Red Faction: Guerilla Hands-on Preview

Written by Joe Martin

April 9, 2009 | 09:59

Tags: #destruction #physics #physx #red-faction

Companies: #guerilla #thq #volition


If we’re honest, we’ll admit that we didn’t expect an awful lot from the multiplayer side of Red Faction: Guerrilla. We theorised that it would be just another third-person shooter multiplayer game, with much of the destruction mechanics culled from the maps in order to save framerates.

Going in, we really didn’t expect Red Faction: Guerrilla to offer anything more or less than the hundreds of other shooters in the same vein.

We were wrong however in one specific area; the multiplayer maps of Red Faction: Guerrilla still do feature plenty of buildings for you to destroy and that, coupled with a selection of various power-ups and interesting game modes, makes all the difference in the world.

There are bridges, sheds, towers, street lights and all the other usual world items in the multiplayer levels and they can all be destroyed just as much as they can in the singleplayer. On the surface of it that doesn’t sound like much, but it’s important to bear in mind how that can change a game if you’re playing against a real person who’s inherently more creative than a standard AI.

*Red Faction: Guerilla Hands-on Preview Multiplayer and Impressions

Not that the artificial intelligence is bad however, especially when it comes to the difficult task of navigating an ever-changing landscape. It’s just that a human is always better. If a bot saw a flag-stealer running back to his base then the bot would shoot at him and that would be fine, but it’s not nearly as interesting as the human who uses rockets to knock the suspension bridge out from under him, burying him in rubble.

Nor is it as interesting as the human who uses a specialty backpack to escape from the rubble. There are few different types of backpack in the multiplayer game, which players can strap on to give themselves certain bonus abilities. Some of them are of fairly predictable fare – extra firepower, the ability to heal allies and so on. There are also a few that stand out though, such as the jetpack that lets you burst upwards through the ceiling of buildings and is great for getting to sniping positions.

By far the coolest of all the backpacks though is the Rhino, which surrounds players in an indestructible forcefield that, though vulnerable to damage from enemy players, also lets you sprint straight through walls. If you pick up the Rhino backpack then you can literally bulldoze straight through an enemy base, spiralling your rampage around the ground floor until the entire building collapses like a house of cards.

*Red Faction: Guerilla Hands-on Preview Multiplayer and Impressions

The multiplayer side of Red Faction: Guerrilla is, purely on a feature-set level, simply miles beyond the competition thanks to the ability to destroy entire buildings. Look at it, it’s hard to believe that everyone kicked up such a fuss about the ability to chip off chunks of cover in Gears of War 2. Red Faction: Guerrilla lets you carve chunks out of the entire landscape!

That said, not all of Red Faction: Guerrilla is as impressive as the destructibility of the environments. The story and the writing especially were about as bland and uninteresting as you’d expect and there are still niggling fears that being funnelled from mission to mission will get really old, really fast.

Putting those fears to the side until release though, our time with Red Faction: Guerrilla was certainly a lot of fun and we honestly can’t wait until the game is released. Not ‘can’t wait’ as in we’re looking forward to it though; ‘can’t wait’ as in we may have to beg THQ to let us go and play it one more time.

Red Faction: Guerrilla is out on all platforms in June this year and will be published by THQ.
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