If the world remastered in the title is spelled like remarstered then know that it wasn’t me and the resident dictator here changed it. You see when this review code came along everybody’s favorite nice guy, Jason, said, “Who wants to review Red Faction Guerrilla Re-mars-tered?” I assumed since he is an expert in dry humor and puns that this change up was his doing. Then I booted the game and discovered that no, people in the video game industry, who want to make money, actually titled this remaster as Red Faction Guerrilla Re-mars-tered. Don’t worry as the game won’t lose points for this cringe, but just know reader that my eyes rolled so far back in my head that it gave me a headache. Like seriously I had to go lie down and watch Netflix.
Red Faction Guerrilla is most likely everyone’s favorite entry in the series and I am no different. High school me greatly enjoyed the destructibility of near every structure and the versatility that multiplayer brought to the table. I still have amazing memories of climbing on top of a building only to jetpack away, while dodging the falling monument mid-air, because someone else leveled it with explosives. Not to mention the many badass unscripted moments that filled the campaign. Playing this remaster definitely brought some good memories back alongside an unfortunate case of nostalgia goggles. That or I’ve been spoiled by some great RPGs as of late. Either way THQ’s darling has both aged well and aged horribly.
The story still follows Alec Mason as he journeys to find work on Mars, mostly at the behest of his brother Daniel. The red planet, being under the control and colonization of the Earth Defense Force, isn’t a complete democracy. So when our hero arrives he finds out his blood is involved in a revolution who ultimately pays the price for it. Alec takes up his brother’s cause and leads the rebels, Red Faction, against the imposing EDF in an effort to free Mars from borderline tyranny. This is done by, you guessed it, guerrilla tactics like blowing up important buildings, kidnapping/torturing, retrieving important intel, and generally causing destruction and mayhem on anything not made invulnerable by the developers.
Probably one of the most significant parts of a remaster are the graphics and Red Faction Guerrilla does look pretty improved. Textures and frame rates have been scaled up and even wheels on a car turning don’t lose their shape or detail. The world as well is generally cleaner and more crisp. Sadly, that opens up the horizon for players to see just how terrible the original game’s draw distance was. The many different mountains and buildings popping up no more than a few hundred yards away was an eyesore. Another sad consequence of the improved looks is that cutscenes take a weird hit. I don’t know why but facial animations on characters, in a scripted scene, appear doughy and blurry at the same time. Like a person’s face was still actively trying to render but failing to do so. Also, for some reason the voice acting has a distinguishable echo behind it and I can’t remember if it was like this in the original release.
Those wondering how the exceptional gameplay holds up won’t be disappointed though. Red Faction Guerrilla Remastered’s destruction down to the last brick is still a triumph nine years later. Not even Just Cause has this level of detail crafted to demolition. Watching a giant building come crumbling down, as its foundations buckle underneath it, provides a strange juvenoia I remember well. And considering most story and side missions involved blowing crap up, one will never be without that feeling for long. Alec will have all his old weapons back as well such as: remote charges, proximity mines, rocket launchers, nano-infused projectiles, singularity grenades, and much more. Unfortunately, you still can only have three different types of equippables attached to your weapon wheel at any given time. With your trusty sledgehammer taking up the fourth. Now it may be hard to believe but the EDF and their soldiers won’t like you trying to destroy their property. So you can waste valuable explosives on them, but an assortment of firearms will more than be up to the task in this regard. Although the enemies are a bit more bullet-spongey than I remember unless you one hit kill them with your mighty hammer. Still the shooting and cover dynamics are fun, enjoyable, and convenient for the player.
What does show its age though is Red Faction Guerrilla’s driving and side missions. For an open world RPG most of the vehicles still handle terribly and may whatever god you believe in help you if you get airborne in Mars’ gravity. The world around you for the most part feels bland as the environment can blend together and the same structures or enemy outposts won’t make you feel like you’re exploring a beautiful world. Side missions suffer from this problem too as there’s only a few different types of objectives. Ten years ago we didn’t mind because of other innovative things this title brought to the table. However, with some of the best RPGs crafted in recent memory it’s hard not to want more here. Main missions on the other hand are still entertaining with their variety and unscripted moments that explosions and falling buildings bring.
Bear with me a little longer die-hard Red Faction fans as there’s a few more big technical issues this remaster has. Too many times in my base, ten-hour adventure did the entire game just crash on me or refuse to start missions. For example, I would go to the specifically marked circle on the map, enter it, press the button to begin, and I would get spat back out like nothing happened. The mission refused to load or glitched on itself and refused to start. Even if I could remember this type of problem happening for the original release, it’s simply unacceptable for a new and supposedly improved experience. Funny enough, although not a problem, I did hate how you couldn’t stack side missions. Again I’ve just been spoiled by some amazing open world games as of late.
Once again and as usual, I was unable to find people to play the fun multiplayer (from my memories) in Red Faction Guerrilla Remastered. Reviewers really need to get their online cred up so I have people to play with. It’s one thing to be lonely in life but in video games too?! Come on! Replayability is here though as Guerrilla’s lone story, prequel DLC is here to play through and Wrecking Crew returns as well. The latter will have six different modes that will challenge players in different way on different maps. I found them interesting like before, but I certainly won’t be spending a lot of my time with them.
Red Faction Guerrilla Remastered PS4 Review
Red Faction Guerrilla Remastered is a remaster I’m glad was made, but definitely one I could have lived without. The gameplay and utterly satisfying destruction hold up to this day, but all other aspects of the title show their age. If you want to relive a great game from a decade ago or just like ruination then you’ll enjoy yourself here. If you just got done completing Horizon Zero Dawn and The Witcher 3, back to back, it may be best to leave Re-Mars-tered alone just like that pun.
Review Disclaimer: This review was carried out using a digital copy of the game provided by the publisher. For more information, please read our Review Policy.
Reviewed using base PS4.