In short: The third and final game in the [current] Resistance trilogy is a little like a twisted trip across the US. With guns. And Aliens.
Developer: Insomniac Games
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
For fans of: Alien infested planets and saving them.
Reviewed on: PS3
Also available on: PS3 Exclusive.
If we had to give it a numerical score: 8.5 out of 10.
What I liked
- Refreshing setting.
- Satisfying weapons.
- Feeling of desolation beautifully conveyed.
- Not that ugly to look at.
- Boss battles are generally satisfying.
Not so much
- Still ‘just’ a first-person shooter.
- Singleplayer campaign is a little short.
- Multiplayer modes not overly original generally.
You take the role of Joseph Capelli – four years after he killed Nathan Hale at the end of Resistance 2. It’s now August 1957 and America (as well as the rest of the world) is overrun with Chimera – humans are all but extinct and have become the hunted – and Joseph and his wife and son are in hiding with a small group of survivors. Of course, no-one ever gets to enjoy their retirement (or in Joseph’s case – dishonourable discharge) in an alien infested world for long.
Gameplay and Features
Whether it’s the arrival of an old acquaintance or pure coincidence, Joseph’s world is turned upside down and he is forced to leave his family and head to New York with Dr. Fyodor Malikov – the Russian scientist from Resistance 2 who was responsible for the development of the anti-Chimeran serums. Of course, the trip isn’t going to be a simple sight-seeing drive from A to B. Nope, there’s going to be all sorts of reasons to shoot things – both alien and human.
The game starts in Haven – a beautifully realised desolate town in Somewhere, USA. The survivors are essentially living underground like rats and this is where the game sets the tutorial. Learn the controls, see the gunsmith, shoot the gun at targets, listen to people remembering ‘how it used to be’… until a Chimeran Death Squad rolls into town. Expecting to take on the alien scum all by myself, I was pleasantly surprised to find some of the town’s folk getting killed next to me. Beat the beasties back and then you discover your wife wants you to join the good doctor in a relatively lonesome exercise in taking down the infection once and for all. And off you go.
The game plays like every first-person shooter you’ve ever played before. It adds some fantastic secondary fire options to the weapons – which really are a standout for me – but ultimately it’s your standard first-person fair… albeit a very enjoyable one. What really keeps you wanting to play the game is the settings and killing enemies with the fabulous weapons. Each State you travel through is unique, and at times your mode of transport is different too. It’s a case of foot, boat and trains. On most occasions the motorised portion of the trip ends badly in one way or another and you are forced to put your heels on the ground and fight your way to safety.
While the doctor is along for the ride (he is the expert after all) you are – for the most part – a solitary fighter, who even when coming across a few other survivors lands up having to save them from their predicaments. Is it really that tough for Joseph to say “no”?! Apparently it is. Saving people is the only way to proceed. Now while the game is not open-world (and has no designs to be), it might have been a missed opportunity to allow the story to branch slightly and have two options to move on. Then again, maybe too much time spent recently with a variety of RPG’s has made me forget what I’m playing. You don’t however have to be completely alone in the story mode – should you want to, there is a split-screen and online co-op mode, so you can enjoy some company in the gun battles. It’s only two player co-op, so those that enjoyed the eight player co-op from Resistance 2 will be disappointed.
What doesn’t disappoint are both the weapons and settings of the game. Some of the weapons are familiar from the previous games, and there are a few new additions such as the Mutator (biological weapon), the Deadeye sniper rifle (one guess…), a shrapnel grenade and a few others. All the weapons have secondary fire options which work well against groups of enemies – the Rossmore (shotgun) has a radial knock-back blast – and the weapons level up purely by using them. Simple, clever and rewarding. The Rossmore turns into a fire breathing beast in close quarters, while the Marksman gets a sight upgrade making it very useful as a short-burst firing sniper rifle. There is also a clear difference in the human and Chimeran weapons – and if you’re stuck in a Chimeran facility you will only find ammunition for their weapons.
If you find yourself in a human prison however, you get a sledgehammer. Yep, there’s a nice little diversion in a *slightly* redneck prison. There you come across the ‘Wardens’ – ex cons now running the asylum. The mere fact that the developers added a level so different from battling aliens should be applauded. The fact that it’s a standout might worry some, but as I mentioned, the settings throughout the game are fantastic. A river boat ride, mines, New York in the snow, the final battle… all are quite unique and very refreshing from some frankly generic settings found in some recent first-person shooters. I’m looking at you Call of Juarez and Homefront.
Sound and Graphics
It certainly helps that the graphics do their bit for the settings. The colours, textures and animations are of a very high standard. There are better looking games out there, but there are plenty more ugly games out there. The cutscenes and voice acting are at times a little too soap opera for my liking, but they do convey the concept of human frailty and sacrifice as well as they intended to – and in the end it doesn’t detract from your prime focus… killing things.
Overall, the sound is more than adequate. Guns sound like… guns. Explosions sound like… BOOMS! And the aliens sound like… aliens. At times the settings seemed exceptionally quiet – especially the night time setting at the mine – almost making me wonder if the developers had forgotten to sounds on the editing room floor. However, it was simply a clever way to subliminally remind you that everything you know and have come to expect as a human was pretty much being wiped from the planet.
The multiplayer side of the game is a love it or hate it portion of the game. Ironically, I’m still a little on the fence about it. It might be that I spent too little time on it, or that my poor little South African line didn’t play nicely with the internationals, but I kind of got bored. I’d seen it all a little before. That was until I played game mode ‘Breach’ – eight against eight in an objective based mode. It seemed fresh compared to old standards like Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch and Capture the Flag. Otherwise, multiplayer offers pretty much everything you’ve come to expect in all other multiplayer games. Level up, open new upgrades, perks and loadouts. Honestly, some will only play it until Call of Duty or Battlefield arrives. The maps (there’s twelve of them if I counted correctly) are generally very nice to look at. Some can prove confusing to play on, but that might improve as one becomes familiar with them. A few are pulled from the campaign settings, while some are unique to the multiplayer – such as Glamorgan seaside in Wales and Main Street in Australia.
I had no plans to buy the game, but one of the perks of being a, erm, “gaming journalist” [yes, I hear you laughing in the peanut gallery] is that we get review copies of *some* games. However, had we not received the game to review, I would have felt a bit of a fool for not buying it. The game is polished, good fun, and one of this year’s better first-person shooters. In fact it’s one of this year’s better games. There is no obvious reason not to buy the game – unless you don’t own a PlayStation 3 of course.
As a side not, the game does feature Move support, but unfortunately we aren’t paid enough [at all] around here to have one currently. If that changes, we will update the review to reflect how it affects the game and gameplay.