Red Faction Guerrilla Re-Mars-tered review for Nintendo Switch

Platform: Switch
Also on: PC, PS4, Xbox One
Publisher: THQ Nordic
Developer: Volition/Kaiko
Medium: Digital/Disc/Cartridge
Players: 1-16
Online: Yes

Red Faction Guerrilla is easily one of my favourite games of all time. I barely remember a thing about its story or its characters, and it had its share of flaws when it came to graphics, but even now, a decade or so after I first played it on PS3, I still remember the sheer joy I got from driving a truck through a building and seeing everything come smashing down around me.

Last year, I had some quibbles when the game was repackaged and re-released on current gen systems as Red Faction Guerrilla Re-Mars-tered. Now that I?ve had the opportunity to play the game again on the Switch, however, I can?t see what bothered me so much about it. This is still an absurdly fun game, no matter what warts it may have.

I mean, those warts are still obvious. This is still an ugly game. Everything around you is a dispiriting shade of brownish red, and there are vast, empty spaces of nothing but rocks. I know that Mars is the red planet, and I know that your character has been sent there as punishment to live in a prison work colony, but still: that?s not really an excuse for how lousy everything looks.

It?s not like the story has gotten any better, either. I?ve put many, many hours into this game across several platforms now, and I still had to look up the hero?s name (Alec Mason, by the way). He?s involved in some long, convoluted plot involving freeing Mars and fighting an evil corporation, but if you can remember any details of it after playing Red Faction Guerrilla Re-Mars-tered, you?re a better person than I am.

But again, all of that pales in comparison to the feeling you get when you set off a massive chain of explosions that levels a building. Even if the spaces here are mostly desolate and deserted, you still have ample opportunities for destruction. Luckily, the game always understood that that?s what people were here for, which is why it gave you a sledgehammer that can smash through pretty much anything.

And, even more fortunately, the game is still powerful enough that it can render all this destruction without any issues. I spent all my time with Red Faction Guerrilla Re-Mars-tered on the Switch playing in handheld mode, and I never noticed the system struggling at all.

As a bonus, the ragdoll physics here are still so much fun to watch unfold. Whether you?re the one who?s been hit by a truck and you?re suddenly flipping down a hill, or you?ve run at an enemy soldier and built up enough momentum that you can jump, go soaring through the air, and come smashing down with a hammer blow that sends them flying, it never stops being hilarious to see the characters here flop and fall every which way.

For some reason, I didn?t see everything this way when I wrote Red Faction Guerrilla Re-Mars-tered a year ago. I?ll admit now, though, that I was unduly harsh, and I don?t know what I was thinking. This was one of the most enjoyable games when it first came out during the PS360 generation, and Red Faction Guerrilla Re-Mars-tered is proof that this is still the case for this generation.

THQ Nordic provided us with a Red Faction Guerrilla Re-Mars-tered Switch code for review purposes.

Grade: A