Red Faction: Guerrilla is the third entry of the Red Faction series and deviates from the first-person shooter genre that the previous two incarnations featured and incorporates an open world sandbox environment similar to Mercenaries, Grand Theft Auto or Saints Row ( which the developer, Volition, has also developed).
Set 50 years after the events of the first two games, Mars has been liberated from the devious Ultor Corporation by Red Faction and the E.D.F. (Earth Defense Force) has stepped in to help the Miner Community get back on their feet. However, the E.D.F. has become an occupying force, taking over the planet, executing citizens and imposing martial law on the planet. As a result a new Red Faction element has been formed to fight the E.D.F. and once again bring peace and freedom to the Martian landscape. The player takes control of Alec Mason, a recently arrived dissident of Earth hoping to make his new life on Mars with his brother Dan, only to be swept up in the Revolution and free Mars five sectors (Parker, the Badlands, Oasis, the Free Fire Zone and Eos) from E.D.F. control. To do this the player must complete missions and destroy E.D.F. vehicles and property, lowering their control on each sector and raising the morale of the resident population.
The missions range from story missions which purpose is to further advance the story and other missions including Transporter (returning certain vehicles to a safehouse in a certain amount of time), Guerrilla Raid (where the player and a group of Rebels attack and E.D.F. building and destroying it), Heavy Metal (where the player provides a distraction which allows fellow rebels to complete another mission without alarming the E.D.F.), Demolition Master (which the player has to destroy a target within a certain time limit and a limited supply of ammo) and House Arrest (where the player must rescue hostages and return them to a safehouse).
There are also missions that pop-up from time to time including Courier (where the player must track down and kill an enemy spy to collect the information he is carrying), Assault (where the player must defend a certain target against incoming E.D.F. forces) and Convoy (where the player must either destroy a line of vehicles or capture a target vehicle and return it to a safehouse). Completing these missions will drop enemy control of the area, raise morale of the citizens, be awarded scrap and unlock more advanced weapons. To liberate each section the player must drop the E.D.F. control of the area to zero and complete the story missions, once the player meets this a final story mission will be unlocked which will liberate that sector and unlock story missions for the next.
Players have a variety of vehicles to choose from, ranging from cars to trucks, dune buggys and dump trucks and even tanks and APC’s (Armored Personal Carriers). There is also a plethora of weapons including pistols, shotguns, assault rifles, the sledgehammer (the players main weapon which can’t be removed), remote mines, anti-personal mines, rocket launchers and the dreaded Nano Rifle (which fires a stream of nanobots that can disintegrate targets within an instant). The player can carry four different weapons at a time and can swap them out through access at their safehouses or through ammo boxes littered throughout the landscape. The most advanced weapons such as the Nano Rifle is only unlocked through the story missions while some can be found in E.D.F. buildings (like the Singularity Mine) and each weapon can be upgraded through safehouses which include extra ammo and more firepower through scrap. Scrap is the game’s currency which is obtained through completing missions or destroying E.D.F. buildings and vehicles.
The game also has an updated Geo-Mod 2.0 game engine which allows the player to virtually destroy a building realistically such as making it lean left by blowing up the left side of the structure or lean forward if the front is blown apart. Players can use this to their advantage against enemies such as destroying the building from the ground floor, toppling it on enemies and vehicles or destroying the support structures of bridges with explosives, causing it to collapse with a convoy of enemies on top. It also features the physics engine, Havok for the character physics.
There is also an offline two-player mode called Wrecking Crew where two friends take turns on four different modes such as Barrel Dash, Total Chaos, Rampage and Escalation and play a certain set of rounds to win an event. Online multiplayer games are present as well including Anarchy, Team Anarchy, Capture the Flag, Damage Control, Siege and Demolitionwhich awards players experience points that they can use to customize their online players and acquire more advanced weaponry. Additionally, there are backpacks for the Wrecking Crew and Multiplayer modes which enhances the players abilities such as Jetpacks, Stealth, Vision (essentially an X-ray) and more power-based ones such as Concussion, which will knock over nearby enemy players and Tremor, which can damage enemies as well as structures.