You are tasked with levelling an EDF controlled watch tower. Initally the alert status is green and you can easily sneak around the few guards and get up to the base of the tower. Your trained eye assesses the tower and you can see that a couple of strategically placed demolition charges will do the job. You lay the first charge and suddenly the previously sleepy guards wake up. The alert status goes to yellow. In yellow status the guards are aware of your presence and will try to seek you out. It gets hard to concentrate on placing your demo charges with bullets whizzing past you so you turn and shoot the nearest two guards. These guys re-spawn almost immediately so you shoot their replacements. This jacks up the alert status to orange. The number of guards spawning doubles and you now have a firefight on your hands and you need to duck behind cover to recover from your wounds. Dodging and weaving you kill 4, 5, 6 more guards but they keep coming and then .. the alert status ramps up to red. The area is now flooded with shotgun wielding guards and a gunship flies overhead. You are now hopelessly outgunned. A couple of local insurgents have joined the fight on your side
but they are ineffectual in the face of such an onslaught. Your only hope of survival is to get into a vehicle and drive away as fast as you possible can all thought of demolishing the watchtower forgotten.
In my opinion the colour coded alert system in Red Faction just does not add to the game. It is like a Hydra in that the the more enemies you kill the more enemies spawn. This is a mechanic that would work well in a stealth game. Red Faction could work very well as a stealth game but the developer choose not to make stealth a viable option. The moment you swing a hammer or place a charge you are going to set alarm bells ringing and the whole thing snowballs. What you end up with is a wonderful demolition game hindered by a fairly crappy shooting game.