Red Faction: Guerrilla
For: Playstation 3, Xbox 360 and
From: Volition, Inc./THQ
ESRB Rating: Mature (blood, strong
By Billy O'Keefe
Volition's past work on the "Saints Row" and "Red Faction" have joined forces for one extraordinary lovechild in "Red Faction: Guerrilla," which ditches the franchise's claustrophobic first-person shooter roots in favor of a full-scale, third-person liberation of open-world Mars.
"Faction" originally established itself by allowing players to destroy environments before destructible environments became remotely commonplace, and "Guerrilla" makes its name not only by applying that principle to a persistent, open-ended landscape, but by once again doing it better than anyone ever has. Advancement through the game opens the door to all manner of explosive technology (rockets, atomic rifles, armored vehicles and mechs), but it's just as fun to leisurely decimate a fortress with nothing more than your absurdly powerful sledgehammer. The ensuing mayhem feels astonishingly authentic: Buildings come apart and topple realistically rather than in a manner that feels anywhere near scripted.