Sometimes memes can develop a life of their own. Case in point: today we’re talking about Red Faction Guerrilla Re-Mars-tered, a remaster of a classic game that we now know as “Space Asshole.” There’s a song about it. Seriously. I can’t recall any of my friends ever actually calling this game anything but “Space Asshole.”
Why is it called that, though? I mean, the plot’s about mild-mannered engineer Alec Mason joining up with the titular Red Faction resistance group after his brother is killed by an evil regime. He’ll help the Red Faction fight against the EDF in an effort to free Mars from their despotic control. It’ll involve a bunch of missions, most of which will involve doing unfortunate things to EDF personnel and property. That sounds heroic. Certainly not an asshole thing to do, right?
Well, it’s the way that he goes about this that gives this game the title we all know it by. Alec’s speciality is demolitions, you see, and thanks to the Geo-Mod 2.0 engine that powers the game, he’s very good at it indeed. Geo-Mod 2.0 allows you to engage in unparalleled levels of destruction when it comes to the local buildings. If you take out a structure’s supports then you better believe it’s coming down in impressive fashion; this applies to buildings, bridges and pretty much everything that isn’t just Martian rock. It’s absolutely hilarious and leads to plenty of assholish behavior on Alec’s part one way or the other – the game even encourages you to level the landscape by offering currency.
Missions tend to consist of wrecking buildings, killing baddies and coming up with excuses to do one or the other. The majority of the game’s fun lies in the former, of course, since there’s so many hilarious ways in which to do it. Explosive charges are the obvious choice, but what about laying down volatile barrels and shooting them? Maybe you can just drive a truck into whatever needs busting and hope it gets busted? As for fighting baddies, you’ve got a selection of guns and gear to use on them, but taking out a squishy meatbag or ten is nothing compared to bringing down a skyscraper.
This is an older game, of course, so we know what to expect out of this one coming in and we’re mostly focused on what the remaster brings to the table. That’s…well, not a lot that the original game didn’t have aside from better graphics. It plays the same, it sounds the same and, from my perspective, it doesn’t really look that much better – but the original game wasn’t exactly hideous to begin with, so that’s not the worst thing in the world. We’re talking about the PC version in this review and, as you might expect, it runs great, but don’t expect this remaster to turn the game into anything it wasn’t back in 2009.
That means that if you’ve already played Red Faction Guerrilla, you might not really need to come back to Red Faction Guerrilla Re-Mars-tered and play it again. On the other hand, if you really, really miss the sort of physics-based gameplay that’s still hard to find anywhere else, then this is where you’re going to get it. Finally, if you’re completely new to the game, it’s not to be missed. Twenty bucks isn’t too much to ask for a weekend or so of Space Assholing.