Red Faction Guerrilla: Re-Mars-tered Review - An Underwhelming Remaster

 

Correction: After discovering that Red Faction Guerrilla: Re-Mars-tered is free for owners of the original on steam, the overall score was changed from a 5/10 to a 6/10.

Red Faction Guerrilla is a great game, but its remaster is underwhelming due to constant crashes and lack of noticeable graphical improvements.

Red Faction Guerrilla puts players in the shoes of Alec Mason, an Earth-born miner who travels to mars in an attempt to live a normal life. However, after the Earth Defense Force murders his brother, he joins the Red Faction in an attempt to rebel against the government.

The Re-Mars-tered Edition

Remasters exist as a way to give players a reason to revisit older games, and they usually sport a number of impressive improvements. However, Red Faction Guerrilla and its Re-Mars-tered edition aren’t very different at all. Aside from slight graphical upgrades, the game constantly crashes, and very little was done to mask its age. Although it runs super smoothly at 120 fps, it still looks like an Xbox 360 game. When investigating the sides of mountains, vehicles, and structures, large pixels are visible. Additionally, cutscenes seem blurry, character models are low quality, and the foliage looks awful.

The only reason anyone should buy Red Faction Guerrilla Re-Mars-tered is if they haven’t already played the original. Guerrilla is awesome, and even if this remaster is unimpressive, it’s still the better way to play the game. There’s nothing like witnessing towers collapse and bridges crumble at 120 fps. Regardless, this remaster would be much better if it didn’t crash all the time.

When playing Guerrilla’s final mission, my experience was plagued by constant crashing. Right before reaching the top of a snowy mountain, the game would break down. This happened three times, and I was worried that finishing Guerrilla would be impossible. On my fourth try, I was stressed out during the final moments of the level, and I couldn’t help but think that it would happen again, but thankfully I was able to beat the game. While that was the only time it happened consecutively, there are occasional crashes within an hour gap of each other.

Destructive Wonder

Red Faction Guerrilla surprised me with its creative destruction, especially since the game continuously provides more toys throughout the story. I wasn’t particularly impressed by the standard assault rifle and remote explosives, but I eventually got a rifle that disintegrates matter, a rocket launcher that works like a mini-nuke, and a weapon that electrocutes enemies in a chain. By completing missions you get access to purchasable upgrades, which works well to keep a constant sense of progression.

Destroying structures and completing missions will reward the player with material called Scrap, which is the currency used to purchase upgrades such as increased weapon damage, upgraded armor, or ammo capacity.

There are a number of hotspots on the map that the game encourages players to destroy, which is an entertaining distraction from the campaign. For example, there was a large bridge that was constantly guarded by the Earth Defense Force, and while certain parts of it could only be removed with a disintegration rifle, other concrete parts required explosives. Destroying it took a lot of time and ammunition, but when I finally figured it out, it was incredibly rewarding to see it collapse.

It’s also a lot of fun to hijack an armored vehicle and drive it straight through buildings. During a mission where I had to deliver a car, I attempted to take a short cut by driving off a ramp onto a bridge, but instead  my car ripped straight through it as if it was paper.

Side Missions

Guerrilla’s side missions are not only very difficult, but they’re a ton of fun. Each one felt legitimately challenging and rigorously tested my skills. There is one series of side missions which requires the player to steal a vehicle and get it to a specific point on the map within a certain time. Each one is so intense that the time runs out when I’m only a couple feet away, and as a result I’m forced to continuously retry to find alternate paths, but even then, I sometimes barely make it with one second left on the timer.

Another timed challenge tasks players to destroy objects with a specific set of items. These are definitely my favorite, since the tough part is figuring out what’ll cause the domino effect on a structure, and once I finally hit the sweet spots, it’s very cathartic to watch it all crumble. One challenge provided me with a dozen gas cans and ten or so remote explosives. The objective was to attach the explosives to the gas cans and throw them down a pipe to destroy the structure on the other side. Figuring out the perfect method without wasting items in a short amount of time was mind-boggling, but it provided superb satisfaction

Campaign

Guerilla presents a very generic revolution story, and even though the plot isn’t compelling, Guerrilla makes the right choice with keeping cutscenes to a minimum. The rest of the game was focused on gameplay elements, which was a relief because that’s what I really wanted.

In order to progress through the campaign, the player has to reduce the EDF’s control of an area. This can be done by destroying key locations or completing side missions. Once a sector is cleared, you can move on to the next area. There are six sectors in the game, and each can take a couple of hours to liberate. It’s a simple formula, but it works well with the type of game Guerrilla is. Not only that, but a number of the story missions introduce fun concepts like driving a tank or piloting a giant mech and smashing the EDF to smithereens.

Verdict

Red Faction Guerrilla is definitely worth playing, but if you’ve experienced it once, then its remaster isn’t going to change your experience enough to consider buying again. If your sole intention is to replay it, then Re-Mars-tered is definitely worth buying.

Score

Good Bad
Great Game Keeps Crashing
120 fps Underwhelming Graphical Improvements
Free For Original Owners

- 6/10 -