Red Faction: Guerrilla Re-Mars-tered Review

Richard Walker

Red Faction: Guerrilla desperately needs a sequel. That's the overarching feeling I was left with upon going through Volition's 2009 entry in the Martian mangle 'em up for a second time. While Armageddon followed-up Alec Mason's destructive escapades with his son Darius in the lead role and inexplicably reined in the towering demolition in favour of subterranean vandalism on a smaller scale, you can't help but wonder what might be possible now should the developer be let loose on more powerful hardware.

But then again, Red Faction: Guerrilla Re-Mars-tered is a chance to revisit Volition's explosive sandbox on current platforms, so I guess that'll do for now, right? Well, yes. Sort of. Not yet, anyway. Presently, (that is, at time of writing), the Re-Mars-tered version of Red Faction: Guerrilla doesn't have its pumped-up visuals mode, instead setting the default to high performance to favour a superior frame rate. And at first sight, the game does look a lot slicker (then again, what did you expect?), the bump in frame rate immediately noticeable. There's no slowdown when massive structures come toppling down in a heap of girders and rubble now too, which is good.

Yet even at the default high performance setting, Guerrilla on current hardware has a lot of the same problems it had almost a decade ago, which is bit odd for a remaster. The draw distance is pretty shoddy, certain distant, flat-textured mountain peaks appearing on the horizon as if by magic (this especially stands out on the open plains of the Badlands). There are also bugs here and there, like enemies disappearing into the floor, or allies spinning on the spot. Overall, the game hasn't aged particularly well in from a technical standpoint. The less said about the compressed cut-scenes too, the better. They could have used some much-needed spit and polish.

Despite the same little technical blips from the original Red Faction: Guerrilla persisting in the remaster, there's nothing that detracts from the sheer, unbridled enjoyment of smashing buildings to bits. Therein lies the charm: the ability to systematically pick apart a structure with your sledgehammer, a few remote charges, and perhaps a rocket launcher, never gets old. As you progress, Mason's weapons of Mars destruction also grow increasingly potent, the building (and person) dissolving power of the Nano Forge or the sheer force of a Singularity Bomb providing a constant source of amusement.

Mission variety is also another string to Guerrilla's bow, with a variety of challenges – or 'Guerrilla Actions' – to tackle (like rescuing hostages, ambushing convoys, intercepting enemy intel and so on), high importance EDF targets to topple (the EDF being Mars's oppressive occupying force exploiting the hard-working people), and a change of pace for each story mission. By the time you've unlocked the walker mechs too, the extent of your arsenal is such that you can become increasingly brazen when wreaking havoc, your armour upgraded, the amount of ammo and destructive power at your fingertips making you nigh-on unstoppable.

Outside of the not insubstantial story and open-world made up of red dusty areas like Parker and Dust, and the more terraformed, slightly greener regions like the affluent Oasis, there's the local multiplayer Wrecking Crew mode, which remains stupidly entertaining even if you're only able to play alone. There's the same selection of online competitive modes too, that back in the day provided a neat twist on straight-up blasting with different backpacks that lend your character a unique ability. This is all still present and correct, but at time of writing, the servers are a ghost town. I couldn't find a single online match (bar a couple of locked ones), probably because the game has only just launched.

As a package, complete with the game's Demons of the Badlands DLC and all of the other extra trimmings, Red Faction: Guerrilla Re-Mars-tered represents pretty good value for money, especially when you consider how well the core gameplay holds up after nine years. As last-gen third-person open-world adventures go, they don't get more Hollywood blockbuster popcorn fun than Guerrilla. Whether you're smashing the EDF or the ragtag Marauders, playing on Mars's dusty surface is a constant joy.

So while Red Faction: Guerrilla Re-Mars-tered isn't the best example of a remaster around - indeed, it's probably at the other end of the scale – still slightly rough around the edges and a bit on the buggy side, the amount of fun to be had is astronomical. If you've never played in Volition's destructible sandbox before, then picking up Guerrilla Re-Mars-tered is a no-brainer. Conversely, if you have previously visited the Red Planet and fancy a return trip, then this perfectly serviceable, albeit slightly underwhelming remaster still does the job.

Red Faction: Guerrilla Re-Mars-tered

While not necessarily a great example of how a remaster should be done, Red Faction: Guerrilla Re-Mars-tered still serves as a reminder of how enjoyable it is to bash buildings to rubble with a big sledgehammer. We recommend you get your ass back to Mars sharpish.

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Troy Baker in one of his earlier video game roles as Alec Mason is joined by a cast of decent voice actors, and an evocative enough sci-fi soundtrack.


The hike in resolution and frame rate is plain to see, but there's been little apparent effort to optimise Red Faction: Guerrilla, with a shoddy draw distance and a handful of bugs still present.


This is where it really counts. Guerrilla is still deliriously enjoyable, the simple act of smashing stuff to pieces never getting old. The weapon selection and aiming controls are bit annoying, but you can remap the layout.


The base game and its accompanying DLC, the overlooked multiplayer and excellent Wrecking Crew modes all present and correct, but it's all a bit sloppy on the presentation front.


The same old list from nine years ago, which to be fair was not too bad to begin with. Again, however, there are a few too many achievements skewed towards multiplayer, but there's an excellent spread overall.

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