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A Level A Day – “Red Faction: Guerrilla,” Day 3

A Level A Day – “Red Faction: Guerrilla,” Day 3 (photo)

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Wednesday, December 8, 2010: “Red Faction: Guerrilla,” Day 3

Time crunch prevented me from dedicating as much time to “Red Faction: Guerrilla” as I did yesterday, but I did mess about in a few random missions and just driving around getting to know the world.

The game’s got a few different mission types and each kind betrays a certain mode of thinking about insurgency. Guerrilla Actions basically have you destroying infrastructure and destabilizing the rule of law. So, missions might be doing things like “liberating” weapons and supplies, defending locales against EDF assault-which amounts to killing every jackbooted oppressor in sight-or destroying property belonging to the paramilitary organization. The curious thing about doing these missions is that the ambient chatter almost always eggs you on or rationalizes your actions.

Hence, after slaughtering a bunch of EDF, I walked away from the carnage only to hear, “The EDF bought them on themselves!” Whoa. What’s more, you’ll dynamically get civilians to pick up a gun and join the Red Faction cause when you start firing at the EDF. Negotiation never enters the picture. There’s never any question that your cause is just. I’d never trust a philosophy this single-minded in real life. It makes for clear gameplay directives but murky politics. I know “RFG” isn’t meant to be a civics class, but sometimes a questioning voice would add a little bit of texture to the proceedings.

Maybe that unilateralism is why the most fulfilling thing I did was rescue a hostage. The mission was simple enough. I drove to a location and engaged a few EDFers in combat. At one point, I used my sledgehammer to open a hole in a wall and blast some guy who was coming down the stairs. I then went up those same stairs and killed one more soldier. In front of his dead body was my objective, a man kneeling down with wrists bound. Something in the simple act of freeing him felt more righteous than any of the property damage I’d wrought. I could imagine that he’d’ve soon been executed for things he didn’t do and that I was his sole salvation. He just disappeared when I took him to the Red Faction safehouse but I knew he was alive somewhere, more alive than any other objective I’d accomplished so far.

[A Level A Day will be my attempt to give my thumbs more exercise every 24 hours. ALAD will be part diary, part analysis and a smidgen of random observation on games that either slipped through the cracks or might deserve reconsideration. I won’t promise to finish every game but I’ll try to track what I think of as honestly as I can, so you’ll at least know why I’m stopping a particular game.]


Rev Up

Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.


Give Back

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

It’s the final countdown to Christmas and thanks to IFC’s movie marathon all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can revel in classic ’80s films AND find inspiration for your last-minute gifts. Here are our recommendations, if you need a head start:

Musical Instrument

Great analog entertainment substitute when you refuse to give your kid the Nintendo Switch they’ve been drooling over.

Breakfast In Bed

Any significant other or child would appreciate these Uncle Buck-approved flapjacks. Just make sure you’re not stuck on clean up duty.

Cocktail Supplies

You’ll need them to get through the holidays.

Dance Lessons

So you can learn to shake-shake-shake (unless you know ghosts willing to lend a hand).

Comfy Clothes

With all the holiday meals, there may be some…embigenning.

Get even more great inspiration all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC, and remember…


A-O Rewind

Celebrating Portlandia One Sketch at a Time

The final season of Portlandia approaches.

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GIFs via Giphy

Most people measure time in minutes, hours, days, years…At IFC, we measure it in sketches. And nothing takes us way (waaaaaay) back like Portlandia sketches. Yes, there’s a Portlandia milepost from every season that changed the way we think, behave, and pickle things. In honor of Portlandia’s 8th and final season, Subaru presents a few of our favorites.


Put A Bird On It

Portlandia enters the pop-culture lexicon and inspires us to put birds on literally everything.

Colin the Chicken

Who’s your chicken, really? Behold the emerging locavore trend captured perfectly to the nth degree.

Dream Of The ’90s

This treatise on Portland made it clear that “the dream” was alive and well.

No You Go

We Americans spend most of our lives in cars. Fortunately, there’s a Portlandia sketch for every automotive situation.

A-O River!

We learned all our outdoor survival skills from Kath and Dave.

One More Episode

The true birth of binge watching, pre-Netflix. And what you’ll do once Season 8 premieres.

Catch up on Portlandia’s best moments before the 8th season premieres January 18th on IFC.