PS4 version still has some issues
THQ Nordic is one of the more generous publishers around. They like to reward PC gamers for buying its titles years prior. For basically every remaster of a last-generation title that has jumped to PS4, Switch, and Xbox One, there has been a free PC upgrade for owners of the previous iteration. I don’t know if the older PC versions even needed tweaking, but you can’t really argue with a free upgrade.
After seeing how shoddy Red Faction Guerrilla Re-Mars-tered turned out on PS4, though, I was worried the PC edition was going to be just as lackluster. Free is nice, but if the remaster is a step down with regards to the previous “Steam Edition,” what would be the point? Well, you can let out a sigh of relief, because Re-Mars-tered is absolutely fine on PC.
Basically, none of the issues I encountered with the PS4 version are present. The framerate is rock solid, the game doesn’t crash every other mission (or at all) and the controls are surprisingly solid. I actually don’t mind how the vehicles handle on a keyboard, though I’m beginning to wonder if they were programmed with digital inputs in mind. It is almost a complete night and day comparison between this new PC version and the PS4 port.
As for graphics options, this is probably the only part where Re-Mars-tered isn’t solid. Everything you can tweak is pretty limited and there is not an option for uncapped framerates. You’re simply getting 60 FPS with or without Vsync. I’ll take that over the PS4’s “High Performance” mode, but it would be nice to see Guerrilla running at something obscene like 240 FPS. At least the PC version includes an FOV slider, though I think the values are off. I typically play first-person shooters with 90 FOV, but the max selection of 85 in Guerrilla was tremendously pulled back.
This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone since the previous PC version offered basically all these same features. The main thing was that the original launched with the godforsaken “Games for Windows Live” service, but that was changed out for a “Steam Edition” in 2014. Multiplayer got migrated to the far more reliable Steam servers and everything was kosher. I’m guessing this release mainly happened because THQ Nordic worked on the console ports and decided to release an update for loyal PC users.
If for some reason you dislike the remaster, you’ll also receive the original PC port with a purchase on Steam. There really isn’t any reason to not give it a shot, which is kind of mind-blowing to me. A lot of these remasters would be completely unnecessary if console manufacturers would just include backward compatibility, but that is a different debate altogether. I’m just happy that this PC version isn’t a technical mess.
As for how the PS4 version is faring, a patch came out the day before release. I played through the entire game on version 1.00 for review, but as soon as my review went live, 1.01 was available for download. I always try to be as thorough and transparent about my review process as possible, so I didn’t want to leave my 5/10 score up and ignore a potential game saver. Sadly, this 1.01 doesn’t really correct the numerous framerate issues.
I played through the DLC campaign, Demons of the Badlands, and it was virtually the same as my regular playthrough. The game can hit 60 FPS but typically doesn’t. Explosions cause the framerate to drop and it looks unsightly in motion. To clarify, I made sure I was playing on the “High Performance” mode, so I really don’t understand why 60 FPS isn’t attainable on a PS4 Pro. The FMVs are also oddly more compressed than the main game and exhibit a lot of screen tearing, which is rather ugly. At least the worst issue (frequent game crashing) seems to be mostly gone.
I sat down for about three hours and finished the DLC in one sitting and didn’t encounter a single crash. When I realized I was done (the DLC is really underwhelming), I figured I would do some side quests. As soon as I jumped in a car and started to speed to my next location, the game locked up on me. Ugh. Still, that is a marked improvement over the 1.00 version, so you’re likely to not encounter as many crashes as I did.
Seeing as how the game is now available in stores, I figured I would actually tackle multiplayer to give some impressions. I don’t know why no one was playing it pre-release, but now there are actual players and you can experience the wild multiplayer mayhem that Guerrilla absolutely nails. At least the PS4 version is good for something because the online experience is solid. There are still framerate issues, but the more condensed maps don’t see them rear their ugly head that frequently. There is literally no lag that I could spot, but I also have my PS4 wired to my router.
As far as the multiplayer goes, the PS4 version is good. It wouldn’t be my preferred way to play, but the budget pricing on the remaster means you won’t have to break the bank just to get some destruction going with friends. I do hope that THQ Nordic can iron out those performance issues and eliminate whatever is causing the game to crash because I do really enjoy Guerrilla.
Nothing is going to change the ludicrous AI or lame plotline, but playing Guerrilla with a rock solid 60 FPS on PC made me appreciate it just as much as I did eight years ago. The game does hold up, for the most part, it just got a seemingly rushed port to PS4. I honestly wonder how the Xbox One version is, now.