I feel awful for PC gamers most of the time because they always get games late and have to deal with more controversy about piracy and digital rights management.
Having seen and played Red Faction: Guerrilla on the PC, however, I no longer feel so bad for PC gamers. In fact, I think I envy them.
What Is It? Red Faction: Guerrilla is a third person action game set in an open world version of Mars that might make NASA's collective head explode. A major draw of the game is just how much stuff you can blow up, knock down or otherwise wreck with various explosives and weapons.
What We Saw I played through part of a mission in the Demons of the Badlands expansion before getting blown up. You'll be relieved (or possibly dismayed) to know the difficulty level hasn't been tweaked at all.
How Far Along Is It? The game is out for PC September 15.
What Needs Improvement? My Computer: The minimum specs for Guerrilla on PC aren't that scary—but seriously, you're going to want to play the game on the high-end specs. Windows Vista for DirectX 10 makes a world of difference in improving the way Mars looks. Lighting looks better, dust trails in the wind seem more realistic and the shadows look way sexier. Sadly, I wouldn't see any of this running the game on my machine. I guess I should be happy that I even can run Guerrilla on my machine—but still, I've been spoiled by seeing what I could have if I just upgraded my computer.
Not Coming Out On Steam Or Impulse: Alas!
What Should Stay The Same? The Price Is Right: Though PC gamers had to wait that much longer for the game to come out, they are getting a lot of the DLC plus the full game for much, much cheaper than their console counterparts. Guerrilla on PC includes at launch two exclusive multiplayer maps, six maps from the Wrecking Crew DLC that's not even out yet, plus the multiplayer modes from the Multiplayer DLC. That's approximately $US70 worth of stuff for only $US40.
It Looks Good and Plays Well: Producer Sean Kennedy says that developer Volition learned its lesson with the flaws in Saints Row 2 on PC. He says you've got to deliver a top-notch experience to them just as much as you need to for console owners—if not more so because PC gamers have to wait longer for the game to come to them. After observing the fabulous-looking graphics and feeling just how well the game plays on PC (and it does), I'd say they nailed it.
Final Thoughts Depending on how you look at it, Red Faction Guerrilla for the PC is either a salve to PC gamers wounded by stuff like Saints Row 2 on PC, or a revolution in PC gamer expectations. Granted, PC gamers may never get their games first on account of publishers' piracy concerns—but if they get the game better than their console counterparts, who's to say it's not worth the wait?