|System: X360, PS3, PC||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Volition Inc.||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: THQ||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Jun. 2, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-16||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Mature||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Carry a Big Hammer
by Adam Brown
May 14, 2009 - After a lengthy and heated exchange of gunfire, you find yourself chasing after your adversary. He's been badly hurt now, so all that's left is to land a few more well-placed shots to finish him off. Right as you are about to put your foe away, he ducks around a corner, giving himself cover from your fire as well as a strategic advantage.
While he may be hurt he could be standing anywhere on the other side of the wall that is now obscuring your view, safe in the knowledge that if you want to pursue, you must come around that very same corner. Wouldn't it be great if you had more options than to either charge around the corner and get shot in the face or leave and find someone else to shoot? Thankfully, from what we've had a chance to play at a recent multiplayer event, players won't be limited by this kind of situation in Red Faction Guerrilla (RFG).
The main reason that situations like this can be more easily and directly resolved comes in the form of the game's new Geo-Mod 2.0 engine. Without getting technical, this engine allows anything found in RFG that appears to be manmade to be dismantled, decimated, and completely demolished. If you need to get somewhere in a hurry, just create a shortcut by punching holes through anything that stands between you and your desired destination using your trusty sledgehammer. When an enemy attempts to seek refuge from battle by ducking around a corner, attack them from whichever direction you wish by smashing through any of the surrounding walls. It was fairly easy to flank opponents during these multiplayer sessions although it still always felt fair and balanced, since every player could utilize the environmental destruction to their advantage.
Doing a sizeable amount of damage to structures can also result in some interesting strategies. The stairs on ramps can be knocked loose, leaving nothing for the opposition to climb to get to your position. Bridges, walkways, and tunnels can be completely destroyed, creating your own fairly well protected and inaccessible island for you to defend from your foes. Snipers who utilize buildings and structures to take advantage of their raised vantage points can also be more easily dealt with. One could take out the building's supports with their sledgehammer, place some remote charges around its base, or just fire a rocket into it and watch the entire building crumble beneath its occupants. Collapsing buildings can even serve as a weapon themselves as they will likely kill anyone standing inside them at the time of their destruction.
The destruction and strategies found while playing RFG multiplayer were only further accentuated by what were being called backpacks. These packs are essentially wearable power ups that were scattered around every map in RFG's multiplayer. Some good examples of these are the thrust, rhino, concussion, and fleet foot packs. With a quick tap of LB, thrust will briefly and rapidly send you skyward for a better vantage point to shoot from, rhino will send you destructively charging through anything and anyone standing roughly ten to twenty feet in front of you, concussion sends out a shockwave disabling and hurling nearby foes, and fleet foot can turn anyone into a track star.
There are ten different types of these packs in total, and each has its own recharge timer that helps to keep them from feeling unbalanced and overpowered. Some of the more useful packs will take longer to recharge than the ones that won't necessarily turn the tides of a firefight. Still, each pack certainly has its uses and combining them with the right weapons, such as fleet foot and the sledgehammer or thrust with a rocket launcher, can have brutal results. The placement of these power ups throughout each map also seemed to create an interesting dynamic as well, since you will likely want to keep your adversary from being able to make use of the more devastating backpacks.
As far as modes go, RFG has the standards you might expect like deathmatch, team deathmatch, and capture the flag as well as a few that seem like variations on other established standards. Damage Control has teams competing over communication dishes, trying to destroy the opposing team's and then repair and gain control over them. Siege mode takes place in two parts with each team taking turns defending and attacking a set of structures, with the highest score determining the winner. The last mode is Demolition, which is a destruction-focused variation on VIP. Each team is assigned a destroyer who scores points by damaging/destroying structures, and killing the opposing team's destroyer will also net you points.
Although we weren't able to fully witness the finer points of exactly how it worked, the multiplayer in RFG earns players experience points (XP). Once certain amounts of XP are earned from playing online, certain things will unlock as a reward. Some of the unlocks mentioned at this event were different characters, playlists, badges, hammers, and bonus XP events, which help you to earn even more XP.
The mix of destruction and strategy found in RFG's multiplayer was definitely satisfying during our limited time with the game. Figuring out which backpacks are best used with which weapons should prove a fun and interesting process once the game is released in early June. Of course, if you can't wait to hop online and start sledging your friends in the face, there will be a multiplayer demo released for the game on May 21st on Xbox LIVE as well as PSN. While the demo will have limited options and features, expect the finished multiplayer to initially include twenty one maps, eighteen weapons, and ten backpacks with more being planned for addition through DLC although no specifics dates or details were being given yet.
CCC Staff Contributor