During Summer Game Fest last year we saw a trailer for a survival horror game set in outer space. Then we saw another trailer for a survival horror game set in outer space. After that we were treated to a trailer for a survival horror game set in outer space. And to round things off, we saw a reveal trailer for, and you’ll never guess this, a survival horror game set in outer space.
Not all space games can combine the whimsy and existential dread of Outer Wilds, or give you the freedom to explore an untapped universe ripe with potential like No Man’s Sky, but why do we seem to be stuck in an era where they’re all so miserable? I love Dead Space and Alien: Isolation just as much as the next guy, but variety is the spice of life, and rather than cowering from alien threats, I want to become a one man army capable of terraforming a planet with nothing but IEDs and a sledgehammer. That’s right, I want another Red Faction game.
I only played Guerilla, the soft reboot that relaunched the series for the PS3 and Xbox 360. One day I’ll track down copies of the originals and give Armageddon a go, but I’ve heard it’s a sequel that turns the dynamic destructible gameplay into a monster-killing third-person shooter, so I’m in no rush.
Guerilla tells the story of Alec Mason, a man driven to extremism by the totalitarian Earth Defense Force, an interstellar colonial organisation oppressing the works on Mars so that they can ship valuable resources back to Earth. It’s got a neat pro-worker, anti corporation story, but more importantly, you can blow up every single building you can see, and that’s awesome.
The late ‘00s and early ‘10s were all about dynamic destruction. Battlefield Bad Company 2, the Just Cause series, and to a lesser extent The Saboteur all emphasised the joys of turning big, fascist-occupied structures into piles of rubble. I miss those days.
Even now, Red Faction: Guerilla holds up. There’s the brilliantly named Re-Mars-tered which came out in 2018 and gave the game a nice new lick of paint while also folding in the story-focused DLC. It’s been five years since then, meaning we could well be seeing a new entry to the series announced sometime in the next 12 months.
It’s the perfect time for a direct sequel to Guerilla. The space game market is oversaturated with dark survival horrors and it doesn’t look to be slowing down anytime soon. A game where you ambush military convoys by collapsing a bridge onto them before introducing their faces to your sledgehammer would be a lovely change of pace. There were also wackier weapons like a junk-gun that shot electricity that could kill people in vehicles and a nano rifle that could disintegrate people, trucks, and buildings. And how could I forget to mention the singularity bomb that created a gravity vortex that sucked in anything it could rip apart before sending a debris hurricane exploding outward? I could write poetry with all that destruction.
I’m just so over the creepy space stations and deserted facilities floating through the endless void while we fend off extraterrestrial nightmares. Put me back on the dusty red surface of Mars and let me loose with some grenades and an axe. It’s been 13 years since Alec first secured the planet for Red Faction, and I’m sure the EDF has had ample time to regroup, it’s time we got ready for round two.
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