Arts

Games: Red Faction Guerrilla ReMarstered sings on the Switch

Mild-mannered demolitions expert Alec Mason leads an explosive revolution on Mars
Neil McGreevy

Red Faction Guerrilla ReMarstered (Switch)
By: THQ Nordic

THIS week's announcement of the Switch Lite, a portable-only version of console juggernaut Switch (surely they should have called it the 'Lite Switch'?), just proves how insanely popular Nintendo’s original nine-incher is.

And, while the company’s own marquee titles rule the roost, Switch plays host to a surprising variety of multi-format blockbusters. Corners may be cut to bring the likes of Skyrim and Wolfenstein to the portable, but the ability to enjoy once-housebound classics on the go is a minor miracle.

The latest to be liberated lets players party like it’s 2009 with Red Faction Guerilla, the third in THQ’s explosive sci-fi saga. As mild-mannered demolitions expert Alec Mason, players pull on their shooting boots and lead a revolution on Mars, teaming up with the Red Faction resistance and raising hell.

Playing out like some 10 hour explosion, our demolition man takes on a corporate nightmare by turning everything on screen into a flurry of Martian dust. Blowing stuff up is the cornerstone of Red Faction: missions generally involve roaming the red planet in search of buildings to raze and baddies to off and, while repetition can set in, small doses are a total blast – even if bombing a ruling power’s infrastructure isn’t exactly fantasy escapism for many a local player.

This 'ReMarstered' (geddit?) version gussies up the original’s visuals, though the Switch’s relatively weak hardware shows the strain. An option to prioritise buttery performance over pin-sharp looks keeps the frame rate stable, but things still get jerky when the action is dialled up to 11.

It’s no less amazing to witness bona-fide console destruction on a handheld screen, even if the nuts and bolts are decidedly last-gen. Time makes fools of us all, and Guerrilla’s open world, so praised a decade ago, now feels empty, with repetitive missions and a palette seemingly designed by a proctologist – its world a sea of brown.

The open-world shooter has evolved more than any other genre in recent years, but while Guerilla is fairly rudimentary by modern standards, solo players will still find plenty to enjoy here.

However, Guerilla earned its cult stripes online and all six multiplayer modes are present and correct here, including the infamous Wrecking Crew where players compete to decimate buildings as quickly as possible.

Like a caged bird released, Red Faction sings on the Switch – a console perfectly suited to short bursts of play. And, at around £25, there’s plenty of bang for your buck – so take Arnie's advice and get your ass to Mars.

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