Red Faction: Guerilla

Humanity's explorations in space have always been far more advanced in films and games than they are in reality. Man's mining mission to Mars in Red Faction is just shy of a decade old, yet in reality we're only now debating whether we should make that next big leap, forty years after the first moon landing.

The Red Faction series, too, has made some swift progress, and Guerilla is a subtly different prospect from the last release that hit mobiles back in 2006. Though focused on fighting the EDF across the surface of the red planet, Red Faction: Guerilla drops its predecessor's top down approach for an almost isometric view, helping cement Mars as a solid, 3D environment that gives the impression of being free to explore.

In truth, Guerilla is anything but free, and you'll find yourself engaging in short, largely straightforward and linear missions that see you taking control of miner Alec Mason as he strides across open land and through narrow corridors and chambers.

Whatever the mission, the main basis of play remains throughout: shoot anything that moves, whatever it might be, and thwack your hammer through any barrels or boxes you come across to replenish your health and ammunition. The enemies themselves tend to come in groups of two or more, and it's safest to fire from cover. Guerilla employs a targeting system that allows you to rid yourself of a foe with just one shot, should you time it right.

This makes up the majority of play, running from one chamber to another, ducking behind handily placed crates and firing off at each enemy, one by one. Once the area is clear, you pick up anything dropped by the fallen and move on to the next.

That's not to say that such play is in any way mediocre or dull. Red Faction: Guerilla comes with some detailed visuals that really add a touch of finesse to proceedings, making exploration from one level to the next a real pleasure.

Vehicles, too, make an appearance, with Mason able to take charge of cars in order to make a quick escape, diggers to blast his way through to new areas, and tanks that can trundle through open space, blasting foes into submission as you go.

Even the shooting is approached from multiple angles, with a first-person view employed alongside the zoomed out perspective. Playing like the kind of attraction you'd find at the funfair, targets pop up and it's your job to aim for a head shot as quickly as you can before you take too much damage. There's no real reason for this random switch in play other than to stem any sense of repetition, it seems.

When you consider Red Faction: Guerilla's linear boundaries, it's perhaps just as well that THQ has chosen to mix Mason's Martian march up a bit, though as a result it doesn't really have much character of its own. To put it bluntly, Guerilla is an action title almost 'by numbers', borrowing elements from scores of titles to come up with a solid, fun adventure title of its own.

It's unlikely to keep you gripped for very long, but while it lasts Red Faction's return to the red planet is a notable step forward for the franchise.

Red Faction: Guerilla

Like an adventuring jigsaw, Red Faction: Guerilla fits together numerous pieces of the action puzzle to serve up a solid shooter that ticks all of the boxes
Keith Andrew
Keith Andrew
With a fine eye for detail, Keith Andrew is fuelled by strong coffee, Kylie Minogue and the shapely curve of a san serif font. He's also Pocket Gamer's resident football gaming expert and, thanks to his work on, monitors the market share of all mobile OSes on a daily basis.