Cheap PC Gaming: Red Faction: Guerrilla

Explosions, debris and explosions.

Red Faction: Guerrilla released in 2009 to good reviews with all the same criticisms: weak storyline, graphics and voice acting. Personally, I loved it – it’s still one of my favourite games of the generation, and that’s down to one thing; blowing sh*t up.

Now excuse me for a second and let me indulge the less artsy side of my appreciation for gaming: I love blowing sh*t up. I go into a lot of games that have a whole host of different types of sh*t, and I then proceed to attach some sort of explosive to that sh*t and make sure it ends anywhere other than where it started – often multiple places.

I have no delusions that the reason I love games like Modern Warfare is the storyline. Don’t get me wrong, the storyline in Modern Warfare was great, along with most of the rest of game, but what made the game really stand out was the spectacle. That’s pretty much fancy-talk for blowing sh*t up.

[drop]What Modern Warfare, its many sequels, its copy-cats and its homages all missed, however, was destruction. Whilst Battlefield: Bad Company 2 had destruction elements it was merely panels in walls that you could blow open until eventually the building just took pity on you and collapsed, and Battlefield 3 improved upon that slightly.

Red Faction: Guerrilla? Probably the most detailed destruction physics this side of real life. Girders come out of walls, chunks of reinforced stone burst apart, buildings fall apart under their own weight if they’re damaged in the right places and it all generally looks realistic.

Well, perhaps realistic is stretching it a bit. The buildings come apart too easily to be realistic, I feel it would be a little more difficult to tear through an entire building with a sledgehammer were I to attempt it on my house, and the top half of a building can sometimes be held up by a single metal girder connecting it to the ground, but little niggles such as these are easy to overlook when presented such destructive power.

One of my favourite moments in any game of this generation came from Guerrilla. I had just unlocked the nanorifle in single player, which is a gun that dissolves the small area around which it hits, and had found myself a very large bridge. I took my nanorifle under the bridge and simply shot a few of the supports. I waited for a couple of seconds and listened to the creaking, then watched as the bridge fell apart under its own weight.

It was magical, something that dumbfounded me – genuine physics. Not just environmental bits being thrown around, but a structure falling apart after the removal of key supports. That is brilliant.

[drop2]Another huge plus for RFG was the competitive multiplayer. It took the destructible buildings and all the wonderfully destructive weaponry and let you use it against other people, then mixed in backpacks. Things like stealth camouflage, jetpacks, rhino (charge through walls) and thrust (shoots you upwards through anything that might be above you) had you sneaking up on people and de-cloaking before smashing them with a sledgehammer, or just charging through the wall at them with rhino. Is there a sniper on the top floor of that building? Get under him and use thrust to remove the building from under him, sending him flying. Don’t fancy any of those? Then just blow up the damn building.

It might seem like a shallow feature, but it’s actually deceptively ingenious. It offered tactics that you can’t find elsewhere. Who needs doors when you can simply make your own archways in the side of buildings? Want to kill the guy inside? Go through the wall, or thrust through the ceiling, or bring the building down.

The destruction elements in RFG are so good that I am genuinely amazed that they haven’t been used/ripped off in other games. You might need to toughen them up if you want realism, but can you imagine Modern Warfare with the ability to just blast through walls with your explosives? Buildings collapsing and holes appear in walls without any sort of scripting needed?

It’s a pipe dream, perhaps, but one I will continue to hold dear to my heart. If I can get a realistic FPS with RFG-style destruction physics I will be the happiest person in the world. Meanwhile, you can get the game from Steam for £15 and from OnLive at the same price, or £10.49 if you’re a PlayPack subscriber. System requirements are through the link.

13 Comments

  1. Good game, I got this in the THQ sale a few weeks back on steam for 3 quid I believe. Destruction is great fun!

    • 3 quid is a bargain. Great game.

    • I got it during the Steam Holiday season sale for the same price. I already have it on the PS3 but it still is one of my favourite games of this generation so I just had to buy it again for the PC. Shame the strayed away from this brilliant formula and made RF: Armageddon which was the nail in the coffin for the RF franchise.

  2. you should take a look at The Wager, found it this morning on RPS. free civilization/pirates game that’s pretty cool.

    http://www.surprisedman.co.uk/the-wager/

    • btw I love Guerrilla, crazy awesome destruction :)

      looking forward to some new cheap PC Gaming with the next indie royale bundle too

  3. It was okay but after hours of playing, it became so dull…. shooters just aren’t as satifying anymore, destroy buildings is cool but thats all I liked.

  4. Awesome shout, Gamoc. I utterly loved playing this on the PC. Sure, it’s Metacritic score is still spot on but the fun-factor was through the bastard-roof! The shooting mechanics were sound enough to enjoy but why not crash the biggest motherfudging vehicle you can find straight into the building, rescue the people then drive off with such carnage that everything collapses as you leave the most sensational trail of destruction behind you.

    Not happy with that? Keep slamming into countless buildings on the way to safety for giggles and poops. Also, on a meaty PC it looks lovely.

    • Spot on. Also, even though it’s a single player game, the fun instantly doubles when a friend is sitting next to you watching you play. Some men just want to see the world burn.
      My best friend and I spent so many hours taking turns at this game throwing mines at cars and then driving them through buildings and stuff like that. I think we spent more time doing this in the demo of the game than I have spent on playing through some full release games. Good times indeed.

      • I was in hysterics with the demo. Smashing sh*t up had never been so much fun. Must’ve played the demo over twenty times.

        As the game progresses you seek refinement. The nano-rifle being a god of weapons.

      • 20 times? We must have played it at least 50 times and we only stopped because there was no strength left in us from all that crying tears of joy. I wasn’t a fan of the Nano Rifle. I used it when I wanted to progress in the gameb ecause it was effective but when I wanted to f*ck sh*t up Remote Charges were my weapons of choice. :D

  5. Picked it up cheap on the PSN a month or two back, and had a play around with the multiplayer modes with a few friends.
    How much fun?
    I don’t think I’ve laughed so much during a multiplayer game in ages. Especially when we switch to the only weapon available being ‘thermobaric missiles’ (pronounced in an Arnie Terminator voice, naturally)…
    Brilliant fun.

  6. Might get this on the cheap on ps3. Played the demo, I was really confused at how to get at the objective, and then i realised i could hit through walls, stopped looking for the door, then used a giant mech to destroy everything. Why didn’t i buy it?

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