Just after the holy row: The third one stumbled awkwardly on the switch (and finally in our hearts). Volition, with publisher THQ Nordic, has returned to resurrect another gem of the previous generation. Unlike the mixed characteristics of its counterpart on Saints Row, Red Faction Guerrilla Re-Martis fires immediately at all cylinders and feels at home on the Nintendo platform.
In 2009 you play Alec Mason (who, I believe, is a distant relative of Alec Mason of CoD Black Ops), an industrial worker who was sent on a routine mining expedition to Mars. There he meets his brother, who tells him that the Earth Defense Forces that run the Red Planet are actually just a bunch of fascist idiots, and he wants Alec to join the Red Faction to help destroy them. Alec says he doesn’t care about this life, but in a genius movement his brother convinces him otherwise by killing a group of EDF soldiers in front of him.
It’s a classic story about revenge for your deceased family member and perhaps the destruction of a totalitarian regime if you have time. It is not the most original or exciting campaign starting point, but you have to keep in mind that it was in the late 2000s, when all the games were too busy being Mass Effect or Gears of War to care about the difference in personality of the characters.
The real appeal of Red Faction Guerrilla is its destructive gameplay, and it’s ridiculous to see how well the action has held up ten years later. Destructive environments is the name of the game. With his familiar demolition hammer, Alec can destroy just about any building or landscape in real time and with realistic physics for incredibly satisfying results. Most of the main campaign revolves around this mechanic, who goes from fort to fort and literally makes the EDF disappear bit by bit. As you release new weapons and skills along the way, you’ll find yourself coming back to your familiar hammer again and again.
This particular re-edition, with the disgusting title Re-MARS-tered Edition, features improved textures and lighting, but otherwise you see essentially the same experience that players had ten years ago, which is by no means a blow to the game. In the seventh generation of consoles many timeless games are played. Classics like Halo 3 and Skyrim are still being listened to and discussed. It’s this generation that gave us Too Human and eight tracks of Just Dance, so it could have gone somehow.
Fortunately, in this case the Red Guerrilla comes first. Not to mention the fact that the title is not exactly timeless. Some aspects, such as the open world (e.g. the fields and the red sand between all the games), do not have much to offer outside the countryside. If remastering is a welcome addition, nothing escapes the sepia aesthetics of 2009 that this title probably dates more than any other factor.
It’s more of a design decision that hasn’t aged well than the game itself. On the contrary, one can even go so far as to say that the gameplay of Red Faction can easily keep pace with Crackdown 3 or other current representatives of the genre. What’s more, the game works great on the Nintendo Switch. Even if you can’t get the most out of remastering as you would on a PS4 Pro, for example, you don’t have to worry about a failed port here. On the docks or on the road, every experience places the action and the frantic images with relative ease, with the exception of a few drops of framerate, but nothing so much perceptible. We hope the renewed interest in this release will convince Volition to continue with a brand new entry in the series. Seeing this engine in action in a machine of the next generation would be a real sensation.
Red Partisan revisited
- Graphs – 7/10
- Sound – 7/10
- Gameplay – 9/10
- Last call – 9/10
Final thoughts: GRAND
Daddy Joke next to the title, Red Guerrilla: The Re-MARS edition is a beautiful ride that gives new life to an almost forgotten franchise. Those who have played the original should definitely take a fresh look at this game, and new players who simply want to tackle other people’s space technology will be more than satisfied.
Evan Rude is a student of journalism and an amateur gambling historian. His favorite Guitar Hero III song was Even Flow.
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