Posted on 07 Jul 2018 by L Coulsen

Red Faction Guerrilla Re-Mars-tered

The Defence

Developer: Volition, KAIKO
Publisher: THQ Nordic
Genre: Action, Adventure, Shooter
Platform: Consoles, PC
Review copy: No
Release date: 03 Jul 2018

The Prosecution

Minimum
Recommended
OS: Windows
CPU: Intel Dual Core @ 2.5 GHz
AMD equivalent
VGA: Nvidia GeForce DX10 Capable w/ 1GB VRAM
AMD equivalent
RAM: 4 GB
HDD: 32 GB
DirectX: 11
Controller: Full
Mod Support: Unknown
VR: No
FOV Slider: Yes
FPS Lock: 120+
OS: Windows
CPU: Intel Quad Core @ 3 GHz
AMD equivalent
VGA: Nvidia GeForce DX11 Capable w/ 2GB VRAM
AMD equivalent
RAM: 8 GB
HDD: 32 GB
DirectX: 11
Controller: Full
Mod Support: Unknown
VR: No
FOV Slider: Yes
FPS Lock: 120+

The Case

The Red Faction series has a lengthy, and surprisingly storied, history. Much like the characters in the games themselves. Feared lost when THQ died the firey death of mismanagement, shockingly freed from Games for Windows Live and now remastered and made free to existing owners. And that’s just Red Faction Guerrilla! The amount of attention this one game has received is genuinely heartwarming, and leaves a fan like myself with a great deal of hope that the series will see a new entry. Eventually. But today, we’re talking about Red Faction Guerrilla Re-Mars-tered. Yes, that’s a terrible pun, and yes, I love it.

The Trial

Bear in mind, Guerrilla is originally a 2009 title, and this isn’t a remake, so we’re going to keep this one short and base it more on a general impression. The core game remains almost completely unchanged, some minor tweaks here and there, and yes, the Reconstructor is included. I’ve put in around ten hours, which isn’t enough to finish the game again, but is enough time to see most of the main districts and experience the new graphical effects. So bear that in mind when reading this.

Hokay, the important things first. It’s not a great looking game. But that was true even when it was released, it’s not terrible by any stretch of the imagination, buts even a fanboy like myself isn’t going to say it’s a graphical powerhouse. However, some of the new features are extremely pretty. Lighting, though subtle, is a standout if you’re looking for it. But oh my, the real eye catcher is the new specular effects. When a building comes tumbling down, spraying dust and billowing with smoke, at these moments, Guerrilla looks genuinely superb. The cinematics are disappointing though, just being (poorly) upscaled versions of those from 2009.

Performance is solid overall, though I did notice some significant slow down during the more intense moments, much as with the base game. This is all because of the sheer volume of physics objects being rendered and is an unfortunate side effect of the underlying engine. It’s especially frustrating considering that, at most times, even running at 1440p, framerates are comfortably over 100. The game can chug down as low as the teens, for several seconds, at times. Though this seems to be a problem mostly exclusive to AMD cards at least.

Some people, and quite a small demographic at that, have reported issues with the game crashing, but I’ve yet to have a single instance of this personally. For those concerned, it doesn’t seem to be a pervasive issue, so chances are good you won’t run into it yourself either. Plus, remember, it’s not costing you anything anyway, if you already bought the original. And even at full price it’s still a very modest £15 at full price, so there really isn’t all that much to complain about.

Red Faction Guerrilla is a great game. Offering a degree of environmental destructibility rivalled only by other entries in the series. The story is brimming with social commentary, twists and turns. The gameplay is great and the range of weaponry is excellent. There’s also a robust multiplayer suite included if you are so inclined. If you’d like a more detailed overview of the larger narrative, we published a full review back whilst it was still new.

The Verdict

If this was a new release, it would still be a solid game, but wouldn’t stand out a huge amount for anything other than its gameplay. But as a remaster, it’s definitely up on the high end. Perhaps not the gold standard, but close to. Being given to existing owners for free was a particularly welcome move, and though there were several negatives pointed out above, not a one of them detracts from what was already a great game.

Case Review

  • Free: You still have to buy it if you’re a newcomer, but owners of the original got it for nowt, which was very nice indeed.

  • Lighting: Surprisingly subtle, and just as surprisingly effective when you actually look at them.

  • Specular Effects: Bringing down buildings looks gorgeously, well, destructive and dirty.

  • Cutscenes: Upscaled from low quality video, they just look underwhelming.

  • Performance: Chugging during intense sequences is just a tad too much to be forgivable, but not bad enough to ruin the experience.

4 Score: 4/5
A great remastering of a great game.

Evidence

  • Audio: Your typical roster of sound options, with the three main areas (voices, sound effects and music) all on separate sliders. Nothing fancy, but everything you need to tweak the way you like it.
  • Controls: Fully customisable, as you can see from the screenshots provided. They have an interesting system of mapping movement as points on an analogue path which more games could actually benefit from adopting. By which I mean, left/right is considered one setting and asks for both keystrokes, rather than being two separate fields. Same for up/down, forward/back.
  • Gameplay: All the usual suspects, including a crouch hold/toggle setting, but oddly missing the same for aiming down sights. Nothing else that really stands out, either by its presence or absence.
  • Graphics: Fairly simple, especially by today's standards, but it contains all the important settings and keeps them nice and simple.

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