I was hoping to write this post before I completed the game, but it seems I was able to burn through Red Faction: Guerrilla‘s final missions pretty fast over the last few nights, and as the credits rolled, I did not feel a pinch of regret for the decision that made it all possible: turning the difficulty down from Normal to Casual.
I’ve been playing Red Faction: Guerrilla off and on since July 2010 (almost a year ago!), and I eventually got to a point that I could not conquer. I’m finger-pointing the missions to liberate the Dust sector of Mars, and I would do them in the same fashion that I would tackle Grand Theft Auto IV‘s mission, with a furrowed brow and curse words just begging to get out. Naturally, I’d die mid-way through the mission for reasons like unclear objectives or just getting caught out in the open and having six EDF troopers riddle me with bullets. It would be hard to go back so I’d instead wander around the map, knocking buildings down, mining ore locations, and occasionally doing a guerrilla side-quest.
Recently, as I journey towards trying to complete more games than buying more games and never finishing them, I went back to the liberating Dust missions. Died again. Only took a few shots, which was frustrating. In my Martian heart, I have to believe I’m not terrible at the game; so I decided to change the difficulty, something I don’t do often or with glee, something I’ve only also done as of late with Dragon Age: Origins, but I did it; I completed all the final Dust missions in one go, no deaths. The game suddenly changed. Mason took less damage, and enemies dropped faster, did not swarm in droves. I even feel like some of the mission structures might have been altered too, becoming shorter or more lenient.
Yes, I’d have loved to go through Red Faction: Guerrilla on the default difficulty, as it was meant to be played, but ultimately I’d rather experience the story and missions and crumbling buildings. Such are the sacrifices gamers must make from time to time. I’ll be back later with a full write-up. Until then, keep it casual y’all.