Resistance 3 – Ever since 2006’s Resistance: Fall Of Man gave gamers a good excuse to shell out for a PS3, the Resistance series has been bleak, but in Resistance 3, winning the war isn’t even on the docket. Surviving the cold snap to end all cold snaps is all Joe Capelli cares about.
Resistance 3 In a possible sign that Halo is finally loosening its power-armored grip on first-person shooters, Resistance 3 ditches the two-weapon cap and regenerating health in favor of a weapon wheel and health bar. Add to that the secondary fire options, brutally satisfying mêlée combat, and a leveling system for weapons that encourages variety, and Resistance 3 might just have the coolest munitions in gaming.
The pivot away from Resistance 2 is mostly welcome, “mostly” because the multiplayer has been pruned from 60 to 16 players, and the engrossing eight-player co-op mode has been scrapped in favor of a two-player campaign with no matchmaking. Resistance 3 delivers the goods, make no mistake.
With Resistance 2, developer Insomniac’s mantra was clear – make it bigger. As such, scale was the focus with 200ft mega-creatures in epic set-pieces and boss battles aplenty. But presumably when it came to Resistance 3 the developer had a problem. Resistance 3 takes a more subtle approach to the alien-invasion angle – more atmosphere, and a little less bombast, reflecting humanity’s more desperate situation in the sequel. Resistance 3 follows the story of Joe Capelli, a major player in the events that closed out the game’s predecessor, and finds humanity at its lowest ebb.
Capelli and, it is implied, the majority of humanity have been driven underground by a Chimeran counter-attack following the climax of Resistance 2. Dishonourably discharged from Echo Squad and paying a price for his bravery in Resistance 2, Joe Capelli is holed-up in the tunnels beneath Haven with his family and a desperate band of survivors, including another alumnus from Resistance 2, Dr Fyodor Malikov. As you’d expect with a Resistance title, each weapon has primary and secondary fire functions that are now automatically upgraded as you earn kills. It’s a nicely-structured upgrade system and the rewards are much-appreciated in the heat of battle. New weapons in Resistance 3 include the Cryogun, which freezes enemies allowing them to be shattered with the alternate fire, and the Mutator, which messes with the target’s genetics with unpredictable, and often explosive, results.
With limited ammo and, breaking tradition from the last game, no regenerative health, you’ll need to think tactically about the fire fights, preserving your health and selecting the right weapon, knowing that some are more effective against particular enemies. Insomniac also deserves credit for throwing fiendish combinations of enemies at you at any time. Resistance 3 is more about the mid-size boss battle with easily-identifiable weak spots and, while they punctuate the pacing in the game effectively, it’s the basic combat that stands out; Insomniac has deftly crafted a compelling, if not lengthy, single-player campaign.
The large-scale, 60-player battles of its predecessors are gone, replaced with tighter, more-focused 16-player skirmishes and the now-obligatory levelling-up system. Classes and weapons are unlocked as you rank up and the developer has wisely included the same weapon upgrade system found in the single-player campaign in the game’s online modes too. There are definite limitations; it may lack the narrative weight of some of the competition, and may struggle to break free of its rigidly linear approach to FPS gameplay, but Resistance 3 takes an existing concept and executes it well, especially in the single-player game.
For me, the Resistance series has always lacked a little something. The game begins with new protagonist Joseph Capelli lamenting the events of the end of Resistance 2, then dives straight into humanity’s ongoing struggle against the Chimera. Resistance 3 is a cross-country road trip in four acts, with snapshots of humanity’s struggle to survive. Each of Resistance 3′s sections tells a different, distinct story. There’s the group of resistance fighters holding the Chimera at bay in Mississippi.
Throughout the game, radio broadcasts detail various human colonies and spread the message of helping one another. There’s a large arsenal, and each gun serves its purpose. Weapons also upgrade through use, gaining new abilities, which adds another great incentive to play around with all the gun types.
The setpieces are excellent too, with the game mixing up its structure between siege sections, horror-style crawls through deserted factories and towns, and some great boss battles against giant mutated beasties. Unfortunately, issues with the game’s multiplayer brings it crashing down to earth somewhat. It’s a shame too, as the multiplayer itself is great. It’s impossible to tell whether this is the fault of the game or of Sony’s PlayStation Network, but when other games function perfectly well it’s impossible not to criticise Resistance 3 for this. The single player, a decent length for an FPS at 8-10 hours long, is superb and reason enough to play the game by itself.
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