Earth and cares little for the civil liberties of the people of Mars. For instance, they open fire on worker rallies, arrest people for frivolous reasons, and force folks to work in poor conditions. This story has a lot of cool ideas but it's hard to take the EDF seriously after you single-handedly kill thousands of their drones. The playable character, Mason, clearly has plot armor so you always know the next mission is going to be a success.
The gameplay is pretty fun and there are always plenty of different things to do. The premise is that you have to go around the open world of Mars while killing EDF soldiers and destroying property. Every building in the Martian world can be destroyed and there are seemingly no consequences even if you blow up friendly buildings. In order to progress through the story, you need to reduce the EDF's control of each of the six sectors. You're given lots of choices as to how to liberate them such as destroying important EDF buildings or completing guerrilla actions which are side missions that have lots of variety.
You're given plenty of tools to destroy EDF soldiers and their property. You always have access to the hammer (or whichever variation you happen to use) and it's very reliable for killing the EDF at close range. Besides that, you can carry three guns and I wish you could have one or two more. Early on, you'll likely carry an assault rifle and remote charges that you can throw onto buildings to detonate them when the time is right. When you unlock more weapons, you can expand your armory with futuristic guns like the Nano Rifle that can disintegrate whatever you shoot. You're free to use whatever weapons you like but some are clearly better in certain situations. For example, the rocket launcher and remote charges are excellent for destroying buildings while the rifle and enforcer are great at killing soldiers. The Nano Rifle is an excellent option because it's great at killing both soldiers and structures, even from faraway.
Red Faction: Guerrilla Re-Mars-tered features so many different tasks that it's hard to get bored and that is its greatest strength. As I mentioned, in order to be able to do the story missions (of which there are twenty), you need to reduce the EDF's control of each of the six sectors and there are two ways to do that. Some guerrilla actions are exceptionally enjoyable like when you board Jenkins' Marauder Jetter vehicle to blow up EDF property and when you pilot a mech to kill a whole army of soldiers.
There are also fun racing missions that you can complete which award you scrap that you can buy upgrades with. Similar to the racing missions, demolition missions restrict you with a time limit and limited resources and you have to destroy a building. I loved these side missions so naturally; I completed every one except for a particularly challenging demolition mission. There's also a collect-a-thon aspect where you have to find log entries for bits of lore as well as destroy 250 supply crates and 300 crystals. The supply crates and crystals give you scrap but otherwise, they're not particularly interesting to collect so I wouldn't recommend obsessing over them.
It's great that there's so much stuff to do but the later sectors don't feel much harder than the first couple. Sure, enemies start to deal more damage but you become stronger as well so overall, the difficulty curve is pretty flat. The first sector is the only exception as it's much easier than the others. By the time you finish the first two or three sectors, you've experienced all the game has to offer. That being said, I love how there are plenty of creative ways to complete missions and I had a much easier time once I actually started playing like a guerrilla while destroying important targets then running to my next objective.
Unfortunately, Red Faction: Guerrilla Re-Mars-tered has some technical issues. It crashed a couple times as I played but luckily, it auto-saves often so no progress was lost. Also, the loading times are too long as you have to wait about ten seconds every time you die and a few seconds whenever you open the map. Considering how often I do both, it adds up to quite a lot of waiting which is not fun.
Red Faction: Guerrilla Re-Mars-tered also comes packed with three modes besides the story campaign: online multiplayer, wrecking crew, and bonus missions. Online multiplayer sounds like a lot of fun for competitive shooter fans but it requires a PS Plus subscription so unfortunately, I couldn't try it out. You can think of wrecking crew as a party mode. In it, you try different challenges like destroying as much as you can in one minute to compete on the online leaderboards or play with friends in local multiplayer. As for bonus missions, there seems to be only one so far. It's called Demons of the Badlands and has you play as Samanya during the time she was part of the Marauders. You have to push the EDF out of the Mariner Valley just as you do in the main campaign.
There's quite a lot that I like about Red Faction: Guerrilla Re-Mars-tered and some parts, not so much. Particularly, the loading times, the predictable story, and how the later regions aren't much different to the beginning of the game. However, it's still a very fun destruction-based campaign that offers a great variety of missions to take on within its large open world.
- + Lots of different tasks such as exploration, guerrilla missions, and modes
- + Intense combat and fun driving
- + Some interesting storytelling
- - Plot is kind of weak because the main character seems invincible
- - Loading times are too long
- - Flat difficulty curve