Preview: Red Faction Guerrilla
Red Faction: Guerrilla follows the exploits of a primate named Ivan who travels the jungle spreading Marxism wherever he goes while avoiding the perils of Capitalist thinking. Ok, or maybe it’s about a guy named Alec Mason who runs around a terraformed Mars fighting for the rights of the oppressed against the Earth Defense Force (EDF). The EDF were actually the good guys in the first installment but now they’ve turned sinister and have taken to kidnapping people and forcing them to work for their own profit (ok, so maybe the Communist joke wasn’t far off). EBGames was offering exclusive access to the demo for people who preordered the game so I submitted my order and gave it a shot.
This third installment in the series is an open world third-person shooter where you go on missions for your allies aimed at crippling the EDF in daring guerrilla raids. One of the cool bits I had read about the game is that what you do in the world has a direct impact on the difficulty of your missions. For example, if your aim is to hit a main EDF outpost you can first go after nearby supply depots in order to weaken their defenses. It’s even possible to wipe the EDF out in an area for a time but they will eventually reinforce and resupply.
You can DROP A BUILDING ON TOP OF YOUR ENEMY!All of this pales in comparison to the fact that you can DROP A BUILDING ON TOP OF YOUR ENEMY! The engine for this game models structural integrity so if you cause enough damage to a building you can send it crashing down. Do you need to take out an EDF convoy? No problem! Just mine a bridge and wait. This opens up a world of possibilities. Imagine a building full of enemy forces. You gleefully plant your explosive charges around the base and BOOM! This is probably the most exciting thing about this game. I saw an interview with some of the developers talking about when this tech was introduced. They had to actually learn to be structural engineers and design their buildings correctly so they wouldn’t collapse on their own when placed in the game world. (Thanks for the correction E5Ky!)
So, I load up the demo and the mission that’s included is to capture some sort of mining walker (think the cargo loader form Aliens). You start out in a safe area with a sledge hammer, an assault rifle and some remote charges. You’re given a waypoint on the map and then you are left to figure out what to do in order to accomplish your goal. The first thing I did was to jump in a truck and drive around to the back of the objective but apparently it was beyond the scope of the demo and I failed the mission…oops!
Next, I went through a mining camp taking out EDF forces with exploding barrels and automatic rifle fire. I came to a small compound and drove a mining truck through the wall. Then I went to the top floor and tossed remote mines down onto the EDF troops until I was overwhelmed. The third time I took a little more care, using my mines more strategically and was rewarded with the capture of the mining walker. I had to take it back through the compound to a waiting truck. The walker had a couple of attacks which involve sweeping its arms to cause massive damage to anything in their reach. Once you take the walker to the truck, there is a on-rails sequence where you need to defend it with an RPG launcher.
Once the demo ends, they show you the map you were running around on then zoom way, WAY out to show you what the entire game world will look like and it is HUGE! The EBGames deal gives you exclusive access to the demo when you preorder until April 22, presumably the rest of the world will see it after that.
I should get bonus points for making it through this entire article without a single Total Recall reference…