NS Review – Red Faction: Guerrilla ReMARStered (Switch)


Imagine being young and given a toy hammer, the freedom to destroy everything you like in a huge massive world built with Lego blocks. This is what playing Red Faction: Guerrilla reMARStered feels like, a remastered port of the original 2009 title, released for Ps3 and Xbox360.

The year is 2075. Earth has exhausted its minerals supply and humanity looked for elsewhere to find materials to progress their evolution. They began colonising Mars, thanks to the effort of the ULTOR corporation, a company known for being tyrants towards their employees. As an act of rebellion, the Red Faction was founded and the help of the Earth Defense Force was invoked. ULTOR was defeated but, over the next 50 years, power corrupted the EDF, whose new goal was to terraform mars and claim dominion over it.
It’s time for the Red Faction to rise once more and exterminate those who used to be their allies. It’s time to destroy everything… While saving Mars.

The planet is divided in sectors, each of which contains more or less EDF forces, indicated by a meter. Our objective is to increase the rebel dominance and decimate the EDF troops, freeing the sectors from their presence.

Dust is just one of the various sectors to liberate.

We are offered a moderate amount of vehicles to “steal” in classic GTA style that we can use to explore the vast locales the game has to offer.

One of the many vehicles the game offers.

EDF control can be lowered in multiple ways. We have side quests indicated on the map by icons. These are missions ranging from raiding an EDF occupied zone to destroying a specific building, to freeing prisoners from prisons. We then have guerrilla actions, impromptu missions given to us by radio from our allies, that can be ignored or accepted freely. These usually earn dominance and more resistance power. Finally, we have the main story missions. This progress the plot and main story line and are mandatory to eradicate EDF forces from the sectors.

Chasing a Courier leaking information to the EDF in one of the many Guerrilla actions.

Another way and probably the most fun to lower EDF forces is to attack their main interest points: huge, well guarded bases and structures there for us to destroy in any way we see fit.
Cover a car in mines and drive it inside a building. BOOM! Use your hammer to crush the buildings weak points and watch the whole thing crumble in a huge cloud of dust. Demolish forts by planting strategical explosives, light the whole place ablaze!

BOOM!

The options are innumerable, too many to list here and we definitely don’t want to spoil the surprise of some of the craziest weapons, of which the game is jam packed.

The EDF won’t just stand there and watch you tear down their place though. The AI is pretty impressive for a 2009 game, good enough to corner you, hide behind structures, surround you, rush you and run away if in danger. There’s 4 alert levels: green, yellow, orange and red being the most dangerous one and involving air forces to exterminate you.

Air units deployed on you at red alert level.

The game won’t be scarce of enemies to face either as it’s not uncommon to find yourself facing 10-15 enemies on screen at once, the switch dealing with the chaos surprisingly well.

The EDF troops will try everything in their power to stop you.

Rinse and repeat about 6 times, one for each zone. This can get a tad repetitive based on your play style but you can always take a break collecting scraps form destroyed buildings (used to buy and upgrade new tools of destruction) or collect radio tags around the world, which expand the lore and immerse you in the plot even more.

If all these isn’t for you, there is also an online multiplayer mode offering a mix of classics (Capture The Flag, Anarchy, Team Anarchy) and more original ideas (like Siege, where we will need to attack and defend several key structures).
The experience is quite pleasant and overall a nice diversion from the main game, but matches can sometime result in a laggy mess and the experience is a bit of a mixed bag.

This remaster showcases a solid presentation. Utilizing the Geo Mod 2.0 engine, Red Faction presents a highly destructible environment and buildings, whose structure crumbles realistically under our hammer hits (or mines) following the laws of physics.
The game on Nintendo Switch aims for a 30fps cap and offers two display modes: High Performance and High Quality, with the former aiming for higher frame rate and the latter for high definition graphics.
Surprisingly the game performs pretty well in both modes but struggles during big explosions and scenes involving heavy physics, where the game crawls to 18-21 FPS.
This Switch port presents most of the next gen features found on its competitor consoles such as: crepuscular rays, higher texture detail, specular highlights, etc…

Texture detail is high in High Quality mode, but the FPS drops dramatically.

The highlight of this conversion is portable mode, where the lower resolution results in more fluid gameplay and overall, a more comfortable experience.

The game presents an epic orchestral soundtrack that never intrudes during the gameplay. The style ranges from relaxing ambient tunes to more upbeat pieces to underline dramatic fights. Sound compression artefacts are present and the game can sound ever so slightly more muffled compared to PS4 and Xbox One releases but that’s to be expected, considering the capacity of one Switch cart.
Explosions and debris sound effects are the star of the show, coming out crisp and dramatic from the speakers.
Voice acting is present in multiple languages and there’s an option to select different languages for subtitles and voices.
The performance is exactly what you’d expect from a 2009 game: cheesy, over the top dialogues that are more laughable than not. But that what we liked at the time and all in all brings back memories of a long lost time.

Aaaah, good old 2009 CGI and voice acting…

Red Faction Guerrilla: ReMARStered features all the fun we remembered from the original 2009 game and elevates it thanks to the new presentation. If you can get past the at times sluggish frame rate, this game takes 100+ hours to complete 100% and can be a nice filler between bigger games coming out in 2019 for Nintendo’s flagship console.

Highly recommended, especially if you are fan of the open world genre.

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