Red Faction is a trilogy of science fiction shooter video games developed by Volition. The series has undergone a radical change with their latest iteration, the third, called Red Faction Guerilla (RFG). Design director James Hague speaks about the gameplay, visuals and more.
Q What brought on the change from first person to third person?
We tried both perspectives. In first person, it was frustrating not to be able to see the debris falling around you. That went away when we pulled back to third person. Even though RFG is in third person, it feels like a finely-crafted first person shooter.
Q How is Guerilla Warfare incorporated in the game?
The enemy, the Earth Defense Force (EDF), is a professional military organisation with money, training, and high-end weapons. The people of Mars have none of this, but they have to fight or lose their way of life. The guerrilla way of not attacking the enemy head-on blends seamlessly with the games destruction system. If you can think of a strategy, such as making an entrance where there is none or putting charges on a vehicle and jumping in through the roof, you can probably do it.
Q Speaking of the EDF, what brought about their transformation from good to bad?
It happened slowly, as conditions on Earth degenerated and Mars became critical as a place that has the much-needed resources. The EDF want the resources quickly and cheap;y, and if that means taking over the mines and turning people into slaves, that’s fine.
Q Why did you opt for free-roaming gameplay in RFG?
We wanted to create the most interactive world ever seen in a video game and for that, it has to be open. We have tremendous respect for our players; we never tell them to attack a compound a certain way using specific weapons. We build the world and give you a lot of options, and you choose how to achieve goals. That’s not possible in a linear game.
Q Will RFG have the same over-the-top content that Saint’s Row 2 did?
RFG goes over the top in different directions: guerrilla warfare and destruction. This world is alive and the EDF and guerrillas have their own agendas, regardless of what you do. You can attack convoys, rescue people being held for interrogation, defend against EDF attacks, create diversions — basically, do a whole lot of things that integrate with the story.
Q What was the biggest challenge where environmental destruction is concerned?
The biggest challenge was the scope of it all. Every building, fence and bridge in the numerous square kilometres of this world is 100 per cent destructible. I once knocked a huge smokestack across the road in Parker, blocking the EDF; when I drove back to Parker several hours further into the game, I was surprised to see it still there! As a game player, I’ve got used to destruction being fake or scripted, so even after years of playing RFG I’m still excited by how interactive and dynamic it is. I have a difficult time going back to other games.
Q Will this destruction make its way to the multiplayer campaign as well?
The full Geo-Mod 2.0 destruction system is available in multiplayer. When I play multiplayer, I’m always amazed by how much the battlefield changes during a game. Sometimes, by the end, I don’t even recognise which map I’m playing.