The Resistance series has had its ups and downs. The first game carried the burden of being Sony’s first blockbuster shooter, and being the only worthwhile PlayStation 3 exclusive at launch. The game had a great story and some cool ideas, but could not put the pieces together to offer a top tier experience. Resistance 2 came out and while it fixed many issues and expanded the scope of the series, the story was convoluted, though the game had a unique MMO style co-op experience, along with an epic 30 vs. 30 multiplayer mode. Now the question is: Can Insomniac finally bring all the elements together to become the PS3’s top shooter? Read more to find out!
When it comes to the single player campaign, that answer is a definite YES! From the very start, you are thrown into this dark world. The Chimera has taken over and there is no hope. Insomniac truly puts you into this world. A perfect example takes place while riding a boat down by Missouri as you listen to radio calls come in from other survivors, while witnessing the demolished downtown environment surrounding you. Corpses litter the area, placing you in the moment. This is just one example of how the game integrates the player within the gameplay.
What helps this click is a fantastic visual presentation. While not on par with heavy hitters such as Killzone 3 and Uncharted 2, the technical and artistic presentation look stunning. Dust, snow, and particle effects look gorgeous. Character animation is fluid and establishes a considerable amount of detail. The game’s facial animations can be funky at points, but this is just a miniscule complaint. The whole world has the dark bleak look to it, which fits the story and world Insomniac is trying to create.
Then you have the sound. Voice acting is great, the weapons all sound brutal and varied, and music ques at the perfect time demonstrating the dark ominous vibe that fits what the game attempts to portray.
The story is simple. Joseph Capelli and Dr. Molokov must find a way to New York City and shut down the Chimeran tower that keeps the wormhole to their home world open. Along the way, Capelli must fight the Chimera and experience different portions of humanity. This is one of the signature moments of the story as you witness the religious groups and encounter unique experiences with the convicts. Then you have audio logs and letters in each area that provides you even more insight into each facet of humanity. This provides a solid collection of information displaying the diverse segments of humanity during desperate times; what Insomniac did here was brilliant. If I had a complaint about the story, too much of the important info is located in these optional-to-find journals and those who fail to seek these journals are likely to miss out on crucial information regarding the narration.
As far as gameplay goes in this action-packed first-person shooter, you are not going to find much better than Resistance 3. The buildup and scripted sequences are only matched by that of the Portal and Half-life titles. There is a lot of variety from simple firefights with brutal AI, to boss fights with giant creatures, to fighting off more zombie-like enemies. There is a large variety of cool upgradable weaponry ranging from the Bullseye, where it’s secondary fire can track enemies, to the Mutator, which causes enemies to throw up, face to melt, and bodies form giant pustules that take over their entire body prior to exploding. Then you have the fan-favorite Auger which allows you to see and shoot through obstacles such as walls or abandoned vehicles. These are just a few of the awesome weapons the game puts at your disposal and with the ability to upgrade their abilities based upon your success with the weapon, replayability is something Resistance 3 will provide to those who join the experience.
While the gameplay experience Resistance 3 provides is nothing short of amazing, issues that may frustrate gamers still lie within the adventure. The AI at times does not realize you are there at first; and on two occasions I can remember I had to reload a checkpoint because the game glitched, but these are two minor problems that do not hinder the best singleplayer shooter I have played in years. There is also co-op online and off, but split screen can be a bit buggy in large action sequences. Lastly, the 8-player class-based co-op from Resistance 2 is nonexistent.
As far as the multiplayer goes, it is pretty standard with a few twists thrown in to mix things up. You start at level 1 with a collection of pre-configured load outs with the ability to unlock new weapons, abilities, and kill streaks as you progress, similar to the Call of Duty games, but Resistance 3 allows for a more interesting selection by providing invisibility, giant assault shields, and the ability to see through walls. Then you have the load out powers such as releasing Chimeran creatures from your body after being taken down which attack and seek revenge on your opponents. These abilities along with the MMO element of upgrading one’s weapons and unlocking skins and titles differentiate Resistance 3 from your typical Call of Duty title and a majority of what the market has to offer. One issue I do have with unlocking certain skins is the fact that you must register on MyResistance.net and play the Global Resistance flash game. This can be frustrating, especially for those interested in the Nathan Hale skin.
As far as modes go, it’s your standard offering with the typical deathmatch, team deathmatch, along with capture the flag and territory-style game types. If anything, the game plays like a mix of Call of Duty and the older Resistance games, which isn’t a bad thing. Hiding some of the unlockables behind a flash game is irritating, but other than that Resistance 3 offers a fast-paced, addictive multiplayer experience.
Resistance 3 has flaws, but it is easy to overlook these imperfections due to how well the atmosphere and pacing is executed. The weapons are a blast to work with and upgrade as you experience a great, yet simple, story of Joseph Capelli trying to survive and save the world from the Chimeran invasion. The multiplayer can be derivative, but still manages to do its own thing thanks to the game’s sci-fi world. If you are seeking an entertaining multiplayer shooter for the PS3, there isn’t much better than Resistance 3. If you are looking for the best single player shooter released in the past couple years, look no further than Resistance 3.
Final Score: 9.5/10