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PREVIEW: Red Faction: Guerrilla (PC, 360, PS3)

This past Wednesday, we got to check out some Red Faction: Guerrilla single player action at New York City restaurant/bar Mars 2112, and came away impressed.

The story is sort of a cross between Just Cause and Saints Row 2 set on Mars, in which you portray a Martian colonist who has become the leader of the Red Faction, a group who aims to free Mars from corporate enslavement. The game gives you an open world to wander while in a third-person shooter mode. As with Saints Row 2, you can engage in “activities”, such as destroying structures in a set amount of time. As you liberate Mars, the environment evolves from a red dusty desert to a blue-skied hardscrabble with sprouts of vegetation.

The graphics for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 version were impressive, but even more impressive is, of course, the physics model and destruction engine. When you destroy a building, for instance,  it will not collapse til it’s structurally unsound. Nothing ever collapses in a set animation, either – it will always topple depending on how damaged it is, where it is damaged, and so forth.

Also shown off were the bevy of weaponry the game comes with, from nanite rifles that disintegrate enemies and gauss-type weapons that shoot lightning at soft targets; shooting at tanks cooks the enemies inside. All weapons are also upgradable as the game goes on with the currency you earn for completing objectives. Speaking of enemies, the AI is smart enough to attempt to flank you, and if you’re inside a building, to try to get you caught in the falling rubble.

Overall, the open world model and the advanced destructibility of the game makes it a real winner, and the multiplayer – which some of you have probably demoed already - gives this title even more replayability. Those of you who have PCs and Xbox 360′s, the PC version comes with Live for Windows, which means Achievements on your PC.

The game will be released on the first day of E3, June 2, 2009.

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