Red Faction Guerrilla Preview
The latest game in the Red Faction series is due for release in June and a brief demo will be made available on Xbox Live and PSN in a few weeks time. Those registered with THQ have been granted early access and whilst the demo is very short it makes a very strong first impression.
Red Faction: Guerrilla will offer 120 missions, free roaming destruction and online modes for up to 16 players. The demo features just one timed mission called Dust, and makes for a great technical showcase. Your objective is to retrieve a 'Walker', which looks a lot like the Loader Ripley pilots at the end of Aliens, from the enemy. There are no story elements here, it's just pure gameplay.
Starting at the entrance to an EDF base, you’ve access to a machine gun, pistol and explosive charges. The environment is cluttered and there are plenty of enemies roaming around. It doesn’t take long before you’re spotted and the action really kicks in.
The new Geomod engine developed by Volition is nothing short of amazing. Everything in the environment can be torn to pieces, if it's man made it can be utterly torn asunder. Open world destruction is nothing new but Red Faction: Guerrilla is a huge leap beyond expectation.
Buildings can be knocked down piece by piece, regardless of their size. Ruin enough of the foundations and an entire structure will buckle and collapse on itself. Ceilings fall in, floors crack, it’s all very impressive and everything carries real weight.
Basic weapons combat packs less punch and enemy AI leaves a lot to be desired at this point. After wrecking a few buildings and shooting a few soldiers you get to pilot the Walker back to a waiting transport lorry. The Walker is plain awesome and can scoop enemy vehicles into the air, causing them to crash back to earth and explode in a glorious fashion. The chaos comes at a price though with heavy hits to the frame rate.
The final stretch of the demo sees you defending the transport lorry from chasing enemy vehicles. Manning a turret, the Geomod engine is enough to elevate a relatively mundane sequence to new heights. Blowing stuff up is just a ton of fun.
Whether or not Red Faction: Guerrilla can maintain itself through an entire campaign of explosions remains to be seen, but it’s a great sign when a demo level demands to be replayed several times. There’s a lot of potential here and if the destructive focus also extends over to the multiplayer we could be looking at one of this summer’s biggest surprises