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The year is 2208. 50 years have passed since Parker freed Mars from the persecution of the Ultor Corporation in Red Faction 1. However, with the passage of time, the planet has once again come under oppression – this time at the hands of the once-beneficent Earth Defense Force (EDF).  The Mars of Red Faction: Guerrilla is a dystopian place. Forced labour, summary executions, and brutal martial law all have the populace in fear for their lives and liberty. You play the role of Alec Mason, a demolitions expert who travels to Mars at the recommendation of his brother Dan. The Red Faction resistance movement has formed once again, this time to defend the people from the EDF. It becomes apparent that Dan is a member of the resistance, and when the EDF captures him, you have no choice but to take up the struggle yourself.

rfg01Gameplay is open and nonlinear. You can explore six different territories, each with a distinct character and atmosphere, ranging from desolate badlands to busy habitations. Your primary goal in RF: G is to free Mars from the iron grip of the EDF by reducing their control and presence in each area. This is accomplished by sabotaging or destroying key buildings and infrastructure, eventually forcing the EDF to abandon the territory altogether. Along with this, you will also have to take the perceptions of the general populace into consideration. Initially, they will be mistrustful of you and Red Faction, but you can undertake Guerrilla Actions to garner support from the oppressed citizenry. Instead of just cowering nearby as you battle opponents, civilians will sometimes pick up fallen weapons and join the battle, and you will also start to receive additional Red Faction reinforcements during larger sorties. This sentiment goes both ways though – if you accidentally injure or kill citizens, or accrue too many casualties, support will dwindle.

Unlike the first two games, the action in RF: G takes place in the third person. RF1 was one of the very first games to make use of truly destructible environments (instead of scripted events or keyed structures) with the introduction of the GeoMod system. While somewhat limited and not always logical, it was great fun to gouge tunnels out of cavern walls with a rocket launcher. rfg02RF: G sees the evolution of GeoMod to a much more effective and enjoyable system – almost every aspect of the environment is alterable with the correct application of force, and much of the gameplay focuses on this factor. Do some damage and you’ll see walls fall, rebar crumple, and support beams bend. Do some more, and sections of the building will collapse. Do enough in the right places and you’ll have the satisfaction of watching the whole thing come crashing down.

Combine the glee of gratuitously demolishing everything in sight with a sledgehammer with freeform gameplay, versatile vehicles, upgradeable weapons, PowerPack bonuses and massively fun multiplayer modes, and you have a recipe for a good time.