In the year 2075, Earth's resources dwindled to the point where offworld mining operations were required for humanity's survival. The mining operation on Mars was run by the monolithic Ultor Corporation, which met its quota by oppressing its miners and forcing them into degrading living conditions. Ultor's treatment of its workers, and the advent of a horrible Plague which could not be cured, prompted disgruntled workers to organize into a resistance movement.
They called themselves the "Red Faction".
When the cruelty of their oppressors was finally too much, the Martian miners rebelled and fought back against Ultor. One of these miners - a man named Parker - took up arms and fought alongside the Red Faction against Ultor. It was learned that an Ultor researcher, Dr. Axel Capek, was responsible for the Plague of the miners, which resulted from injections of Capek's nanomachines into the miners during their checkup. Parker and the leader of the Red Faction, a woman named Eos, were able to obtain the location of the Plague's antidote from Capek prior to his demise.
But Parker's work was not yet done. He had to clear the way for the Earth Defense Force, who the Red Faction had contacted with a plea for help against Ultor. He destroyed the orbital laser defense station and returned to the Martian surface. But Ultor's last gambit - a mercenary team led by the ruthless Colonel Masako - was to destroy the base and all evidence of their crimes. Parker thwarted the mercenaries, killed Masako, and deactivated the bomb they'd set, paving the way for the EDF to intervene and take control of Mars from the Ultor Corporation.
But as with many such liberations, only the faces and the names of the oppressors changed - the oppression remained the same.
In the fifty years since the liberation of Mars by the EDF, the planet's surface has been terraformed, allowing the colonists to breathe the Martian atmosphere. But the EDF fortified its bases, embedded its personnel - and the cruelty and abuse continued. Colonists are at the mercy of EDF troops, able to be questioned, arrested, detained, interrogated, or simply shot as summary punishment, all in the name of a starved, depleted, overpopulated Earth.
Is it then any wonder that in the face of oppression and in the name of liberation, the name of the Red Faction should rise again?
But none of that concerns Earth native and demolitions engineer Alec Mason, who emigrates to Mars in 2125 to join his brother Dan and make an honest living and a clean start as a miner on Mars...
Red Faction: Guerrilla is a game from developer Volition (of Saints Row and Freespace fame) and publisher THQ, released in June of 2009 for PS3, Xbox 360 and September of 2009 for Windows. It is the third installment in the Red Faction series (albeit only the second set on Mars) and is a continuation of the themes of the original Red Faction, exploring the vulnerability of a revolutionary group fighting a guerrilla war against a better-armed state military in a bid to gain freedom and self-actualization.
...Either that or it's a third-person shooter whose unique flavor to an otherwise samey formula, repetitive side missions and bland plot is a detailed physics engine devoted to the realistic damage and collapse of buildings - the occasional whole building perched on single freestanding columns notwithstanding.
The game centers on aforementioned mortal avatar of destruction Alec Mason as he guns, explodes, chops, shocks, disintegrates and just plain hammers through waves of faceless EDF soldiers in an attempt to liberate Mars.
The game world is split up into six sectors: Parker, Dust, Badlands, Oasis, the Free Fire Zone and Eos. Each sector is completed by performing a series of preliminary missions to require the resources or information needed to proceed, challenging the EDF's Control on a sector by destroying their facilities or performing Guerrilla Actions (the game's side missions), and finally performing the liberation mission in a climactic battle for the sector's control.
The missions themselves are usually very diverse and seldom do you find yourself doing the same sort of task twice (beyond "go here, blow stuff up," which doesn't count), but the game's accusations of repetition are not without merit. The problem lies in the Guerrilla Actions, several of which leave you with a sense of "Haven't I already done this before?" despite a fair bit of variety in the side missions' tangible parameters. As the game progresses, the difficulty also ramps up a fair bit, and it's not odd to die several times in the course of performing the later missions, which adds to the annoyance and repetition.
But overall, RF:G is a most enjoyable game to me at least, since the shooting combat and destruction mechanics are so fundamentally satisfying that it's easy to start a new campaign and try new permutations on the mission objectives.
The main character of Red Faction Guerrilla, Alec is a mining engineer with a Class C demolitions permit who has emigrated to Mars in the hopes of starting his life over after a prison stint on Earth. Alec's brother Dan was shot to death by an EDF gunship not ten minutes into the game, setting up the obligatory revenge angle Alec needed to be able to be a suitable action hero.
Sam is the Red Faction's token female lead, the chief engineer and the source of all of Mason's MacGyveresque, nonstandard weapons like the electricity-shooting Arc Welder and the sawblade-launching Grinder. She is also a Marauder, one of the descendants of Ultor's scientists who fled into the wilds of Mars following the initial EDF occupation. Her sister Vasha is the Marauders' current chieftain, and if that doesn't seem like a completely ham-handed plot revelation then you haven't seen her try to pull off the red-headed action heroine act in Demons of the Badlands.
Hugo Davies ("RF Commander")
Davies is the current commander of the Red Faction. Originally a geologist, Davies' settlement of Chryse struck a large ore deposit. When they refused to give way to the corporations and their mining crews, the EDF moved in and massacred or interned the colonists. Davies was sprung in a raid on his prison camp, and moved into a position of authority in the Red Faction. He gives Mason guidance and directions during his operations on the Red Faction's behalf. In the EDF's attack on the Badlands safehouse, Davies is killed completely offscreen and without even the dignity of a dying monologue to Mason.
When you're fighting an oppressive government military, you can't always pick and choose the hired help. The result in the Red Faction's case is Jenkins - the 22nd century Martian answer to the libertarian survivalist lunatic. Mostly free to do his own fighting - and rightly so, given how wary the rest of the RF is of him - Jenkins needs Mason's gunnery skills onboard his modified Marauder vehicle, and rewards his help in devastating the EDF's facilities and personnel with his unique political views. Namely, that Mars needs to be purged of all Earthly influence, the terraforming of Mars should be reversed, you can fuck your car and that humans can breathe carbon dioxide.
Sometimes a bad war finds good people. It's hard to know with Carmen, given that we don't hear from or see her for more than one mission, but what we see isn't complementary; she tortures an EDF artillery colonel almost to death, and it's just as well we're not inside the car to see what's being done to the bastard. She has the excuse of having the same done to her by the man in question while she was a 'guest' at one of the EDF's prison camps
Part 1 - Introduction and Preliminary Missions Polsy Viddler
Part 2 - Guerrilla Actions, Destruction, Liberation Polsy Viddler
Liberation Song: Waylon Jennings - The Dukes of Hazzard Theme (Good Ol' Boys)
Part 1 - Preliminary Missions (ft. Daeren & Aeros) Polsy Viddler
Part 2 - Property Destruction Polsy Viddler
Part 3 - Destruction, Jenkins and Liberation of Dust Polsy Viddler
Liberation Song: AC/DC - Hell's Bells
Part 1 - Preliminary Missions (feat. Daeren) Polsy Viddler
Part 2 - Destruction and Liberation of Badlands (feat. Daeren & iastudent) Polsy Viddler
Liberation Song: R. Kelly - I Believe I Can Fly
Part 1 - Prelim Missions & Guerrilla Actions (feat. Daeren & iastudent) Polsy Viddler
Part 2 - Destruction and Liberation of Oasis (feat. Daeren & iastudent) Polsy Viddler
Liberation Song: Manowar - Die For Metal
Free Fire Zone
Liberation of Free Fire Zone (feat. Daeren and Propugnator) Polsy Viddler
Liberation Song: Black Sabbath - Sign of the Southern Cross
Part 1 - Preliminary Missions (feat. Daeren & iastudent) Polsy Viddler
Part 2 - Guerrilla Actions (feat. iastudent) Polsy Viddler
Part 3 - Destruction/Guerrilla Actions (feat. iastudent) Polsy Viddler
Part 4 -
Liberation Songs: Deep Purple - Highway Star /Slayer - Raining Blood/Outkast - Bombs Over Baghdad
Part 5 - More Preliminary Missions & Liberation of Eos Sector Polsy Viddler
Liberation Song: Da Lench Mob - Guerillas in tha Mist
Finale Polsy Viddler
Liberation Song: Gustav Holst - Mars, the Bringer of War
Parker Sector - Ore Collection Polsy Viddler BGM: Peter Gabriel - Sledgehammer
Dust Sector - Ore Collection Polsy Viddler BGM: Prodigy - Narayan
Oasis/Free Fire Zone - Ore Collection Polsy Viddler BGM: The Beatles - Maxwell's Silver Hammer