REVIEW: ‘Red Faction: Guerrilla Re-Mars-tered Edition’ is a Must Play (Switch)

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Red Faction: Guerrilla

Originally released in 2008, Red Faction: Guerrilla ushered in an extraterrestrial sandbox action experience to consoles and PC, providing a tremendously polished experience focusing on widespread destruction against a tyrannical military government. First launching on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Steam, the game has now made its way to the Nintendo Switch to bring that extraterrestrial carnage to players, both at home and on the go with Red Faction: Guerrilla Re-Mars-tered Edition. The result is interstellar.

Red Faction: Guerrilla Re-Mars-tered Edition is the sequel to Red Faction.  In the original game, released in 2002 on PlayStation 2, a civilian miner by the name of Parker, lead an armed uprising alongside members of the Red Faction, a rebellious group of dissidents that were determined to right the wrongs of the nefarious Ultor Mining Corporation, and their iron-fisted treatment of the miners. This treatment included genetic experimentation on miners through the use of extremely raw nano-tech.

Throughout a long, lengthy campaign, players jump into the mines of Mars, and fight their way through an entire colony, and even to Martian orbit, in order to free the planet. During this campaign, the Earth Defense Force, and their armada of military hardware, eventually assist the Red Faction in successfully defeating Ultor. The victory was achieved. Since then, the Earth Forces have implemented a government and industry, allowing the planet to be successfully terraformed to sustain human life. However, over time, they have become corrupt and powerful, using their influence and military to sway politicians and leaders into profiting off of the Martian industries, as well as oppressing the civilian populations.

Red Faction: Guerrilla Re-Mars-tered Edition takes place 50 years after the events of the first Red Faction game.  The EDF have relentlessly continued their authoritarian oppression. For Alex Mason, Mars represents a new beginning for honest work, but when his brother is killed at the hands of the EDF, he finds himself inevitably embroiled into a bitter uprising, one where Alex will have to be smart, be discreet, and use plenty of explosives to achieve his goals, and maybe, save the planet.

Red Faction: Guerrilla Re-Mars-tered Edition is a third-person action sandbox game, where players will be able to embark on a large campaign against the EDF. Players traverse the Martian surface in a variety of futuristic civilian and military vehicles, are be armed with a small arsenal of military firearms. In addition, you are able to wield improvised weapons, fashioned out of mining utilities. Saw disc launchers, rocket launchers, and Arc Wielders are a small sample of the weapons, but the most important one will be Alex’s remote detonators.

Explosives are everything in Red Faction: Guerrilla. Using the remote charges allows for quick explosive action anytime. Alex’s trusty sledgehammer is always equipped and perfect to take the blocks off of a building or crack the skulls of EDF soldiers.  The world of Red Faction: Guerrilla is extremely destructive, and depending on the situation, this destructive freedom is critical to success. Most importantly, it is extraordinarily pleasing, unlike any other action game.

Red Faction: Guerrilla runs on what is known as the Geomod engine. Meaning that every structure in the game, from bridges to ore to entire military bases. Players are able to decimate structures brick by brick, piece by piece, utilizing explosives. Players can also be creative, utilizing large vehicles, fuel tanks, combat armor, and even mechs, to destroy infrastructure, something that the game revolutionized when it first launched.

Destroying targets and enemy vehicles warrants scrap, which is the preferred currency of the Martian colony. Scrap can allow for upgrades to weapons and armor, making the player more dangerous to unsuspecting EDF foes. Since this game is mid-revolution, destroying enemy targets has more than a superficial impact. Eliminating personnel causes general mayhem, and decimating high-value targets all plays into influencing the people of Mars.

In Red Faction: Guerrilla, the colonists are looking to Alex for inspiration and encouragement. Every target destroyed and mission completed reduces the influence of the EDF in the area, allowing for more colonists to increase their confidence and openly rise against the EDF. This asset allows colonists to come to your rescue, should players be pinned down by EDF.

Red Faction: Guerrilla

While being over ten years old, the gameplay in Red Faction: Guerrilla is is extraordinary, incendiary, and aggressively addictive. Each target destroyed gives the player the urge to find just one more target to obliterate. Every mission, from the secondary missions such as hostage-rescues, to primary missions, such as eliminating an artillery installation, provides a dynamic thrill of charged excitement. Explosions are immensely spectacular, and the ability to creatively use various weapons and vehicles is stupendous.

Later on, players are given access to tanks and mechs, making the destructive gameplay even more exciting. Even though it’s over a decade old, Red Faction: Guerrilla has some of the strongest mechanics in a 3rd-person action experience, and that is to be commended, given the time since the original launch. The Re-Mars-tered Edition is accompanied by newly redone textures,  environmental improvements, lighting improvements, and a higher framerate, meaning the experience, even on Nintendo Switch, is of higher quality than the original release.

Most re-releases only improve on one singular aspect of a game, such as visuals or updated controls, but the Re-Mars-tered Edition goes above and beyond. In addition to a lengthy single-player campaign that can last over 20 hours, “The Marauders DLC,” which is an entirely new campaign to the base game, is automatically included in the purchase of the the Re-Mars-tered Edition. Online multiplayer is included as well, tasking the player with utilizing their traditional weapons, special tools, and jetpacks to destroy each other in a variety of gameplay modes and maps. The multiplayer is more tacked-on but is enjoyable for those that wish to enjoy it.

As for its performance on the Nintendo Switch, I am genuinely surprised, pleased, and impressed that Red Faction: Guerrilla work well on the Nintendo Switch. While it is a 2008 video game, released on older platforms the Re-Mars-tered Edition runs extremely well, with a strong, stable framerate and visuals. There are no pop-ins or janky moments. The game runs well, both in docked and undocked mode. The high quality can be applied to the game’s soundtrack and sound direction as well.

However, players need to adjust to the game’s control scheme, especially in handheld mode. I found myself needing to make adjustments in regards to sensitivity and aiming while also needing to adapt to other aspects to the controls. The R-button allows for the weapon wheel to be opened and to use the joy-con buttons to select weapons instantly. I struggled with the melee controls at first, as ZL means melee and  L means to run. Aiming down the sites of a weapon involves pressing on the right joy-con analog stick. These controls do take getting used to, but one can adjust to them fairly quickly after a short time.

Perhaps the only drawback to the game is the lack of any additional content. There is a lot to offer with Red Faction: Guerrilla Re-Mars-tered Edition, but I cannot help but feel more could have been added. The Re-Mars-tered Edition does have mods, such as double damage, but perhaps the inclusion of a co-op mode and an additional campaign, other attributes could have been added.

In addition, the story to Red Faction: Guerrilla takes a back-seat to the overall experiences. It does its jobs and has solid voice work, but it is a missed opportunity for world-building and the ability to explain the events for the last 100 years between Red Faction and Red Faction: Guerrilla. This is an 11-year old game, however, and some of these features are to be expected.

Red Faction: Guerrilla was stupendous to play in 2008 and is still a tremendous experience in 2019, especially on-the-go. To further add, Red Faction: Guerilla Re-Mars-tered Edition is a necessary own for every Nintendo Switch owner, whether digitally or physically, as the gameplay is extraordinarily strong. Its action is interstellar with visuals, explosions, and effects wrapped in a strong gameplay experience.

Red Faction: Guerilla Re-Mars-tered Edition‘s content is perfect for any time a young revolutionary needs to raise some hell on-the-go. It’s a tremendous interstellar action experience and a testament to the timelessness of strong gaming mechanics. The revolution is on Mars and it’s time for you to sign on up for it.

  • 9/10
    Rating - 9/10
9/10

TL; DR

Red Faction: Guerilla Re-Mars-tered Edition‘s content is perfect for any time a young revolutionary needs to raise some hell on-the-go. It’s a tremendous interstellar action experience and a testament to the timelessness of strong gaming mechanics.