RED FACTION: GUERRILLA RE-MARS-TERED / DEVELOPER: KAIKO, VOLITION / PUBLISHER: THQ NORDIC / PLATFORM: PC, PS4, SWITCH (REVIEWED), XBOX ONE / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW
First released in 2009, Red Faction: Guerrilla sees players take control of Alec Mason, a slightly unwilling but still cooperative member of the Red Faction, a group of fighters engaged in a battle against the power-hungry Earth Defense Force on the surface of Mars. RF:G quickly made a name for itself with excellent gameplay centred around its almost completely destructible environments, and its enduring popularity saw the release of a remastered (sorry, “Re-Mars-tered”) edition on most of the major consoles in 2018. Another year later, and Guerrilla has gone portable with the game's arrival on the Switch!
This edition doesn't feature 4K support, of course, but it does include all of the other graphical tweaks and upgrades that went into the home console versions. Any concerns that the Switch might not be able to handle RF:G's destruction physics can certainly be laid to rest, as some technical wizardry behind the scenes means that everything runs absolutely flawlessly in both docked and handheld modes, even when the largest of buildings come tumbling down.
The game itself is still a joy to play, with its open world full of story and side missions giving plenty of options for causing mayhem. The actual story might not be up to much by today's standards, but it leads to some pretty exciting missions and set pieces. Side quests involve transporting vehicles, defending targets, raiding enemy bases, that sort of thing. Everything pretty much boils down to “go there, shoot things and / or break stuff” but, when shooting things and breaking stuff is this much fun, the slightly repetitive nature of the gameplay doesn't seem to matter too much.
Red Faction: Guerrilla Re-Mars-tered provides as much enjoyment today as it did upon its initial release a decade ago. It's crazy to think that a ten year old game might end up on our list of 2019 favourites, but it really does hold up that well. Smashing things with a massive hammer never felt so good!