According to CVG, THQ have announced that a Red Faction movie is currently being created. It’s set for release alongside the next game in the series, and promises to capture the tension between Ultor and the Red Faction.

Red Faction: Guerilla is an upcoming open world third person shooter that I recently had the opportunity to preview at a THQ sponsored event in Las Vegas. Initially, I was a bit skeptical about the game’s premise as Guerilla was a large departure from the formula of the franchise. Red Faction was one of the more entertaining shooters of last generation due to the player’s ability to manipulate the environments using a wide range of inventive weapons.  After a largely disappointing sequel, THQ and Volition have reinvented the franchise.

The player takes the role of Alec Mason who recently moved to Mars after he was unable to find work on the economically depressed Earth. However, upon Alec’s arrival he realizes that the miners are practically slaves and that the Earth Defense Force created a totalitarian police-state. The EDF was the liberator of Mars in the previous Red Faction games, but it becomes apparent to all Martians that their true motive behind the intervention was because of lucrative natural resources.

The strengthening resistance, known as Red Faction, is fighting a guerilla war against the EDF. The rebels attempt to disrupt the heavily guarded infrastructure which extracts and refines the natural resources on the planet. Not politically inclined, Alec does not want anything to do with the resistance movement despite his brother’s fervent belief in the cause. This all changes after Alec witnesses some of the brutal measures which the EDF utilizes to maintain complete control.

Joining up with Red Faction, the player’s goal is to assist the resistance by destroying EDF infrastructure. There are six major regions in the game that need to be reclaimed from EDF control. This is no simple task as the player has to destroy EDF buildings and outposts as well as complete a number of side and plot-propelling missions. Alec has a large arsenal with which to both demolish and protect the multitude of destructible buildings.  A powerful mining sledgehammer, remote and proximity mines, and rocket launchers are but a few of the weapons you will have at your disposal.  These will come in handy as there are lots of things to blow up.

Although there is a cover system in the game, most players will find that the run-and-gun strategy is the most effective. The run part of the strategy should be emphasized due to the sheer amount of enemies you will be facing. During the course of play, if the EDF is alerted to your presence, whether by trespassing or by causing a “disturbance”, they will continue to pour into your position.  Despite some strategically placed ammo crates, it soon becomes clear that the player simply does not have enough ammunition to survive against the hoards of enemies. Thus, the way to escape the enemies and a certain death is to retreat back to a resistance strong point which will lower the heightened level. This is much easier said than done, but the tension that is created because of the increasing strength and size of the EDF forces is both memorable and exhilarating.

Upon taking control of Alec for the first time, I felt compelled to see how the damage system worked. Most players will probably spend a large amount of time at the beginning of the game destroying buildings to acquaint themselves with the world, but also because destroying buildings is extraordinarily fun.  In addition to driving the story forward, players will also find destruction important for the salvage left behind. This salvage, seen as luminescent pieces of metal, serves as the currency of sorts on the planet. It can be traded in at the guerilla camps to upgrade skills with various weapons as well as unlock new tools of destruction. With the enormous amount of destructible elements in the game, the upgrading system provides another reason for demolition (if you needed another reason).

Every player will find their own way to  obliterate buildings. I used the sledgehammer and remote mines almost exclusively in my quest to wreak havoc, which rudely introduced me to the game’s physics engine. Buildings will not fall after a certain amount of hits in one area, but rather, their various points of support must be attacked. The buildings many times are complex structures composed of multiple levels, but this complexity makes their demolition all the more exciting. With these monumental collapses comes a serious danger to the player as many times you will be squashed by crashing debris. This danger can be used to your own advantage as hoards of EDF soldiers will take cover in buildings and thus can also be crushed.

Taking any advantage you have over the EDF is important as their hold on Mars is very strong. After the player has the initial tutorial style missions in the Parker region, he will be able to travel to others of varying sizes and difficulties. To move throughout the world, Alec has the use of civilian, military and construction vehicles and eventually different types of jetpacks. The increase in movement speed is combined with a very helpful way point system which allows the player to select any point on the map and have a marker appear on the appropriate path.

Within the regions there are nine types of guerilla actions with which Alec will help colonists in the fight against the EDF. These missions range from attacking strongholds and convoys to rescuing captured colonists and information. However, one of the most entertaining was the Demolitions Master. In these side missions, players will have to destroy a target in a specific time span using limited ammo. Like all missions in the game, Demolitions Master gives the player salvage for completing them successfully. However, the time element allows for a great deal of competition while the physics engine allows for multiple strategies. The one slightly disappointing element of this mode was the lack of online integration which could have allowed players to easily compare times and scores with those of their friends.

Nevertheless, Red Faction Guerilla includes many multiplayer modes that you can enjoy with your friends.  THQ allowed us to play against other members of the press in a couple of the modes, all of which worked surprisingly well. The multiplayer includes traditional death match and capture the flag modes, but they were reinvigorated by the great weapons and the inventive implementation of different jetpacks (in addition to a propulsion jetpack there are increased speed, force push jetpacks etc.).

However, the most enjoyable multiplayer mode was one which uses the destruction mechanics from the single player in a competition between friends. Similarly to the Demolitions Master in the single player, this mode gives players a specific time limit and amount of weaponry to cause the most damage possible. While so many games tack on multiplayer, the initial look at some of the exhilarating multiplayer modes make me expect the game to have a strong online community.

After playing Red Faction: Guerilla, I can easily say that this should be a game on your radar. The name of the game is destruction—an element that is enormously entertaining. Although there are some things that need to be ironed out, the core gameplay combined with imaginative world attracts deserved attention to the game. The addition of a very promising multiplayer mode makes the game all the more compelling. Look for Red Faction: Guerilla and a review from TalkXbox in early June.