Why I Played (And Finished) ‘Red Faction: Guerrilla’ On Casual

“Red Faction: Guerrilla” is easily one of my favorite games of the first half of 2009. There’s a level of fun in this game that I associate with titles like “Crackdown,” where simply the act of playing, not necessarily achieving, is enjoyable.

So why, if I enjoyed it so much, did I play the game on the easiest setting? In the game it’s called “Casual” but you could very easily call it “Wuss-tastic” and be mostly accurate. Well, the short answer is that, quite simply, it’s more fun. There are many games out there where the challenge yeilds a greater reward. Finishing a really tough level in “N+” was like plowing through “War and Peace” and understanding all the political subtext. It was an accomplishment.

Accomplishment in “Red Faction: Guerrilla” is a much simpler affair: Knock a building down. I don’t care if it’s part of a mission objective or not…knocking buildings down was the highlight of this game and, in my 10-12 hours of playing through the campaign, it never once got old.

What did get old was getting shot and dying. Having to run around corners to wait for my health to recharge. Having to take cover and use strategy when all I want to do is rush forward and bash the world in the face with my large hammer. If the difficulty impedes access to the greatest part of a game, just toss the difficulty!

Incidentally “Red Faction” on Casual isn’t exactly a cake walk. There are a few missions which are time-centric or puzzle-centric (blow a building up with a certain amount of gear), so the difficulty really had no impact. The last few missions, too, were rather tough, so I can’t even imagine what one might’ve done on Normal or (gasp!) Hard.

Actually, I can imagine it, and that person probably spent more time reloading their save game and less time shattering struts/skulls than I did. And for that, I pity them.