The concept of releasing a game for Windows months after it's already been released to consoles really only has two positive benefits. One, there's a good chance you'll get bonus DLC and a relatively optimised port thrown in for free, and two, reviewers don't have to spend hours covering trivial details such as the setting and plot when you can just read the console review instead.
There's really only one thing that matters for the PC version of Red Faction: Guerrilla - has it managed to retain the destructive quality, surprisingly good framerate and ease of control found with the console release? The answer is; not quite.
Red Faction: Guerrilla is a third person shooter, and in effect there's nothing wrong with this. Plenty of people commit plenty of hours every day playing well made titles that include needlessly rendered animations of the protagonists body getting in the way of your environment. It's just not often that you come across a successful PC third-person shooter, essentially because the first-person perspective better suits the faster movement and targeting available with a mouse and keyboard.
I'm not suggesting for a second that all ports for console third-person shooters should be made first-person, but an option sure would be nice. Developers take great pains to encourage us to use the Xbox 360 controller, why not take the time to adequately support the native control style of the PC in the first place?
Perhaps we're locked to third-person to admire the destructible scenery, which really is the entire point of Red Faction. The sci-fi story is unlikely to inspire a new religion, and considering the setting is about as entertaining as a Boobs on Bikes parade, taking to it with a sledgehammer is supremely satisfying. What passed for a title worthy of the much-maligned "next gen" label on the Xbox 360 and PS3 still manages to retain an element of futuristic charm, as buildings creak, crumble and collapse with delightful regularity through a variety of physical and chemical means. You can even forgive the odd frame rate crawl, pop-in and excessive motion blur that frequently accompanies console ports, although doing so would be made infinitely more palatable if only the developers would explain why such glitches can't seem to be fixed.
Unfortunately, the accompanying audio is woeful. The volume sliders set to control the balance between voice, music and ambient noise can't seem to mitigate what can only be described as a constant, annoying, industrial sound that threatens to drive you absolutely insane within minutes. If you can imagine a large cat with a pipe wrench attached to its tail relentlessly circling the inside of a steel trash skip situated next door to a bulldozer sales & repair outlet, you're still a long way off. I've never been to Mars, it's true, but if developers Volition wanted to depict the Red Planet as having unbelievable noise pollution, they could have simply dubbed Kenny G over the soundtrack.
Other problems persist as weak hangovers from the console release. The saving system is still fundamentally flawed, with multiple safehouses returning you miles away from where you last died. The AI may start off useless enough, but by the end of the game they've clearly brushed up their skills and become frightfully determined to avoid looking like extras in Total Recall. Sure, the vehicles may handle like a surfboard on ice, and your endless sprint facility means they're only really useful as armoured protection, but it all adds to the obvious charm of a futuristic mining colony on one of the dullest planets in the solar system.
As alluded to previously, being a PC gamer generally means the odd free DLC update (presumably because they haven't figured out how to charge for it yet, or more likely have realised that nobody will actually pay for it) and Red Faction: Guerrilla comes equipped with the standalone prequel missions entitled "Demons of the Badlands", as well as some exclusive multiplayer maps thrown in for good measure.
Speaking of which, the multiplayer is generally the same as the console release, with the added benefit of knowing that most of the people you encounter online are going to hand your ass to you unless you're prepared to spend some significant time practising. The number of ass-handees is limited to 16 here though, perhaps there's some issue in passing significant amounts of environmental destruction information between clients, as there's no dedicated servers in this Games for Windows title. This seems to be the way things are going however, as internet connections speeds and computer power increases to the point where standalone servers for small skirmish-orientated titles become increasingly irrelevant.
If you happen to set out from your house or open a secure browser session with the intention of purchasing a PC title to keep you occupied for a few months, you could do a lot worse than Red Faction: Guerrilla. Glance at your game collection - if you see any title ever made to coincide with a motion picture release, you already have done. But the problem here is not that Red Faction: Guerrilla is necessarily a bad game, it just lacks the lasting appeal we've come to expect from titles developed from the ground-up to be used on an individual, desk-orientated, keyboard-driven gaming system. The collapsible terrain really just adds to the illusion that you're getting a meaty release, so if you like a bit of placebo with your eye candy then you'll probably have a tremendous time.
The rest of us may end up wondering why Red Faction: Guerrilla wasn't left alone to bask in the accolades so rightfully issued to it by our console brethren.