The Geo Mod engine isn't just limited to the weapons though as the vehicles in the game can also be used for all kinds of carnage. My favorite trick was to commandeer an EDF APC's and use it to drive straight through guard posts and the first floor of buildings. You can also jump out of the vehicles and the combination of remote detonated bombs and fast moving heavy vehicle proved to be a very effective way to take out large concentrations of EDF troops and vehicles. The game also features large mechanical walkers who sole purpose seems to be to show off how cool it is to walk through buildings and blow stuff up in large quantities.
What's great about the technology is that Volition actually built a complete game around the technology rather than just creating an engine and using it to show off the technology (like id has done in the past). The missions and everything else in the game use the technology rather than serving as a demonstration of the technology. There are a few demolition side quests that do force you to think about how to blow things up in a certain way but it never feels like you're having the engine shoved down your throat.
The controls for the game are perfect but do take some time to get used to. The biggest stumbling block is how you to switch between the four weapons you carry. To switch weapons you hold down the right bumper and then press a face button that corresponds to the weapon you are carrying. It takes a little getting used to but it works well. You can also tap the right bumper to switch between two weapons which is nice. The rest of the controls are what you would expect with the thumbsticks controlling movement and aiming and the triggers firing weapons or performing a melee attack.
You do have a fun arsenal of weapons to play with in the game. You have your standard assortment of machine guns, shotguns, and rocket launchers but the real fun comes from the mining weapons that have been modified to extract blood instead of ore. These include set charges, a saw blade launcher, and an electrical gun which zaps multiple enemies. Weapons and upgrades are purchased with scrap collected from destroyed buildings and vehicles, mined from the ore deposits that litter the landscape, or earned as a reward for completing missions.
It took me around ten hours to get through the single player campaign and I played maybe half of the side missions in the game. Completing the side missions does open access to additional weapons so they are worth playing but not a requirement. It's worth noting that the missions for a zone are locked once you clear a zone so you have to keep that in mind before you finish one off (the game unlocks all of the missions when you complete it though in case you just want to buzz through and then play them later).
The graphics in the game are stunning and big props goes to the Volition artists who have taken what was a very drab looking game and making it one of the best looking games on the market. The game world is beautiful and any concerns I had about the graphics were gone after about ten minutes of wandering around. The buildings are a little spartan on the inside but there are wonderful touches like the whirling dust storms you'll see scattered around the world.
Negatives for Red Faction Guerrilla are minimal. The biggest one is that the game can take a while to load at times which can be a bit excessive at times. You only see the load screen when you start the game, die, or use the quick travel feature to get from one safe house to another. Other than that there are a few minor glitches and camera issues but those are more intrinsic to the genre than to the game. The game also has the coat of polish that Saints Row 2 lacked as the game is free of the technical glitches that marred Volition's last sandbox game. I was also disappointed at the lack of Total Recall jokes in the game but I'm not taking away points for that.
I can't recommend Red Faction Guerrilla highly enough and I haven't even touched on the excellent multiplayer part of the game. If you're looking for a fun game that allows you to blow stuff up in cool ways then there's not a better game than Red Faction Guerrilla. It's a fantastic game that raises the bar for the entire industry and well worth your $60.
A fantastic game that sucks you in and doesn't let go. Red Faction Guerrilla is a seamless merger of technology and story telling that raises the bar for the industry.
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