Mars is a mess. The harsh regime of the oppressive Earth Defense Force (EDF) has left its population demoralised through a combination of tyranny and horrific acts. It's up to you, Alec Mason, to help liberate the people... and avenge the needless murder of your brother who died under the foot of this vicious rule.
Red Faction: Guerrilla wants you to smash EDF authority in more ways than one. Mason's past as a miner means he's armed with a large sledgehammer, something that works as a tool of both labour and destruction. As a weapon against EDF drones it's brutally effective - although its main use will come from its ability to rend most things (buildings, hardened minerals, vehicles and other constructions) into scrap.
Raw materials can be salvaged from the remains of some human-made structures, which in turn can be used to create more powerful weaponry and items at your disposal. Even more importantly, with a few swings in the right places you can bring down targets which have been selected as part of your grand mission in bringing the EDF down.
So armed with your trusty sledgehammer, you set about the large open world of Mars taking part in a number of missions to help liberate the red planet. From destruction of key EDF property and sabotage, to rescuing captives and intercepting vital Intel or vehicles, objectives are littered around the landscape which is divided into numerous sections that open up to you as you complete more tasks.
THQ's game presents a large environment which lives and breathes around you. People do various jobs and roam on foot or in vehicles, EDF troops patrol their areas with weapons at the ready for any sign of aggression, fights between forces can strike up without you starting them and random inhabitants (such as the fearsome Marauders) act as an exciting chaotic element that can emerge when you least expect it.
Freedom is the key to what makes Red Faction: Guerrilla engaging. While you have to take part in the missions to progress the main storyline, how you perform them is up to you - if you prefer, you can just take in the filmic music score and detailed visuals, or explore the world to see how much destruction you can create.
Do you drive a flaming truck off a cliff into your target vehicle? Or sneak around the side, smashing through a wall to make your own entrance and then hammer out its support beams? What about using a rocket launcher from afar? Or detonate remote mines at strategic structural points, wait for back-up and then gun your way in? Maybe stealing one of the many vehicles, such as an armoured car or the giant robotic walker and smashing your way through...
Smash your friends
One thing's for certain - if you're to succeed, you often need to use guerrilla tactics, as suggested by the game's title. Frontal attacks aren't recommended, while stealthy assaults, hide-and-seek strategies, and premeditated use of your destructible environment and increasing cache of weapons will take you far.
Just beware the consequences of your actions, as buildings can topple with you inside them, as well as kill innocents or important members of the insurgence, which lowers the population's morale and makes your overall goal much harder to reach.
There's a lot to do in the game for a single player, complimented perfectly with a multiplayer mode. Offline gameplay features in Wrecking Crew, which has several different modes all based around creating as much damage as possible with a specific weapon and jetpack styled equipment, while online includes deathmatch modes such as team-ups, capture the flag as well as destruction and defending objectives.
Red Faction: Guerrilla lets you play the way you want to, allowing for hugely fun destruction in a massive, open sci-fi world. With its wealth of gameplay possibilities and polished presentation there's tons to get your teeth into. No matter how you decide to free Mars, you're guaranteed a smashing time.