Originally released on Xbox 360 and PS3 in 2009, Red Faction Guerrilla made a name for itself with a ridiculously satisfying amount of environmental destruction in an open world. Now, a decade later, this fan favorite has been remastered, or Re-MARS-tered as it has been officially titled, for current gen consoles including Nintendo Switch.
I was able to play this re-release on Xbox One but can’t help but think it is a little overkill and sort of a low blow to fans. The thing is, Red Faction Guerrilla, the Xbox 360 game, was given away for free in November 2014 for the Games With Gold program. So there is a chance you might already own it. However, at that time, the free Xbox 360 Gold games were not backward compatible on Xbox One and this title still is not available through backwards compatible support. The obvious question to ask is if it is worth re-buying for the asking price of $30.
In short, no, not really. If you already own this third person action title, there is no need to rebuy it. Although it has been remastered, it still looks and plays like a last gen game even though the textures have been upscaled, there is an option to play in performance or quality mode, shadows look better, lighting has been improved, and the Switch version incorporates optional motion control. Sure, it looks a little better but no additional content has been added. If you went back and played the 360/PS3/PC version, you might not even notice a huge difference unless you were comparing them side by side. This is a very orange game after all.
The next question to ask is if this game is still fun to play? While not as destructible as the latest Just Cause games, nowhere near as detailed as Red Dead Redemption 2, and not as arcadey as Crackdown 3 (although both these games feature the same narrator), Red Faction Guerrilla has its moments. The level of destruction isn’t necessarily realistic but always feels good. Bashing through thick concrete slabs with the sledgehammer in a single swing never gets old. Driving a vehicle straight through a building makes the player feel stupidly overpowered and awesome. Lining a tower with remote bombs and watching it crumble is rather entertaining. Sabotaging a bridge is sneakily solid. The ridiculous levels of destructibility is the reason to play this game since the gunplay is weak, the story is paint-by-numbers, the orange environment constantly repeats, and the mapping system could benefit from some enhancements. Luckily, there are some multiplayer options to experiment with as well.
If you want to experience this game for yourself in all its sledgehammer glory, used copies sell for about 1/10th the asking price of this remastered version if you still have your last gen console connected to your TV. However, waiting for a flash sale is still an option as this open world title holds up a little better than many other games of the time but doesn’t contain nearly the level of polish of current gen titles.
Not As Good As: surviving in Mars with Matt Damon
Better Than: journeying to Mars as a last ditch effort of survival thanks to human neglect
Wait For It: Red Faction: Re-Armageddon