The Games Of Christmas: December 8th

This door of the glorious RPS Advent-o-Calendar is proving tricky to open. We’ve tried prying it with our fingers, sticking a kitchen knife in the gap and levering it, and telekinesis. But none of it’s working. It looks like the only option left is to smash it with a giant hammer. Use the guiding hand of the one true leader of the Autobots to aim your blow.

Red Faction: Guerrilla!

John: HIT IT WITH A HAMMER! This was the rallying cry of my student house back in 98. The things we fixed with a hammer in our wretched hovel in Shelton, Stoke-On-Trent would boggle your mind. Proudest moment: fitting a new Yale lock to the back door (the landlord refused to replace the current lock that was glued onto the door) with a bread knife, pair of scissors, and a hammer. The lesson to learn: hammers can fix all problems.

So it is with the fantastic Guerrilla. It’s the world’s greatest hitting-something-with-a-hammer simulator, and it will prove hard to beat. Forget the story – an absolute clusterfuck of gibberish. Forget the NPC characters you’re supposed to care about/work with – they’re disposable blobs. Forget the setting – you’re on Mars apparently, for all the interest that raises. What this fabulous game is about is breaking stuff.

The detail of the structural destruction is a ludicrous pleasure. Smash a three-storey building enough times at the right points at its base and you can bring it down in a glorious display of demolition. And not just because you’re bored and ignoring the mission you’re meant to be on. But because it is the mission you’re on. Guerilla brilliantly understood what it is, and didn’t trick itself into thinking it was something more. You can’t clear an area until you’ve demolished enough of the key enemy structures, whether that’s by rockets, bombs, hammer blows or magical material-melting deathrays.

Oh, the magical material-melting deathray. While it doesn’t possess the remarkably weighty satisfaction of the giant hammer, its lightness and ease disguises the potential of its danger. Aim at just the right points on a bridge and… that’s one bridge that’s gone forever. Hit a helicopter in the sky and watch it dissolve, bits tumbling to the ground. It’s horrendously powerful.

For someone like me with some perverse need to break and smash everything in a game (see Burnout Paradise) this is gaming heaven. It’s a vast playground of things to break, in a game that wants me to break them. Sure, there’s guns and people to shoot at, hostages to rescue, vehicles to steal. But they’re just necessary steps to be taken on my way to knocking down the next tower.

Jim: Yes, the break stuff is good. Brilliant, even. Ploughing a truck through a building that appears to be made from cold-chocolate is a distinct joy. But I think there’s a little more going on with Red Faction than people give it credit for. Most obviously: they finally made a game in which the destruction tech they’ve spent the past decade demonstrating actually makes sense. Rather than being a superficial layer of graphical splendor, it’s actually the heart of the game: destroying stuff weakens the enemy, because you are playing the insurgency game. While lots of games have you blow up a bit of infrastructure to attack your opponents, they’re generally tied into some linear experience. What’s exciting about Red Faction’s use of infrastructural destruction is that it’s all across the world – a huge map – and that allows you to feel like you’re actually making a difference, and genuinely fighting a war. In most game worlds the back and forth of enemy forces is entirely arbitrary, but in Guerrilla you’ve actually blown up with base and destroyed their depots: they have to fall back because they no longer have the systems to operate.

In fact, I feel like Guerrilla’s sandbox destruction offers wargames and GTA-clones a totally new angle. It’s a fun model for territorial control. GTA5 can now have gang warfare in which you blow up enemy businesses, culminating in toppling a skyscraper onto the mob boss’ villa. WW2 games can be open-ended sandboxes in which you’re blowing up German facilities until you can roll the frontline back. Volition’s achievement in this game is, I think, way bigger than creating the best super-hammer in the gaming universe: it’s a genuinely fascinating re-imagining of how open world games might work as zones of influence.

Also, I like that some dude brings you a truck when you’re out in the wilds on your own.

Kieron: I think that truck thing is just a great little detail. Between Saints Row 2 and this, Volition have been sort of carving the niche as the Rockstar who want to make videogames rather than model every tiny screw in that Bridge in New York and have really famous people come into a recording studio to gawk at.

What is there to say? I liked it a lot before it came out, I liked it a lot when it came out and I like it a lot now. Its core strength is deciding exactly what it wants to do, then giving you a mass of things along that line to get up to. Exactly how much of a game can you get from blowing shit up? Shitloads, it seems.

Much like Jim, I found my standard tactic for destroying buildings was to just drive a truck into it at speed – ideally by jumping off a ramp, so I end up entering at the second floor – then get out, and start whacking things with my hyperultrohammer thingie. Or throwing grenades. Or… actually, since we’ve mentioned the hammer and the trucks already, I’ll highlight three of my previously unmentioned faves.

Firstly, the Rhino suit. In multiplayer, it lets you run through the walls. I’M THE JUGGERNAUT, BITCH. This is a marvelous thing and it’s lucky for property values in North London that I don’t have one in real life.

Secondly, the nano-disassembler gun. One shot and enemies turn into pretty-shiny bits of glass, consumed at a molecular level by some incy-bitsy-fuck-you-up machines (Probably). It could only be made better if it took a little longer, and enemies struck by it had a chance to look with horror at their disintegrating limbs – perhaps desperately trying to shoot it off in time. And screaming, obv. This is a marvelous thing and it’s lucky for life expectancy in North London that I don’t have one in real life.

Thirdly, the Singularity grenade. You lob it and you have your very own baby-black hole. Sucking an awkward building across the event horizon is the official King of Demolition methods. This is a marvelous thing and it’s lucky for the stability of the laws of physics in North London that I etc, etc.

In short: BOOM.


  1. Savage Designer says:

    Yea, all these games of Christmas are mediocre at best.

    Then again, I guess it’s a little naive to believe that whatever-you-guys-call-this “event” would illuminate to me a previously unknown game that I’d actually purchase and enjoy.

    • Richard Clayton says:

      Full of Christmas cheer: that’s the spirit ;-)

    • AndrewC says:

      *tickles Savage Designer*

      Tickle-ickle-ickle! I see you laughing! There, there, things aren’t so bad! Tickle-ickle-ickle!

    • Savage Designer says:


    • Jim Rossignol says:

      You mum is mediocre at best.

    • Arathain says:

      When I was a child, and when I was in a bad mood, my mother would suggest that I had a Grump on my shoulder. I always imagined this Grump as a sort of grey, Gargoyle-like creature, with it’s own personal rain cloud.

      Designer, I think you have a Grump on your shoulder.

    • jsutcliffe says:

      I actually somewhat agree – I don’t feel like 2009 has been particularly interesting for PC gamers, but I’m still hoping the RPS advent calendar will show me some swell games I might have missed or ignored.

    • Savage Designer says:

      List of Christmas Games so far:

      Dec 1: Zeno Clash
      Dec 2: Canabalt
      Dec 3: Dawn of War 2
      Dec 4: Machinarium
      Dec 5: Burnout Paradise
      Dec 6: Batman Arkham Asylum
      Dec 7: Arma 2
      Dec 8: Red Faction Guerilla

      All of these games, save Batman, Zeno and RA:G, are niche oriented games. Racing games, Point/click adventure games, “true” war games, 16bit nostalgia games…

      The other 3 (Batman/Zeno/RA:G) are mediocre games- that achieve success in one or more areas (RA:G’s destruction, Zeno’s crazy atmosphere) but overall doesn’t excuse the hiccups (RA:G’s lack of innovation to Sandbox, boring after novelty of destruction wears off. Zeno Clash’s steep difficulty curb, repetitive game-play).

      Dawn of War 2 is a good game.

      So, when are we going to see more popular games? I hope you don’t subscribe to the school of thought of “If it’s popular, it must be bad!” and continue, like the scene kid who thinks naming unknown music bands to appear as a music elite, to name unknowns and the mediocre of games.

    • jsutcliffe says:

      I think you just killed your own argument. How is DoW 2 not a niche game if “racing games” are a niche genre? Similarly, I don’t think realistic FPS games are a niche genre, nor are adventure games now Telltale are popularising them again.
      Edit: Part of the draw of RPS for me is that the RPS Four have pretty esoteric tastes, and will often write about games I would never hear about if I just read mainstream gaming sites. I’d frankly be disappointed if some half-arsed 16-bit nonsense didn’t make it into the list ;)

    • Severian says:

      This is far too troll-worthy to ignore. I suggest you move on from the mediocre pastures of RPS to something more flashy and popular like Gamespot. They will likely say things you agree with and thus everyone will be happy.

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      If there are going to be popular games in the list, it’s safe to say we’ll be seeing them in coming installments of the calendar.

      Big “if” though, because we are so hip.

    • Dante says:

      They’ve got a lot of days to fill you know, they can’t talk about MW2 every day till Christmas.

      Also, have you read the site? They have diverse interests, many of which include ‘niches’.

      If you don’t like it, don’t read about it.

    • Jeremy says:

      I’m kind of curious in this day and age if there is any game that isn’t considered “niche”. Racing is a niche, playing roles in a game is quite niche, actioning while playing a role in a game is niche, strategizing both on a turn by turn basis as well as during “real-time” is most assuredly niche. Define a non-niche game, and change my opinion.

    • Arathain says:

      Hold on, I’m confused.

      “Then again, I guess it’s a little naive to believe that whatever-you-guys-call-this “event” would illuminate to me a previously unknown game that I’d actually purchase and enjoy.”

      “So, when are we going to see more popular games? I hope you don’t subscribe to the school of thought of “If it’s popular, it must be bad!” and continue, like the scene kid who thinks naming unknown music bands to appear as a music elite, to name unknowns and the mediocre of games.”

      Er… so do you want more obscure games that you haven’t heard one, and you want more popular games. So you just want… more games?

    • Okami says:

      Zeno clash is not a niche game? I must have totally missed the new trend of first person beat em up games set in totally weird and alien worlds.

      Also Batman is not mediocre, but one of the most polished gaming experiences I’ve ever played. And that’s not just my personal opinion, a lot of reviewers out there thought likewise.

      If you want a run down of this year’s most expensive AAA mainstream titles, I’d suggest you go to Kotaku, Gametrailers, IGN or Gamespot. I think you will find plenty of hyperbole for the big name games there.

    • Lilliput King says:

      “Then again, I guess it’s a little naive to believe that whatever-you-guys-call-this “event” would illuminate to me a previously unknown game that I’d actually purchase and enjoy.”

      “So, when are we going to see more popular games?”

      I’m confused, but I’m fairly certain that isn’t my fault – you want popular games that you HAVEN’T HEARD ABOUT YET?

      I just. I dunno. You can’t please some people.

    • Lilliput King says:

      I uh, really shouldn’t have left this page open for 15 minutes before replying.

      Well, buggery.

    • Arathain says:

      Your post was more coherent. I think there’s room in this thread for both of us.

    • blah says:

      Sigh, group hug everyone!

    • Jakkar says:

      Grumpy, grumpy man. Who thinks Dawn of War 2 is somehow innovative. Bad. Bad bad.

  2. Dodgy says:

    I hate tickling. It makes me gheppy.

  3. Hunam says:

    I was hoping to enjoy it, but the controls just don’t feel right on the PC and it refuses to run on XP for some daft reason. Well it runs, but then dies when ever you shoot your gun or use and explosive.

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      That sounds like driver sadness.

    • qrter says:

      Personally, I had no problem running it on XP.

    • Daniel Rivas says:

      Hunam: Run it in windowed mode. I had exactly the same problem as you. In fullscreen, it locks up whenever something collapses or you change weapons. Apparently they are working on a fix.

    • Jakkar says:

      Oh dear. I’ve just bought it for christmas and I use XP ._.

    • Krondonian says:

      The patch isn’t actually out yet, but I certainly hope it allows for dual pad/keyboard control. Also the 5.1 sound.

      I’m running it fine on XP by the way, so I don’t think it’s that.

    • Dave says:

      Seconding “run it in windowed mode.” It ran like a snail glued to a glacier on my machine until I did that, at which point it was suddenly just fine.

  4. The Innocent says:

    I had a similar problem, and it was sort of funny. If I blew something up or knocked a building down (anything that would require physics, really), it would go into slideshow mode. If I knocked something down but wasn’t looking at it, there was no problem. So at first I would run around placing bombs, then turn my back to detonate them.

    Then I figured out that if I ran the game windowed it worked perfectly with no slowdown, stutters, or tears. It’s great stuff once you get it running properly.

  5. Bret says:

    So, we can’t have nice things because Kieron would use them to destroy north London?

    Explains a lot, really.

    • DMJ says:

      I’d say that would be a price worth paying.

    • AndrewC says:

      Also if he destroyed a lot of houses in North London, the price of the remaining ones would probably go up, due to shortages, making Kieron’s contribution to this entry ECONOMICALLY NAIVE.

    • Vitamin Powered says:

      Or it would kick off a building boom, thus curing all our economic woes! And hey, maybe we could attach a decent civil infrastructure to London while we’re at it!

    • jsutcliffe says:

      Building BOOM, geddit?

  6. Lack_26 says:

    I spent most of this game going “BOOM! HAHA!”

    It’s a very good game really, does exactly what it says on the tin.

  7. NukeLord says:

    I got this as part of that THQ mega-deal thingy and, having not played any of the series, had no prior experience of it and wasn’t expecting much. I have now come to realise that it is the ultimate stress relief game.


  8. Dan says:

    @The Innocent
    It might be something to do with v-sync. I remember something about V-Sync being enabled as default in full-screen DirectX, but switched off in windowed mode as the window handles the buffering.

    The other thing where it runs fine if you’re not looking at it is just what they call camera frustrum culling – level geometry doesn’t get rendered if it’s not on screen, so something particularly complex like you’re describing only slows down the game when being viewed. That at least means the physics calculations aren’t causing the bottleneck, so probably just graphics settings need some tweaking.

    • jsutcliffe says:

      Hmm, that vsync thing might explain why I was getting what felt like a poor frame rate.

      I wanted to like Guerrilla, but was totally disappointed by (1) not being able to destroy the terrain and (2) my computer not being able to muster a satisfying frame rate. Now I’m tempted to give it another go with the windowed/vsync trick.

      If nothing else though, Guerrilla did one good thing for me: It taught me that “guerrilla” needs two Rs. That’s edutainment.

    • The Innocent says:

      That’s interesting, thanks. It was fairly obvious that there was *something* going on under the hood that made it so the physics worked fine so long as I didn’t actually look at them; I just had no idea what it could be. I figured it was just magic dwarven runes or something. Thanks for this. I’ll give that v-sync thing a try also.

  9. Forscythe says:

    Attempting to reply to Hunam:

    I had the same problems as you. The good news is that there is an excellent workaround (found on the steam forums) for the game fritzing out as soon as you start blowing something up or fighting.

    Right after starting the game, alt tab out, open task manager, right click on rfg.exe, and set the process priority to “low”. This mysteriously solves most of the problems with the game on XP. (Apparently running the game in a window instead of fullscreen has the same effect, though I haven’t tried it.)

    Don’t give up, it’s definitely worth a bit of tweaking to get this one working!

  10. Ian says:

    RPS are famed for only covering niche games that nobody has ever heard of. Like Mass Effect 2.

  11. vader says:

    My favorite missions was the blow-that-shit-up secondary objectives scattered over the map. The ones that had set rules like “Bring that skyscraper down in X seconds using 2 mines, the hammer and your brains”. Felt a lot like a very destructive puzzle game.

    • Wisq says:

      @vader: Mm, brains.

      “You wanna move something, you gotta move it WITH YOUR MIND!”

  12. EGTF says:

    Lovely game, with a lovely song by those Idle Thumbs chaps to go with it –
    link to

    I’ve played the game with it playing in the background, actually matches up well. Should probably get a themed playlist for the game going actually, but all I can think of right now are –

    Trini Lopez – If I had a Hammer
    The Beatles – Maxwell’s Silver Hammer

    Anyone got any more?

    • AndrewC says:

      Led Zeppelin’s Immigrant Song has the prominant line ‘Hammer of the gods….’

      The entire ouvre of MC Hammer.

    • terry says:

      Sledgehammer – Peter Gabriel and er… MC Hammer?

  13. Cooper says:

    I bought it when it was at an absurdley cheapo dealie of seven hundred royal pence. But have so many other games to be working at. it’s sitting there, a shortcut on my steam list, just above Republic: The Revolution and just under the Prometheus mod for the UDK. None of those games have I got round to getting my teeth into yet.

    Having an adult life with adult things to do – like not playing computer games – makes me a sad boy.

  14. qrter says:

    This is one of the few games I never finished playing. I just found myself getting bored and I do think it’s the horrible story that got me down. Volition had a wonderful opportunity to tell a great, layered story here and they didn’t even bother to try. I found myself losing the drive to play on.

    I know, the game is about blowing shit up, I guess that wasn’t interesting/fun enough for me.

  15. 7rigger says:

    I’d add Queen’s Hammer to Fall to that playlist :)

  16. Kieron Gillen says:

    AndrewC: I think you’re naive to assume there would be any buildings in North London after I’m finished.

    Savage Designer: I’m not exactly sure why you don’t think Batman was a popular game. It’s not MW2, but it shifted a couple of million in its first month. I also think Savage Designer going to be very disappointed with every other end of year list – including user-voted ones – if they don’t think Batman is a good game. It’s going to be Top 5 everywhere, and will be number 1ed in a few.

    But of course we don’t think popular is bad. If we did, we wouldn’t engage with the ever-popular activity of having sex with John’s mum.


    • AndrewC says:

      I also fail to factor in the deflationary effect of Kieron Living In North London.

    • Clovis says:

      Does RPS have something against mothers today? (see Jim’s response to Savage Designer)

    • Kieron Gillen says:

      Clovis: We’ve all had something against John’s mum, etc.


    • AndrewC says:

      Your joke about John’s Mum is very, very cheap.

    • jsutcliffe says:

      So is John’s mum, I hear.

    • Nick says:

      Clovis: Its a common response to silly complaining in the comments threads.. see most of the older podcast threads for other examples of this fine practice.

    • Funky Badger says:

      John’s mum’s jokes are very much of the New, New, New Games Journalism.

    • AndrewC says:

      Oh Jsutcliffe, you actually making the terrible punchline to my horrifically obvious set up suggests you are a nothing but a comedy-slut, willing to lower themselves to any act, no matter how tawdry and debased, in order to gain some fleeting, empty respite from the aching, toxic need for attention that eats away at their irreparably damaged soul.

    • jsutcliffe says:

      That’s right, I’m English. What of it?

  17. 7rigger says:

    I’d add Hammer to Fall by Queen to that list :)

  18. 7rigger says:

    Hammer to Fall by Queen :)

  19. 7rigger says:

    Apologies for the repeat posts gentlemen, I’m not a Queen fanatic or anything!

    muddy funster ie!

  20. Clovis says:

    I really enjoyed this game, but it is worth mentioning that the endgame is terrible. From the beginning I found wondered how the game could handle the difficulty curve. Shouldn’t the enemy get WEAKER as I move forward destroying all their stuff? Anyway, after taking everything from the enemy, the finale throws an insane amount of men tanks, rocket tanks, etc. at you. I had to turn the difficulty down to easy (thank you for difficulty switching on the fly!!) to get through it. Even then it wasn’ t fun, it was just ridiculous.

    Having a good endgame would have simply been extra icing on an already iced-full cake though.

    • AndrewC says:

      Actually this is why I didn’t get too far in playing this. Becuase you are overpowered, enemies become irritants instead of adversaries. There is no joy in actually besting them, there is only the relief of getting rid of them. You’re like an elephant trying to swat flies, where it seems it would be more fun being a fly who can take down an elephant. It’s irritating play, rather than satisfying play. I reckon.

      Now if some equally superpowered people turned up in the later game I didn’t get to – that might change things. But if they just spam more and more of these irritants well, that’s just irritating.

      Love the destruction though. Full marks for the destruction. Please don’t take the above as me asking to have my hammer taken away. I want my hammer.

  21. Bananaphone says:

    The hammer is fun, but no love for the demo charges? Laying down 20 of those puppies and setting them off in one go is so damn satisfying.

  22. Tam-Lin says:

    The Breeders, “Divine Hammer”

    Which I originally tied to gaming something like 15 years ago when playing “The Elder Scrolls: Arena” with a friend, who had taken a liking to some sort of magical warhammer he had found. He looked confused when I tried explaining why I was giving him the song.

  23. bhlaab says:

    Has anyone here played this on a dual core? It grinds to a halt whenever I blow up a building, and since the game is about blowing up buildings I haven’t put much thought into it since release.

    • Caleb367 says:

      Yup, I have an AMD Phenom X3 and works perfectly, so the problem must lay in your machine. Try upgrading video drivers and/or shutting off antivirus programs, especially if you have AVG 9.0 (which actually caused me to lose focus every now and then and hanged my PC so often i suspected RAM damage)

    • invisiblejesus says:

      A lot of folks have complained on various boards about the game not running well on dual cores, though it doesn’t appear to be a problem for everyone; there’s supposed to be a patch in the works to fix it, but I haven’t seen any details on it.

  24. Caleb367 says:

    Now, that must be what they mean by different tastes, ’cause in my book RF:G is pure freaking awesomeness with a huge hammer and an odd-looking trenchcoat. And what makes it great is that it focuses on one thing – pure destruction – and makes it RIGHT.
    On the other hand, I feel Dawn of War 2 is the single MOST DISAPPOINTING SEQUEL ever, topping even the god-awful Deus Ex: Invisible War. And, what makes it WRONG is that it tries to dumb all down to a Diablo-World in Conflict bastard child. So crap it is, I turned back to Dark Crusade (which is pretty awesome by itself, and far surpasses that sorry excuse for a sequel with a little tinkering – thanks to N-Hancer – and the one great mod Firestorm Over Kronus).

    Oh, and by the way: RF:G plot is basically the same from that old Arnie movie – and previous Philip K. Dick novel – Total Recall. Only with better acting. XD

  25. SirKicksalot says:

    “GTA5 can now have gang warfare in which you blow up enemy businesses, culminating in toppling a skyscraper onto the mob boss’ villa.”

    I think that’s exactly what we’ll see in Saints Row 3.

    Imagine Saints Row using Geo-Mod o_O *fap fap fap*

    • Clovis says:

      Wow, could this comments section get any creepier. First we have John’s mum getting figuratively gang-banged and now this. Did I somehow end up at Gamespot\Kotaku?

    • Baris says:

      John’s mum humour is strictly kept only on Europe based sites, I’ll have you know!

    • invisiblejesus says:

      “First we have John’s mum getting figuratively gang-banged”

      Figurative what now?

  26. Jakkar says:

    Kindred spirits, we.

    Smash, smash smash.

    Merry Christmas.

  27. Jakkar says:

    Just to provide a more eloquent perspective; while BOOM YAY sums up a great side of the game you can also take it pretty seriously – Play Insane difficulty mode, which can be accessed by beating the game or modding a certain file on PC, and plot and plan every single mission and maneuver. It can be an intense and tactically challenging game from time to time, demanding speed of mind and reactions.

  28. Vinraith says:

    RFG looks like a lot of fun, it’s one of those games I’d have picked up on sale at the end of this year if not for the overwhelming glut of games in general (and action games in particular) in my “to play” pile. I intend ot get around to it eventually, though.

  29. Triangulon says:

    Great list so far. Good to see it isn’t just a list of the best or most popular games. Also I really can’t understand why anyone thinks Arkham Asylum is mediocre. By the standard of the genre it’s remarkably polished. My favourite game of the last few years methinks.

  30. army of none says:

    Dear RPS: I love your Advent Calander. Has been consistently making my day better reading about all this stuff with your greatly entertaining writing.

    Love, Armyofnone.

  31. Daniel Klein says:

    I actually bought this thing as part of the THQ pack and haven’t booted it up once yet. I’m a horrible man. Too much L4D2. And LoL. And GRID. And Torchlight. And DoW2. Uhm.

    But after such glowing praise I’m just going to have to boot this thing up some time soon it seems.

  32. TooNu says:

    Woo day 8 is here, I wanted to read this before work…you guys wake up earlier and post this earlier !!

  33. Dave says:

    This game brings me so much joy. :)

    I too prefer to start my demolition by ramming stuff with a dump truck. A space dump truck.

  34. Kadayi says:

    Not finished with yet (BM:AA distracted me and then DA:O mugged me) but certainly one game I intend to return to before the year is out, as it is out and out fun of the first order.

  35. Sartoris says:

    I like this game a lot, but I too wish you had the feeling the enemy was getting weaker and had less access to powerful weapons as you progress. I’m thinking something like the model from Outcast would have been perfect for RFG.

  36. CaptainHairy says:

    I really wanted to like RFG, but I was kept from doing so by its similarity to GTA.

    I went off GTA a long time ago, having played/tried to play all of them, but since GTA 3 they’ve all managed to bore me senseless before the start of the second island / area. I played RFG until the beginning of the second area, and was finding it a chore even before then. I’m not against open-world games in general, but there’s something about the way you never seem to make progress in GTA style games as opposed to, say, Fallout 3 style open worlds. In Fallout 3, if you find an area that is interesting, with some enemies and a load of rooms to explore, it is generally possible to make your way through it clearing the areas and getting the chance to experience the area.

    In RFG, I was initially enamoured with the idea that you’d destroy buildings and then be able to collect salvage from the wreckage. Problem being, I’d never get the chance to pick any of that salvage up, as I’d be running for my life from the never-ending torrent of APCs filled with angry space-nazis. The way I’d like it to work would be:

    Destroy/Damage Building –> Take out enraged baddies –> Collect salvage –> Fight my way out.

    That I could live with, instead I got:

    Destroy/Damage Building –> Take out enraged bad guys –> Take out half of the enraged bad guys that spawned in from the pair of APCs that just arrived –> Run out of ammo and explosives –> Take a look at the 6 additional APCs now incoming –> Run the hell away, leaving my spoils of war behind.

    If the game offered some measure of short-term progress, I might have played more than I did, but the sheer volume of blue-suited killjoys that I was having to deal with spoiled all the fun of destruction. I’d end up as a freedom fighter who wasn’t destroying anything, or hurting anyone because it was more trouble than it was worth.

  37. Setheran says:

    I appreciated that the developers seemed to understand that all I wanted to do in their game was break things. On the mission briefing screens it was always “We’re going to mount tactical strikes at the EDF’s weak points here, here, and here. Timing will be crucial, we’ll only get one chance, and blah, blah, blah…” And then, just as I start to groan, the commander adds: “…And your job will just be to go over here and cause a distraction by blowing shit up. Good luck!”

    I think the puzzle-like demolition challenges were the most interesting bits of serious gameplay, though. Trying to work out how to bring down a huge building from the inside with just a couple of rockets, or some mines you can’t manually detonate, and so on, was good fun. I think I could enjoy a game based around that concept alone.

  38. Lambchops says:

    Jens Lekman – Sweet Summer Night on Hammer Hill

    Oh wait . . . is that too niche?

  39. malkav11 says:

    I’ve said it before about this game, and I will say it again: play it on easy. There’s no shame in it, and the game will be a lot more fun. And if you must play at a higher setting remember that you can adjust difficulty on the fly.

    • Wisq says:


      Agreed. I took one look at the premise and played it on the easiest difficulty because I knew that if anything got in the way of causing as much havoc as is (in)humanly possible I would be frustrated, much moreso than with other games. Not disappointed one bit.

      After that playthrough, I fired up an infinite ammo trainer and cranked it up to hard, with the intention of nano-disassembling everything. Also not disappointed one bit. :)

  40. invisiblejesus says:

    This game is awesome for exactly the same reason the Ellis/Hitch Authority comics were awesome: totally shameless and unapologetic power fantasy. In that respect, it’s beautiful. Sometimes I don’t want a deep and moving storyline that makes me rethink long-held beliefs about right and wrong and the nature of reality or whatever, I just want to blow shit up and drive around being awesome and destroying bad guys. I don’t think I’ve played a better game for that sort of thing. I mean, seriously… other than the terrain, if I can see it I can asplode it. Maybe not better than sex with Walker’s mom, but definitely better than masturbation (about Walker’s mom).

  41. ColdSpiral says:

    I had this issue too. Made the game almost unplayable.
    But there is a way around it for XP that involves no windowing of any kind.

    What you need to do is this: Start the game, then hit CTRL+ALT+DEL and go to the processes tab.
    Find rfg.exe, and right-click on it, then change its priority DOWN from AboveNormal to Normal or less.
    This should also fix any stuttering in the Guerrilla Handbook.

    Of course, since Windows doesn’t remember priority settings between sessions, download the free version of “Prio”, which will remember it for you.

    Best of luck.

  42. MastodonFarm says:

    What is “cold-chocolate”?

  43. Hmm-Hmm. says:

    That this was never going to be my kind of game was apparent from the trailers. And from the coverage. It all just comes across as so shallow.

    Then again, I haven’t tried it and shallow isn’t always a bad thing.

  44. Free Bingo Games says:

    Nice and interesting mission game…..