An Hour With: Red Faction Guerrilla, or, The PC Gamer's Lament

Bloody hell, it’s been a while since I’ve done one of these. Can I even remember how to make one? Oh yeah, I play a game for an hour and then write about it. Of course! Well this should be easy then…

What Is It?

An open world game set on Mars. Massive hammer based destruction seems to be the focus. Beyond that I’ve got no idea. I did play the demo, however, and hated it.

Why Did You Buy It?

Legions of people saying that the demo was a poor reflection of the game, which is actually brilliant fun. Also this video. Also Game selling it for £5 over Christmas. Also the allure of hammering things.

The Preamble

Before I play the game, I have to start the game. This logic is undefeatable. Unfortunately I can’t find the bloody thing because there doesn’t seem to be a THQ, Volition or Red Faction Guerrilla folder in the start menu. Ah, of course. This is going to be one of those games that ignores the years old tradition of putting the executable files into an easy to sort through centralised set of nested folders, instead choosing to use the caustic wasteland of shit that is the Vista Games folder. This will need to be rectified.

I’ve got two reasons for using Steam as a centralised platform for launching all my games, whether they were bought through Steam or not. The first is, as a game launcher, it’s light years ahead of Vista’s awful Games folder. The second is that it adds the Steam overlay to non-Steam games, meaning they don’t crash to the fucking desktop when Rock, Paper, Shotgun’s Steam group announces one of their seemingly hourly TF2 matches. With RF:G added to the fold, shit can finally get hammered.

Runtime error! Fuck. Hmm, maybe my illicit Steam antics are causing issues. Time to brave the wastelands of the Games folder.

Nope, not that. To the Internet! Oh, my flatmate must be up because the Internet’s down. I really need to get around to resetting that bloody router. Still, at least I’m not playing a Ubisoft game (burn!)

The router’s remembered how to deal with two connections again… To the Internet! The only thing I learn from my search of ‘Red Faction Guerilla runtime error’ is my propensity for misspelling guerrilla. Maybe the game’s been patched? It has! Although the only patch download I can find is hosted by Gamespot, who want me to sign up to get it. I’ve gone this long without needing a Gamespot account, I’m not about to get one now.

Oh. Shit. RF:G uses Games for Windows: Live. This does mean it would auto-update patches but, crucially, only if I could start the fucking game. The game’s website is the usual flash-enabled hell of pointless screenshots and over-hyped feature lists. No help there then.

I’ve finally found the patch! Hidden on the community forum in a technical help thread. There’s also some advice for what to do if you can’t start your game.  Surprisingly none of the advice is “play a better made game,” which is what I’ve been leaning toward for the last 10 minutes. Okay, I’ll play along and update my graphics drivers.

I forgot, Nvidia’s auto update site doesn’t work properly in my Firefox browser. Hey, Internet Explorer, you’re going to get some work for a change. Make the most of it. Unsurprisingly I’ve already got the latest graphics driver update (well, excepting the one they removed for breaking people’s fans) this patch better work.

“Red Faction Guerrilla recommends you install Raptr.” Red Faction Guerrilla can fuck off. Jesus Christ, it’s actually launched a Raptr installation executable. Red Faction Guerrilla can fuck right off. Still the patch is done. This had better be one hell of a hammer.

Runtime error!

The very last suggestion in the technical help thread is “Uninstall and reinstall the game.” I’m certainly going to follow at least half of that advice. First though is the slightly bizarre suggestion of turning off all spyware and anti-virus software. How the fuck is that going to help? Is the game offended at the cowardice of using a full suite of security tools? Whatever, I can’t see it working but I’ve jumped through this many hoops already. Say goodnight, Bitdefender.

You’ve got to be fucking kidding me.

The Playtest

Fuck it, I’ll do it another day.


4 Responses to “An Hour With: Red Faction Guerrilla, or, The PC Gamer's Lament”

  1. 21/03/2010 at 14:42

    Heh, I went through at least an hour of shit like this myself. The only thing worse was that after I’d actually got the game working, GFW decided I wasn’t allowed to play it anymore. Back when I wasn’t sure it was worth all this shit, I could have given up at any time. But after I’d played it and discovered how much I love it, I knew I was doomed to wrestle with interminable technical problems until I could play again.

    • 2 Phil
      21/03/2010 at 14:56

      Oh god, I’ve not even tried to play the actual game yet, although I’ve been fairly lucky with GFW up till now.

      My fingers are crossed for only minor technical inconveniences from this point.

  2. 3 steve
    13/07/2010 at 18:54

    ah, blasphemy.. that always makes an article enjoyable.

    • 4 Phil
      13/07/2010 at 20:33

      That’s certainly been the philosophy of writing I’ve followed ever since I started blogging. And this post is surprisingly light on it.

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