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A Level A Day – “Red Faction: Guerrilla,” Day 9

A Level A Day – “Red Faction: Guerrilla,” Day 9 (photo)

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Here’s the joy of “Red Faction: Guerilla”: I started a demolition mission where I had to take down a building using only the sledgehammer. There’s a time limit of two minutes to beat and my first try netted me a time of 1:04. I looked at the pro time of 55 seconds, and thought to myself, “I can do that.” And for the next fifteen minutes, I tried over and over. One go-through clocked in at 56 seconds. I raged at it but there’s no “close enough” in video games. On my one-last-try attempt, I finally took that freakin’ building down in 46 seconds and stood in the wreckage afterward, savoring the power of my sledgehammer.

From there, I jumped into a mission called Collateral Damage, where the goal is to destroy 35 million dollars worth of EDF personnel, property and vehicles. Controlling the lead character Alex Mason, I rode on the back of an assault vehicle driven by a RF comrade named Jenkins. More verbose and rowdy than the other earnest revolutionaries, Jenkins opened his mouth and amazing things came out:

“I got big plans for Mars. We’re gonna make a clean break. First we gotta get rid of all that Earth stuff. Even your favorite toothpaste. If it’s not made on Mars, it’s got to go. Hell, even language has got to go. English, French, German. Pig Latin, Spanish. Adios, baby! Yeah, we’re gonna make a Mars language!” [Jenkins then utters some nonsense words, saying,] “Know what that means? ‘I am clean and righteous!'”

Now I don’t for a minute think that Jenkins’ crackpot clean-slate philosophy speaks to a worldview held by the developers at Volition. But, it’s a great example of how game-makers can slot in wacky characters that add depth and comic relief to what, again, is a virtualized underclass uprising. Still, for all the yuks, the black-and-white worldview that Jenkins throws out there makes you wonder for just a second if you’re really on the right side of things. These are the people you’re helping? What if there’s more of them out there?

[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

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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.

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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

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