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A Level A Day – “Red Faction: Guerrilla,” Day 5

A Level A Day – “Red Faction: Guerrilla,” Day 5 (photo)

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Monday, December 13, 2010: “Red Faction: Guerrilla,” Day 5

I made a final push this weekend to finish all the critical missions in the Parker, the first of the game’s big sectors. One of my final tasks was a mission to destroy an EDF command post. It was a standard Demolition objective but the site was heavily guarded by drones, the derogatory term for EDF occupying forces. Even though I picked up a few citizen rebels along the way, I died a lot.

What’s worse, they died a lot. While it’s an awesome feeling to have a random, ordinary person pick up a gun and stay blasting away by your side, it feels absolutely awful to have them die on your watch. “Red Faction” doesn’t have any squad-based strategic controls like other games with this mechanic, so it’s not like I can tell them to take cover while I do all the shooting. It’s a kind of a sideways method of generating collateral damage and has a stinging emotional effect. The effect multiplies exponentially when it’s a hostage you save who buys the farm. Here you are, liberating someone who was no doubt only minutes away from a bullet in the back of his or her head and their life gets cruelly snatched away from them on the way to freedom.

Still, I discovered one thing about “Red Faction: Guerilla” when playing this mission over and over, which is that the damage you do is persistent. That means that even when I died and when back to the site of the mission, all the wrecking I had done remained. I finally took down the offending architecture in dramatic fashion, having set some charges which I detonated right before I died. The shot of e dying just as the outpost sustained enough damage to crumble to dust felt like a nice accidental martyr symbol. I went back to that location to check on my handiwork, only to find, guards wandering around the ruin of their former stronghold. I know it was just the game programming at work but it still felt eerie, like they were haunting the place.

From there, I moved onto a rescue mission where I had to rescue Samanya, the female rebel that’s obviously being set up as a love interest for lead character Alex Mason. The whole deal winds up being surprisingly easy. Along the way, I notice that “RFG” plays home to the most cheerful revolution ever. The random chatter from bystanders treats the proceedings like a football game. You can overhear them saying stuff like “I don’t think hose drones are ever gonna forget the name ‘Red Faction,'” and “Red Faction is bringing change to Mars.” Well, if they aren’t bothered, then I guess I shouldn’t be?

The last big mission to liberate Parker comes as a surprise, as it’s the first explicit driving-only mission the game’s tossed at me so far. As the rebe movement pushes into the next sector of Mars, I need to distract the EDF by ramming into and taking out 12 communication towers. It basically amounts to a very fun destruction derby, despite the game’s iffy driving controls. At one point, my ride gets severely damaged and I have to hoof it to a cluster of towers. The stretch of terrain where this mission happens is chock full of little bumps and changes in elevation and cars get to flying and jumping all over me. The whole thing felt a little like “Mad Max.” I’m good with that.

[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.]

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at IFC.com

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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.

Uncle-Buck

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…