Red Faction: Guerrilla Re-Mars-tered (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Justin Prinsloo 10.09.2019

Review for Red Faction: Guerrilla Re-Mars-tered on Nintendo Switch

It came as quite a surprise when it was announced that Volition's Red Faction: Guerrilla was being remastered by Kaiko for current gen consoles, and more surprising was that it arrived on the Switch as well. Originally released in 2009 to a mixed critical reception, Guerrilla has become a cult classic by virtue of its gleeful approach to environmental destruction. Indeed, it poses many hallmarks of the trashy but entertaining façade that cult cinema is known for as well, making it an interesting case study and an intriguing subject for a remaster.

Kaiko has certainly been on the warpath with THQ remasters of late, having already worked on Darksiders: Warmastered Edition and Darksiders II: Deathinitive Edition. Bad puns are clearly their primary asset, as they're three for three now with Red Faction: Guerrilla Re-Mars-tered. This is largely the same game as it was ten years ago, and whether or not that's a bad thing will vary from player to player. Guerrilla follows the story of a band of rebels (known as the Red Faction) on Mars, after the planet has been colonised for the sake of mining its precious minerals. Protagonist Alec Mason is charged with aiding the Red Faction in liberating the colonised world sector by sector and overthrowing the tyranny of the EDF, the planet's nefarious overlords.

The plot is weak and the character development non-existent, but what makes this easy to overlook is that the game seemingly doesn't care about its own story - its sole focus is to provide a playground for some frankly incredible destruction, even by the standards of modern physics. Red Faction: Guerrilla is a decade old but undeniably still retains some of the very best environmental destruction that gaming has to offer. It is a joy to witness buildings crumble beneath the might of a sledgehammer or a handful of well-placed explosives. It's a total power fantasy that is unashamed to be held up by some pure, unadulterated sandbox fun. Games like this are an increasingly rare breed, and this remaster is a palette-cleanser that comes at an ideal time in gaming's evolution.

Screenshot for Red Faction: Guerrilla Re-Mars-tered on Nintendo Switch

Surprisingly, it runs well on the Switch, too. The murky environments are still gloomy and the map is rather bland, but the Switch manages to render the game in 1080p while maintaining a fairly consistent 30FPS - even in handheld mode. The only area where the Switch disappoints is with its finicky Joy-Cons, which can be very frustrating during gunplay. There is the option of enabling gyro controls for finer aiming, but this takes some getting used to and isn't a total workaround. The Pro Controller is the best way to go with this one.

Red Faction: Guerrilla Re-Mars-tered has a very simple gameplay loop that is both its appeal and its downfall. The glee that demolishing buildings brings is tempered by the repetitive and often frustrating mission structure, made even more redundant by the lack of a good story. Why am I doing this, again? is the question that crops up all too often while performing mundane tasks from Point A to Point B, and the lack of any new content in this remaster makes it all the more pertinent. This is sadly becoming standard fare with modern remasters - a port and a resolution bump are too often the only things that are enhanced, with some obvious exceptions, of course.

Guerrilla could certainly do with some quality-of-life improvements, such as a more informative HUD and less-convoluted menus, but this was sadly not on the agenda. The experience is as it was ten years ago, for better or worse, but it's difficult to justify returning to it unless it was a personal favourite. It is, however, certainly worth a play for those who have never experienced it, if only to marvel at what videogames are capable of when it comes to destructible environments. For all intents and purposes, that destruction is the main draw, as without it it's little more than a run-of-the-mill dinosaur.

Screenshot for Red Faction: Guerrilla Re-Mars-tered on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 6 out of 10


There's nothing new to say about Guerrilla that hasn't been said before - its gameplay is solid and enjoyable enough to hold up its shortcomings in the story and graphics departments. They just don't make games like this anymore, and perhaps with good reason. Nevertheless, this is a robust cult classic that houses some thrills up its sleeve. It's intriguing that Red Faction has even made a reappearance… Is THQ Nordic gauging interest for a sequel, perhaps?




THQ Nordic


Action Adventure



C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  6/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   


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