Tag Archives: Red Faction: Guerrilla

Even more games to acquire in the year 2018

Earlier this year, I put together a post about several games coming out in 2018 that I’m super-duper interested in playing. As if I don’t already have a backlog of un-played games that could fill up the Grand Canyon twice, but whatever. New stuff is always more exciting. Well, of them all, a few have come out, and I’ve gotten to see one through to credits, namely Legendary Gary. I’m still going to be picking up State of Decay 2 for co-op reasons, and I’ll be curious to see how Red Dead Redemption 2 is received despite never playing the first one or really falling hard for the Grand Theft Auto games. I’m also curious to know how The Swords of Ditto runs on PC, since I do not have a PlayStation 4.

Still, it seems like the last couple of weeks have brought about even more announced games for 2018, many of which I want to get my grubby, button-pushing hands on. Because I am never not sated. Right, well, take a look at the following titles below, and let me know if you are also interested in any of these or if you are too busy still playing Home Improvement: Power Tool Pursuit! to care.

No Man’s Sky

A lot of people were upset when No Man’s Sky came out and…maybe they had reasons to be. It over-promised, lacked communication, and potentially felt like a magician’s trick, if you went solely on its marketing. For me, this always sounded like a game I’d really enjoy, a laid-back take on exploring infinite universes, even before the numerous updates that went into it to flesh it out, content- and story-wise. The notion of exploring planets and casually documenting all life on them, both flora and fauna, sounds truly relaxing, real nice. So I’m super stoked this is coming to Xbox One, and this version will contain all the previous updates to the game, as well as the upcoming update dubbed “Next” at the time of the release.

Release date: summer 2018

Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive AgE

This is both amazing and sad news to share with y’all, but Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age is making its way to western shores after a long time of waiting and wondering. Yahoo and boo. Alas, not for the Nintendo 3DS, where I was hoping to play it and check out its two visual filters, one for retro pixel graphics and one for more modern 3D graphics. Oh well. At least it’ll hit the PC–a first for the franchise!–and I can see what the hubbub is all about, so long as my laptop can run it. Until then, I still have plenty of photos to take in Dragon Quest VIII.

Release date: September 4, 2018

LEGO The Incredibles

Mel and I are currently trying to wrap up LEGO Jurassic World, and it’s definitely one I’m not having a grand ol’ time playing. I mean, I didn’t like the 3DS version, but had hopes that the console versions would be fun. Alas, nope. I have some major issues with the map and fast traveling options, but that’s for another post. Coming out alongside the new movie, LEGO The Incredibles will cover both the first film and its sequel, and I think the superhero powers, as shown in LEGO Marvel Super Heroes, make for a good, zany time. That said, Mr. Incredible looks a little jarring in LEGO form, but I’m sure I’ll get used to it, so long as he can bust up stuff effectively for studs.

Release date: June 15, 2018

Lamplight City

I’ve only played one title from Grundislav Games, namely A Golden Wake, but really dug its look, sound, and general vibe. Plus, it was a modern yet old-school point-and-click adventure game, which I truly cannot get enough of these days. The forthcoming Lamplight City from the same developer appears to be checking off all these characteristics as well. It’s a detective adventure set in an alternate steampunk-ish “Victorian” past. Inspired by the works of Edgar Allan Poe and Charles Dickens, you’ll never find yourself stuck in a dead-end situation because if the case becomes unsolvable, you can simply move on to the next one, and the story will adapt based on your choices. Neat-o.

Wait a minute. Upon further research, I also played Ben Chandler: Paranormal Investigator – In Search of the Sweets Tin. Shame on me for forgetting that gem. At some point, I really should check out all them Ben Jordan romps.

Release date: sometime 2018

Red Faction: Guerrilla Re-Mars-tered

What a beautifully dumb pun. I smile every time I read it.

Red Faction: Guerrilla is a game I think about going back to often, but the truth is that my Xbox 360 now is kind of unplayable. I mean, no, it still works, but I have to switch a bunch of cords in and out and it’s a small hassle, big enough to keep me at bay. Thankfully, a lot of stuff is backwards compatible on the Xbox One, and, if not, there’s usually a good chance it has or is getting a remake/remaster. Which brings us to Red Faction: Guerilla Re-Mars-Tered. It’s the same-old third-person shooter about revolution on a Martian mining colony from 2009 you remember, but with cleaner textures, 4K support, and all that. I’m excited to go back and be the ultimate nuisance, driving through buildings, blowing up bridges, demolishing houses, and starting trouble at every turn. I never did get all of its collectibles.

Release date: end of June 2018

Palm Island

I’d love to have a solo card/board game to travel with, especially this summer as my family heads to Walt Disney World, and Palm Island seems like it could be perfect for a little gaming on the go or, more specifically, while stuck in an airplane and internally freaking about being so high up in the sky in a massive heap of metal and mouthbreathers. Using a deck-transforming mechanic, players must use just 17 cards over 8 rounds to shape their island and overcome its unique challenges. You do this by storing up resources to pay for upgrades and upgrade buildings to access new abilities, with each decision changing your village from round to round. At the end of 8 rounds, you calculate your victory points to see if you came out a winner. The Kickstarter for Palm Island was successful, which I did not back, and so now we wait.

Release date: estimated delivery in June 2018

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So far, Red Faction: Armageddon asks very little, gives even less

red-faction-armageddon impressions

I initially balked at the Humble THQ Bundle, confused by what it was. Certainly not indie, which was taken away from the collection’s overall title, but far from humble, too. These are triple A titles from a major company. So I slept on it. In the end, I just couldn’t pass up the chance to play Darksiders, Metro 2033, and Red Faction: Armageddon for the low, low entry fee of a buck. Yeah, that’s right; I went as low as I could. No need for me to go above and beyond the average amount paid for Saints Row: The Third, a fantastically fun videogame that I already own for the Xbox 360 and have played to nearly completion (minus the lackluster DLC). And I highly doubt there will ever come a day that I actually install the three Company of Heroes games, let alone one of them. I am so not interested in real-life war games. Oh well.

And for $1–or really $0.33 if you break it up between the three games I wanted from the whole caboodle–Red Faction: Armageddon is functionally fine. But that doesn’t absolve it from being a horribly backwards sequel that strips away everything that made Red Faction: Guerrilla a fun time: an open world, the freedom to destroy what you wanted and how you went about it, the various modes for online play, the impact a sledgehammer could deliver. And more, surely. Now, for those that don’t remember–heck, even I kind of forgot this–I played the demo for Armageddon back in May 2011, not really finding too much to talk about within it. I walked down a dark corridor and shot some alien monsters off walls, as well as reconstructed some ruined platforms and staircases. Yeah, very different from the previous outing.

In this one, you play as Darius Mason, another checkbox in a long list of white, disgruntled-looking, bald videogame protagonist men. Don’t get him confused with other bald, white men in the game. It is 2017, and he must reclaim cultist fortifications on the disaster-ravaged surface of Mars, as well as defend colonists from hostile Martian creatures thriving in the mines and chasms below. To do this, Mason will use various tools and weapons, such as the Nano-Forge and Magnet Gun, to dish out destruction or repair what’s fallen. He will also walk forward in a straight line and shoot swarms of alien monsters to death before repeating this process a few feet further down. The plot is dished out in small, predictable chunks, with characters being stock and uninspiring, and Mason as a action movie star wannabe. Really, his one-liners need to stop.

Then again, the plot in Guerrilla wasn’t that great, but the openness of the world and the freedom of your tools more than made up for that. Here, in Armageddon, all that is gone. It is a non-stop corridor crawl. Dark corridors too, filled with the same swarms of alien monsters which you can kill in one melee hit so don’t bother trying to shoot them in the shadows. The game occasionally teases you by bringing you above-ground, but it’s still just a straight run or vehicle-driven sequence that does not encourage exploration. In fact, if you stray too far from the zone where all the fighting is going down, you get a warning message from the game coupled with a countdown to return to the fight. I have to imagine if you don’t by the time the countdown ends, it’s game over. Yeah, none of that.

Overall, despite a fun set of tools at your side like the Magnet Gun and that super powerful sledgehammer, Armageddon is shockingly boring. You just follow a guided path and kill monsters along the way until you get to a cutscene or new section, doing it all again. Boss fights are uninteresting, requiring little skill and thought and just a better ability to roll out of danger while continuing to fire your assault rifle. I’ve been playing on the Normal difficulty, and it’s felt a little like Godzilla squashing a city of people; haven’t died once, haven’t run out of ammo, haven’t really found myself in a tough pickle. According to my upgrades wheel, I’m almost 75% through the story. Think that’s three or four more levels to slog through.

The Humble THQ Bundle recently added in the Path to War DLC for free since I already purchased the collection. I have no idea what it is and entails, but I imagine it is just more of the same missions from the main game. I’ll give it a try once I finish off Armageddon‘s campaign, as well as try some of the multiplayer options, before shelving the game for good and remembering back to the good ol’ times I had with the franchise back in Red Faction II and Guerrilla.

Saints Row: The Third should not have all this fun power

Honestly, I never thought I’d write these words, but I’m having a blast with Saints Row: The Third. The duders over at GiantBomb are mostly to blame, as they would not shut up about the game on every podcast or game of the year debate, and so I finally decided to put my trust in word-of-mouth and got a new copy with some Christmas cash (as well as Kirby’s Epic Yarn, Rage, and Marvel VS Capcom 3 during GameStop’s end-of-the-month sale where you could buy two used games and get one for free). I put it into my Xbox 360 without a real idea of what was to come except maybe some driving and shooting in the vein of Grand Theft Auto IV, a game I loathe. I held my breath and went forward…

Well, I’m about 11 hours into Saints Row: The Third, with a completion percentage around 45%, and it’s been zany, crazy fun from the moment go. From creating your character, to jumping out of a plane, to jumping into a plane, to gimps pulling chariots, to said gimps exploding, to driving Miss Tiger around town, to befriending a huge naked man, to–y’know, I think I’ll stop there for now. Literally every mission is absolutely bonkers and pure joy to talk about, but a majority of it needs to be experienced, as Saints Row: The Third is always aiming to surprise and put a smile on your face. And if not a smile, well, maybe just to lower your jaw a couple inches. In short, it’s a videogame. It’s a videogame that loves being a videogame and only wants to be a videogame for you. It streamlines everything to keep momentum going forward; when you are driving to a mission start locale, you don’t have to get out of the car to begin it, you only need to be near it, and while that’s a small detail, it’s enough to keep things going. Unlike GTA IV, failing a mission is not punishing, as there are many checkpoints along the way, and you can simply reload from there. And hey, do you hate chasing down a car to hijack it? Simply run and press the right button to jump through the car’s windshield immediately. It’s that kind of game.

And yeah, that’s my avatar in the screenshot above. He’s modeled somewhat after moi. You can use the in-game’s cell phone to take screenshots and upload them to a separate website, so expect some more National Geographic quality shots to pop up here and there. I like to dress kinda casual though I do put on a zany hat or kooky outfit when showing the game off to observers. And there was this one time I was wearing a wolf mask and a cheerleading outfit, but let’s just move on, okay…

Got some Achievements so far. This game looks like a fairly easy 1,000 Gamerscore, but it’ll take time, which is a-okay by me. For once, I’m having a blast in an open world with little fear of breaking it or losing all my hard-earned work through things getting too crazy and my dude getting shot to pieces, like in The Saboteur or Red Faction: Guerrilla. Here’s a few goodies:


Ow, My Balls! (10G): Did your first nutshot and testicle assault, sack tapping is bad news kids!


Gellin’ Like Magellan (20G): Explored every hood in Steelport, you’ve been around the world.


Gotta Break Em In (25G): Completed ‘The Ho Boat’ and decided the Hos fate, do you feel proud of yourself?

I do feel proud of myself, Volition/THQ. I saved those hoes from a life of hoeing and whoring under a wrestling masked jerk to work for me, the leader of the Saints, who, by all accounts, is a psychopath. Lucky them.

Right now, before I move on to the next story mission, I’m tracking down all the collectibles thanks to an upgrade bonus that highlights them all on my map. Saints Row: The Third doesn’t care about giving you everything right away, such as a map pinpointing all the hidden items or a VTOL jet early on or the ability to call an airstrike at any point; it just wants you to have a good time, and that’s exactly what I’m going to keep on doing.

Cole Phelps is L.A.’s public menace #1

Causing a ruckus in open-world games like Grand Theft Auto III or Red Faction: Guerrilla was always  fun, but short-lived. You can only go so long destroying things and being a jerk before somebody takes notice. Heck, creeping over the speed limit in Mafia/Mafia II is enough to get the sirens singing, and then the law’s on your tail, switching your biggest concern from running down mailboxes and street-lamps to running from the cops. Usually, that scenario ends with a horrific crash and reload, wherein you lose some money and respawn at the local hospital or police station. Ah, the price one pays for spoliation.

Well, since L.A. Noire‘s Cole Phelps is the law, he can do whatever he wants, nice or not, as evident below:


Public Menace (30G): Rack up $47,000 in penalties during a single story case.

The thorn in this Achievement’s side is that there’s no way to openly track how much damage in penalties one is amassing during a case. You only get these statistics at the end of a case, but I assumed that totaling a lot of cars and driving on the sidewalk for long stretches of time would be the best way to racking up fines. After an hour of this mayhem, I went ahead and finished up the case–“The Black Caesar” for the curious, which was a bad choice as it’s a pretty lengthy affair–and waited eagerly for the statistics screen to pop up. I was confident I had done enough damages, and I was right. Way too right. Ended up going overboard: $68,000 in car penalties alone, with another $8,000 or so for messing up the sidewalks so badly.

But man, crashing cars in L.A. Noire is fun…and funny, especially when you hear the things citizens say to Cole’s constant obsession with ramming them head on. “These people!” is probably my favorite of the bunch. Another nice aspect to being reckless in the 1940s is that the cars don’t blow up and Cole doesn’t go flying through the windshield with every crash. Guess that tech hasn’t been invented yet.

Now that Cole and I’ve gotten this out of our system, we can go back to being goody two shoes, in hopes of replaying all the cases and earning five-star ratings. Well, not all of them. I did great on some, but others I totally funked up, accusing the wrong dudes of crimes they didn’t commit. My bad. Also curious about some of the DLC cases; Tara was certainly excited to learn that there were more cases yet to play, but I just don’t know if they are worth the space credits or not. We’ll see how bored I get after finishing up Deus Ex: Human Revolution and waiting for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim to land…

Games Completed in 2011, #24 – Red Faction: Guerrilla

I thought Red Faction was really neat, what with their revolutionary tech at the time of being able to blow a hole in a wall and then go through said hole. Red Faction II did all of this as well, but tried to mix up the gameplay too much and also annoyingly threw in waves of zombie monsters. While the main mission stunk, I did enjoy myself in the local multiplayer against bots; yes, this was around the time that everybody and their brother were playing Halo over the Internet, but I lacked such a connection, and so it was bots for me. No big deal. I got really good, especially on Deathmatch, and you’ll just have to take my word on that.

Red Faction: Guerrilla is not Red Faction III. Still not sure if that’s a good or bad thing though. This time, the game is set on an open-world Mars and is not a first-person shooter. Instead, it’s a third-person action adventure title (with some driving, too), and our main dude Alec Mason is out for revenge over his brother’s murder, as well as to bring down the oppressive Earth Defense Force. That harkens back a bit more to Red Faction‘s plot where a no-name miner begins the great uprising. As Mason moves forward with his retribution plan, he’ll befriend some folk and make many enemies and destroy a bleep-load of EDF property, slowly whittling down their numbers and resources.

I originally played the game for a good amount of time upon initial purchase, but stopped after some of the Dust missions proved too hard and frustrating. Mission instructions were not very clear, and the moment you were caught out in the open and not hiding behind a crate, you were most certainly dead. It was when–many months later–I switched the difficulty from Normal to Casual that I saw myself advancing better. And I’m totally okay with that. There’s no reason to not to if it’ll help me experience and play a game I bought with hard-earned Space Credits. After the difficulty switch, it was a quick run through the remaining missions, which all lead up to an underwhelming finale that saw Mason rushing towards his target, throwing like ten sticky bombs on it, and blowing it up nice and good. And so:


Red Dawn (100G): Liberated Mars.

You’re welcome.

It’s an okay game. The truest fun comes from exploring the map, seeing some building you want to crumble, and then doing it however you want. The missions and driving aspects are less fun, often punishing or too nit-picky on how they want things done. After beating the game, I went back to clean up some Achievements, but there’s several for collecting things like ore deposits and radio tags that I just don’t want to go for. Too big of a map for such trivial thingies. Oh well. Online multiplayer is fun and something I expect to revisit from time to time, but waiting ten minutes for a game to start is not fun. So it has its pros and cons just like Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood‘s multiplayer.

Let’s end this post with a quote taken out of context from Red Faction: Guerrilla, but something all of us gamers can understand completely, yes? Here it is:

“If the EDF didn’t want us shooting these explosive barrels, they shouldn’t leave them around so much! Right?”

Damn skippy.

The top five greatest things about L.A. Noire

L.A. Noire is not Grand Theft Auto IV set in the 1940s, and for that I’m eternally happy. That’s not what I wanted. I wanted that open-world feel, but more guidance, more direction, and that seems to be the case here, pun intended. A linear game set in an open Los Angeles that, if you want, you can go explore and get lost in and attempt to run citizens over. But you’re a good-natured detective, and a detective like that moves slowly, meticulously, combing crime scenes for clues and interrogating suspects and musing with partners over possible plans of action. Sometimes action takes precendence, with Cole chasing suspects on foot or car, or trying to survive a shootout, or desperately trying to keep his hat on during a fistfight. But it’s the detective work and questioning of suspects and branching paths that make L.A. Noire its own game, and not just Grand Theft Los Angeles.

Oh, and here are five other great things about L.A. Noire:

5. Make a face, any face

This might surprise some to find my praise of the facial animation not number one of this insignificant list of mine, but that’s how I roll. I like the face work, I do. It’s very impressive, especially considering that both Tara and I immediately recognized Greg Grunberg as Hugo Moller just on his face alone. We were like, “Hey, it’s that guy!” And we were right. It was that guy. And we recognized him before he spoke, whereas it is often the opposite that confirms a suspicion about a voice actor in a videogame. And then Hugo began to talk, and it was like I wasn’t even in a videogame anymore, just a show on TV, where a guy was being questioned, and he was answering accordingly, twitching and looking away and furrowing his brow as we all do, and we had judgment calls to make.

4. All that jazz

In the late 1940s, after the horror of World War II, music reflected American enthusiasm tempered with European disillusionment. Jazz and solo singers breaking free from big band ensembles ate up the limelight, and Rockstar took it a step further for L.A. Noire‘s soundtrack, utilizing the remixing skills of some of today’s best DJs to create new versions of the old. Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, and Lionel Hampton are re-imagined in spectacular ways. Take a listen, I promise you that the songs are intoxicating and hypnotic. It’s a shame that I don’t drive around more to listen to them, but more on that in a bit.

3. That carrot is not irrelevant

When at a crime scene and searching for clues, Cole can pick up and inspect a number of items, many of which are either red herrings or simply inconsequential to the case. My favorite pick-ups are inside a suspect’s house, where Cole will meander into the kitchen, pick up a carrot, and stare at it for minutes before finally deciding that, yes, it’s most likely not the murder weapon. I’ve also noticed his love for picking up boxes of laundry detergent. Either way, it’s nice that they kept these items in, as it does give the feeling of truly examining a crime scene, no matter how silly they ultimately are. Always examine shoes, too.

2. Baby steps up the stairs

Y’all might think the facial motion capturing work in L.A. Noire is its greatest achievement, but you’d be wrong. Somehow, after seven years of programming and coding and researching, the people at Rockstar and Team Bondi were able to perfectly capture the way people climb stairs. If you don’t hold down the run button, Cole will climb a set of stairs in itty bitty steps, bobbing his head all the way up, like a jogger running in place. It’s hilarious and at the same time instantly recognizable; we’ve all gone up stairs like this at one time or another, placing both feet on each step all the way to the top, and it only helps to nail down immersion and authenticity.

1. You drive, I’m lazy

Most cop-work is done in pairs. Partners are not just a stereotype of the cop genre, but an integral aspect of working the streets and solving crimes. Plus, they can act as a personal chauffeur. At just about any point, you can hold down a button and have your partner drive to the next location. This is wonderful. You still get to listen to the interactive dialogue you’d hear if you yourself drove, but now you can listen without worrying about running into another car or careening off a cliff. If there’s no dialogue to be had, you simply warp to the desired location via a short loading screen. Again, this is wonderful.

One of my biggest gripes with Grand Theft Auto IV is how sadistic the mission structure was, often having you drive across two bridges and many miles to start a mission. Upon death or failure, you’d have to do all that again. It was even hard to stay on track in games like The Saboteur and Red Faction: Guerrilla. Here, in L.A. Noire, arrival at your destination is guaranteed. Occasionally, I do drive, but it’s always messy, and I rear-end a lot of cars, which gets my partner all huffy and puffy. Not needed. Hopefully this is something every open-world game can implement though how is not a quick answer to me. The fact that you are constantly paired up with a second person surely helps.

Don’t think I’m 100% sweet on the game though. There’s plenty I dislike, and if y’all are good and enjoy this post and share it with Reddit and Kotaku and StumpledUpon and the whole Interworld so that I can get rich and famous fast, then I’ll do a post on the five worst things in L.A. Noire.

Keeping it casual with Red Faction: Guerrilla

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.