Wednesday, August 16, 2000

Red Faction: Guerrilla | 8.5

Red Faction: Guerilla is a sandbox game that has a enough unique elements in it that separates it from the recent influx of sandbox titles. The environment is uncommon and and the main character is a revolutionary that actually fights for a cause that isn't. selfish, and he isn't a thug.

Guerilla is designed like most snadbox titles with a unlockable map, safe house, mission objectives and a weak story. You drive around a decent sized landscape using a varied set of vehicles that are different than most sandbox games. The Mars environment is a nice change and the day/night cycle is put to great use to illiminate the barren, mountanious landscape. Compared to most open world games that involve cities, Guerilla's design is very plain in and rather monotonous. Most of Guerilla's innovation comes with the Geo Mod 2.0 Engine that allows you to destroy any man made object with great detail.

Red Factions gameplay is typical of all the recent sandbox games. The unique environment provides a different twist on the missions, while the repetition and weak story continues the grenres shortcomings. Guerilla's gameplay involves expanding a map by completing mission objectives, and furthering the Red Factions cause inside the different Mars colonies. Red Faction'smost endearing quality is that you play as a good man, with good intentions. The shooting is competent, the vehicle controls are good, and the citizen involvement is impressive. The enemy faction known as the EDF (Earth Defense Force) are everywhere, and the moral meter that controls colonists involvement within your actions is an important element. However, the most important gameplay device is the building destruction, and this is what takes Red Faction: Guerilla above most sandbox titles. You can use the destruction element in your favor during missions, and some objecives strictly adhere to destroying everything. This gameplay mechanic is very fun, and nicely detailed.

Guerilla is nice looking for a sandbox game. The environment graphics are nice, and the mountain terrain and sky are detailed and immersive. The character graphics and sound are less impressive, but still convey a decent amount of reality. Most impressive is the sound and look of crumbling buildings. Whether you blow up a foundation and watch as it slowly falls under its own weight,or you plant five charges to a single vehicle and watch as it lights up like the fourth of July, the small nuances of the destruction engine are incredibly impressive. Red Faction: Guerilla boasts a decent symphonic score and the games overall presentation is honorable for a sandbox title.

If destroying buildings is your thing. Buy Red Faction: Guerilla. As a sandbox game it plays well, has good production values, and allows you to play as a character with a cause, but it still comes with the typical sandbox games shortcomings like repetition, and a weakly told story. It is a lengthy and fun game, that still has yet to perfect the flawed trappings of the sandbox genre.

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