Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Appetite for Destruction!

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Share it Please

A few weeks ago Steam had a real bargain where you could by a bundle of 17 THQ games for $50 and seeing as I've had my eye on Dawn of War II since its release I just had to grab it. Among other games in the bundle were S.T.A.L.K.E.R, Company of Heroes and of course the original Dawn of War games. Then there was the Red Faction trilogy. I remember the release of the first game in 2001 and how they went on and on about the destructive terrain features, but more than that I didn't pay it any attention. Then last year Red Faction: Guerrilla was released to rather positive reviews. 

I downloaded the demo from Xbox Live but for some reason it didn't click with me and I actually only played for a few minutes. But then I decided to try the full game the other day since I got it in the bundle and the scales fell from my eyes! When I played the demo I got the impression that it was a linear shooter a la Gears of War but it turns out it's an open world game where you work for the resistance movement for a free Mars. You do this by doing missions as well as sabotageing and destroying key Earth Defence Force buildings and equipment, and I got to say; it's a LOT of fun! It should be noted that it wasn't really the fault of the demo, but rather because I was lazy and didn't play it through. I actually downloaded it again just to see what I missed and it turns out it was quite a bit!

It probably helps that I'm a big fan of Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars Trilogy since it's obvious that it's been a great influence on the game. But looking at the reviews it seems that non-Mars nutts like it just as well. The portrayal of the Martian landscape is excellent and the industrial, utalitarian design of the structures, rovers and equipment is just as I imagined it when reading the novels.

Then of course... there's the destructible environment. The game starts with a tutorial level where you just learn the basics and get a bunch of structures to demolish and as I realised that you could destroy anything and how realistic the physics were I felt like a little kid in a sandbox! Just looking at a bulding and trying to figure out how to destroy it as quickly and effectively as possible turns out to be great fun in itself. Where to put your blasting charges for maximum impact and what load bearing pillars to knock out with your trusty sledgehammer. And then seeing the fruits of your labours as the building slowly topples over just as you'd planned (except for those times I didn't plan and it landed on top of me).

So anyway, I just wanted to give my warm recommendations for Red Faction: Guerilla. If you like open world games like GTA, Mafia or Crackdown I think you should give this a chance. And if you also have an interest in Mars or has read the Mars trilogy you owe yourself to! I have it on the PC, but also trying the demo on the Xbox this game really screams console to me so get it for the 360 or PS3 if you can.

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