LTTP: Red Faction - Total Wreckall

I’ve lately got a new system to try and get rid of my ever increasing backlog. With the myriad of sales and humble deals I’ve inflated my Steam games to over 900, and I started to worry about the money I’ve been spending versus how much playtime and enjoyment I get out of what I buy.

Back in this thread
my steam titles value in over $9000 at the same time I was currently dealing with a mortgage application. So now I’m sitting in my new home and starting to think a little more about my habit.

Many of the titles are older games that I’ve experienced a little of and wanted to play again to completion. I love older games gettin a rerelease and kinda feel it’s a prerogative to support them if I’m at least mildy interested in the game. Red Faction was a little bit more than mildly though.

Back in the good old days of console wars me and my chums would meet and play N64 then it was Gamecube with Smash Bros, Goldeneye, Perfect Dark, Timesplitters 2, Monkey Ball, Mario Kart even a little bit of Crystal Chronicles. Sometimes with a cheeky drink if we could, this was between 14-16yr olds.

Then one day we go to my mates house with our usual sacks of controllers and cords and instead he insists we play the PS2. I wasn’t a stranger to the PS2 but it was exclusively for single player games to me, however my mate had a golden goose. The PS2 multitap. A simple little connector that let you play 4 players (or more? I remember his having 6 controller ports) on select games. We played a bit of Doom but by far the best titles was Red Faction.

We played the multiplayer for hours and when that settled down we cooked a huge bowl of tuen pasta and watched my mate play through the single player. He’s was quite a bit through the game as I remember the tram sequence and him getting the Rail Gun and our instant comparison to Perfect Darks *pushes glasses up nose* superior Farsight. However the biggest comparisons I had was to Half Life which I loved. Being a little older and wiser now I think it feels a bit more like Unreal blended with Total Recall.

The real wow factor was the destructible enviroments. Something of a precursor to mindsets that are drawn to Minecraft we spent hours blowing up walls hunting for secrets or just seeing what we can do. Can we scale something using the destruction mechanic? Can we dig ourselves a trench for the scripted wave of enemies when we enter this door? Something like that just wasn’t really heard of in gaming, sure there might be a scripted bridge that you could blow up but here you had that freedom to play around. Sadly it’s not used that much and the hunt for secrets kinda wears thin, I’m not sure if there’s is any big secrets hidden behind walls, or sequences I could have really used it, occasionally you get all your weapons stripped from you and have to collect them from scratch so there are a few opportunities to reward you with the powerful weapons you just lost but I didn’t find much.

There’s a neat little ‘quest’ that I totally fucked up. Occasionally you have to go undercover and this is where your weapons are stripped. The stealth mechanic is laughably fucked I think the guards have a trigger area like 60 degrees in front of them so you can literally walk in in the tiny space between them and the wall behind them unnoticed. The quest takes place in one of these scenarios and basically you are in a medical facility disguised as a doctor and if you visit the rooms in the right order you get given errands to run (organs to surgery, cells to lab etc) culminating in heading to the administrators office peacefully where you put a silenced bullet in his head and get his keycard. If you go to the surgery first the patient dies and you lose any opportunity to do things peacefully(ish).

The game doesn’t tell you any of this though and this was the first time my quicksaves fucked me up. Instead I had to pistol my way into the office withour any armour and sprint to an elevator with a slither of health left. I thought it was quite neat and made me wonder what other interactions I might have missed.

All in all I really enjoyed it, the fun weapons, the cheesy plot, in fact I would have been happy if this was licensed as a Total Recall movie it definetly has the feel and even though it’s set on Mars they did a good job shaking up the enviroments as much as you can. The main character Parker is a bit more angsty and douchey than I remember but seems to be a 90s/00s shooter staple.

Well back to the start so for my Steam Library I scoured my purchase history and decided to mark which games I’ve played before, which games are not really ‘completable’ and I’ve decided before I buy a new game, I need to play one in my backlog. So now I have a tally of 1 that I can use on a new game if I feel like it *drools at Monster Hunter World*.

Here’s my first pic.
With the reds being completed previously, greens being sort of no real completion possible and purples being completed (purple cause I streamed it entirely on Twitch to 2 bots I think). I’ve got 39 more pictures just like it.

So in summation, Red Faction was a really enjoyable experience if a bit short with some scripted stuff showing it’s age. Bosses were a bit weak however. The crafts that you pilot really show a bit of the Descent heritage that was the original plan before it molded into Red Faction. The guns are fun and the geometry destruction is still quite impressive even today nevermind 2001. If you’re a fan of Half Life, Unreal and Doom the it’s worth a try. Also a bit short, think it took me 8ish hours to beat.

As a note I had to install the excellent Pure Faction mod/fix to get it to run properly and when it did it ran like a dream and looked a lot prettier too.
Also keep a lot of saves. I had quicksave and ‘ok’ ‘not ok’ ‘I don’t feel safe’ and ‘dead’ as manual saves because quite often my quicksaves put me in a terrible position. One of them was during, Capek, a boss, and the Quicksave was an instant 1 hit death and my last manual save was before a gauntlet. I was using Steam controller and occasionally I pressed the save instead of load button and marvelled at how impressively I just fucked myself.

On to Crysis! A fame I’ve started so many times I have a save 10 hours in but I want to start fresh.
Last edited:
I played Red Faction and Half-Life for the first time a couple of years ago and to be honest I really prefer the gunplay of RF. It might be weaker in terms of environment and narrative but I just found it more fun to actually play.

Bounced really hard off Red Faction 2 though.
I played Red Faction and Half-Life for the first time a couple of years ago and to be honest I really prefer the gunplay of RF. It might be weaker in terms of environment and narrative but I just found it more fun to actually play.

Bounced really hard off Red Faction 2 though.
Yea it absolutely is geared towards gunplay and the guns are more fun to use. Some scenarios are actually quite punishing like the tram sequence where 4 mercs with heavy machine guns(like 20-30 damage I think with 1 hit) and a rail gun (insta kill)ambush you and afterwards it’s quite a distance to find health/armour. Gave me DOOM 2016 vibes jumping around blasting them with rockets.

I read an old review that recomended playing on hard on PC to actually enjoy it and I thought to myself wtf. I’m not amazing at games but I’ve played stuff like CoD4 and Uncharted on the hardest difficulties but Red Faction felt punishing on normal I can’t imagine what the other difficulties are like.