Review: Red Faction: Guerrilla: Demons of the Badlands (Xbox 360)

rfg-demons-1 It's hard to review Demons of the Badlands without addressing its parent game, Red Faction: Guerrilla. Although Silicon Sasquatch hasn't published a review, the general consensus is that it delivered an unabashedly fun orgy of destruction in both single player and multiplayer, even if both modes had their limits.

Guerrilla launched in early June of this year, and Demons of the Badlands followed in mid-August. Promising new weapons, a new protagonist and a whole new landscape to demolish, it was devised as an encore to a relatively one-of-a-kind experience. In developer Volition's defense, Demons of the Badlands delivers on exactly what was promised: The add-on feels just as polished and exhilarating as the rest of the game, and the new weapons add a much-needed dash of variety to keep the experience from feeling stale. However, for a ten-dollar add-on, Demons of the Badlands is woefully short, comprising three story missions and eleven side missions that can be completed in a mere two hours.

But if price and brevity may be problematic, the quality of the experience certainly isn't. Shifting the experience to a new player character was a smart decision as it lends the content more of an individual identity separate from the main game. It avoids feeling like a tacked-on deleted scene like in Gears of War 2's Dark Corners add-on. The new weapons, such as the ludicrously powerful missile pod, are just as exhilarating to play with as the original game's arsenal was. Toss in an array of new vehicles and the most over-the-top walker yet, and it's clear Volition values the practice of producing add-ons that only enhance their source material while doing nothing to cheapen it.

Demons of the Badlands is fairly easy to recommend to fans of the original game who fell in love with its unique emphasis on satisfying destruction and guerrilla combat. Unfortunately, the add-on is so short on content that it's hard to imagine how it adds up to ten dollars' worth of entertainment, particularly when Guerrilla was such a diverse and enduring package.

Red Faction: Guerrilla: Demons of the Badlands is available for $9.99/800 Microsoft Points on PlayStation Network and Xbox Live. The PC version of Red Faction: Guerrilla includes Demons of the Badlands as part of the retail package.

Recommended for:

  • Red Faction veterans eager for a fresh batch of architecture to dismantle with a new array of brutal and inspired weapons
  • Demolitions master devotees eager to test their skills against a handful of clever puzzles

Not Recommended for:

  • Story aficionados eager to discover what drove Samanya away from the Marauders -- the narrative in Guerrilla was largely inconsequential, and the quality of storytelling in Demons of the Badlands is no better
  • Gamers expecting the same bang-for-buck ratio that the original Red Faction: Guerrilla provided -- Demons is painfully short and easily completed in one sitting

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