The countdown of my personal picks for the best games of 2009 is now underway. For the next two weeks I'll be running down my top ten. At #9 we lead the resistance on Mars...
9. Red Faction: Guerrilla (360, PS3, PC)
When you play a lot of games - like I do, and I'm sure most of you do as well - it's easy to fall into a routine. I was playing Red Faction: Guerrilla recently to refresh my memory before compiling my picks of the year. I had taken on one of those missions where you lead a group of miners against a small EDF base.
It had begun well, we'd commandeered one of their armoured vehicles and I'd picked off a dozen EDF troops from the mounted turret. Then I pushed further into the base on foot.
I found myself hunkered down behind a wall, getting sniped by several guys in the building ahead. Routine took over and I was trying to pop out from cover and take them down with my assault rifle. As you'd do in any other third-person shooter.
But then I remembered what game I was playing. So I switched to my satchel charges and lobbed four at the building, sticking them at intervals below the second floor windows. I triggered them in quick succession causing the front of the building to collapse and killing all the snipers at once. Soon we'd rounded up the stragglers and secured the base for the resistance.
Destruction is the point. Volition took the open world template they'd designed for Saints Row and transplanted it onto Mars. It's a solid base. But what makes Red Faction: Guerrilla truly shine is the destruction. Slamming your space hammer into concrete and metal never gets old. Realising just how much the destruction expands your palette of options is what sets Guerrilla apart.
Space asshole, I salute you.
Kotaku AU's Games of 2009 are my personal picks for the best games of the year. I make no claim to have played everything released this year, nor do I pretend to be any way objective in my rankings. I look forward to debating my choices with you in the comments.