A good addition to the Resistance universe.
Resistance Retribution takes place a few weeks after the events of Resistance Fall of Man. You play the role of Grayson, a British ex-Marine swearing revenge on the Chimera after they had turned his brother into one of them. Throughout the story you’ll meet up with new characters and familiar ones hinted at or actually present in the PS3 games. The bad news here is that Grayson’s story does not link directly to that of Hale (the protagonist in RFOM & R2). The good news is that it is the best written storyline in the Resistance universe and does fill in some gaps for those wanting to know more about the chimera and their evolution coming into R2.
The mechanics of the game are rooted in the third person shooter genre. In fact, if you have played any of Bend studio’s previous games on the PSP (Syphon Filter: Dark Mirror & Syphon Filter: Logan’s Shadow) you’ll find great similarity in the controls to those games. ie. movement is done with the knob. To get around the lack of a second analog stick (or knob), aiming is assigned to the face-bottoms of the PSP and a very generous aim assist is implemented to alleviate any frustrations you may encounter with this design decision (and button config limitations of the PSP). Having played the Syphon Filter games, this made the game a bit too easy for me and I ended up turning aim assist off. Also, there is a cover mechanic implemented, and it works really well 95 percent of the time. When in battle, all you have to do is walk up to a wall or an object that can serve as cover and Grayson will automatically attach to it. Covers have to be completely flat and at least waist high in order for Grayson to use it as cover. The fire and alt-fire mechanics are assigned to R and L respectively. Finally, the action button, the switch between aim assist and manual aim, reload, and weapon select are assigned to the D-pad. The controls are not 100 percent ideal, but they are far from broken (they still beat control congfigs found in other games like Splinter Cell and MGS portable Ops).
As far as weapons go, Resistance Retribution falls a bit short compared to RFOM and R2. You will gain 8 weapons throughout the campaign and an additional four in infected mode (connecting your PSP to the PS3 with a copy of Resistance 2 in the PS3). In fact, the majority of the weapons are not new to those having played the other games. You do get a slightly modified Bullseye, named Razor (it’s alt-fire is a charged energy ball that’ll ricochet for a while and hit multiple enemies). You’ll also get an upgrade to the Auger (offering a shield bubble as it’s secondary fire). Any other weapon unlocked in infected mode is a slight modification of a previous weapon or a weapon you’ve seen before.
My experience with the game was rather pleasant. The game has heavy loading, like many PSP games, but it entertained me by giving me journal entries to read while I waited. From start to finish, the game is a typical run and gun game …with cover (you gotta’ have cover in your shooters now right?). The game, however, has good pacing in it and I personally did not find a boring moment. In fact, Sony Bend switches it up just in the right time with mech segments (also have to have those in a shooter game now), basic QTEs, and competent cut-scenes. All in all, the single player campaign is definitely worth your attention. It might even be a bigger draw than its online portion with it has Intel to collect, infected mode, and skill points to achieve. Also, did I mentioned the story is well-paced?
The multi-player has a death match, a conversion mode, and a capture the flag mode. It is very basic and still fun, it even lets you log-in with your PSN ID and will track your stats over at beta.myresistence.net. Since it is on the PSP, loading is also present in the online portion and once you are in you’ll not play for long. Also, many players have already learned how to exploit the online portion of the game and have made many matches frustrating to play through. The online is still worth exploring, but the single player is well-designed enough to warrant a 2nd or 3rd play through.