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Resistance 2 Review

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  • PS3

Resistance 2 ditches the storytelling in favor of an excellent multiplayer experience.

Oh, Resistance 2! You are so confused about what you want out of me. Do you want me to play through your horrible single-player campaign, with its erratic and nonsensical storytelling? Would you rather I just concentrate on your deep and engaging multiplayer modes? How about if we just start from the top and answer these questions together?

Dude, don't look at me. I was following you!
The story in Resistance 2 picks up immediately after the events of its predecessor, Resistance: Fall of Man. You again jump into the shoes of American solider Nathan Hale. Nathan, and the rest of the world, are fighting against what appear to be alien invaders, dubbed the Chimera, though the aliens are actually humans who have been transformed through some kind of horrible infection. Nathan himself was infected in the original Resistance, but instead of going over to the dark side his condition gave him the edge to become the savior of the day. A hero's work is never done and Resistance 2 begins with Nathan being abducted by some special military organization. It turns out that this group is actually responsible for experimenting on humans with the alien virus in an effort to create super soldiers--but they're still the good guys...I think. En route to their special facility your helicopter crashes--the first of numerous fateful downings--and you'll fight a bit before quickly being introduced to some kind of Chimeran smart bug. Without so much as a sinister expository preamble, this malicious alien-man-thing dons his MacGuffin hat and escapes to wreak havoc on the world. You are then sedated and the prologue ends. Welcome to Resistance 2! Fast-forward two years later and you're now buddy-buddy with these special forces fellows. Oh, did I mention you've had some kind of experimental operation and your crazy underwater base is under attack? GO!

So that's the setup. You're still infected but now you need regular doses of antigen or things will apparently go very badly. Also, some of your comrades don't much appreciate the busy and heroic lifestyle that will inherently keep you away from said meds. That's about all you need to know about the story. You're obviously trying to save the world again, and this time  around it's not the lonely, silent trek it was in the first installment. You'll be treated to a stable of recurring supporting characters, but they are never clearly defined and by the time the game hits its conclusion, you really won't care. Neither will Nathan apparently, as he seems totally indifferent to the fields of death being sowed around him. That's not to say these brave souls are worthless, as the game is actually at its best when it throws you into the midst of larger, epic battles with your allies. This also works to give you the impression that there is a lot more going on behind the scenes, but none of that information is ever presented to you in a reasonable or coherent manner.

While the game is supposed to be taking place in an alternate version of the '50s, you'll never really get that vibe aside from the old cars and some antique radios. The weapons you'll be using will mostly be alien, or at least modified beyond anything recognizable for the time period, and any allies you have with you will do little to keep you in the spirit of the era. The only thing that maintains some semblance of time and place is a distraught radio announcer that you'll occasionally be able to overhear as you checkpoint your way across America. The poor guy is actually one of the better story elements in the game, and it's probably worth your time to sit and listen to his morbid antics.

Well, this is happening now...
Those are my biggest gripes with the game, though there were a few more minor annoyances. I really enjoyed much of the actual combat and gameplay, aside from a few enemy behaviors with which I took issue. You'll trade fire with your standard Chimeran grunts, but you'll also encounter some special units, like the invisible Chameleons. Now, in addition to being able to cloak themselves, they'll also charge you, and they'll kill you in one hit. Apparently they make some noise when they are around, but as far as I could tell it all just sounded like pigeons cooing. To counter this, the game automatically saves checkpoints pretty frequently, so you'll never be too far away from your last sudden and surprising place of death. This leads to a lot of try-and-die gameplay, and you'll find things are not so tough when you have some fair warning. There are also some new zombie-like Chimera which will swarm at you as you try to mow them down. These are definitely of the “fast zombie” variety and I found myself backed into a corner more than once, screaming “Oh God, Oh God, Oh...I'm dead.” These baddies are hatched from cocoons and you'll mostly encounter them in the overrun towns you'll be traipsing through. While the “body snatchers” idea definitely adds to the creepier direction this game has adopted, it doesn't seem to make much sense as these young turks don't need the special cooling systems that the rest of the Chimera use to prevent them from overheating. The first game went so far as to have entire conversion centers for the processing of humans into Chimera. It's minor, but it bugged me.

You'll be treated to some new weapons but you'll also see some slightly modified versions from the original Resistance armament. The Auger, which originally only allowed you to blindly shoot through walls, now lets you keep track of your target as he hides behind cover, which is very, very handy. Each weapon, again, has two modes of fire and this time around I found myself using them often. The magnum, for example, not only packs quite a punch with its primary fire but, using the alternate fire, you can subsequently detonate any spent rounds. This is a quick way to improvise an explosive surprise for the oncoming hordes of Chimera. The only time I found myself getting frustrated with the weapons is when one of my less-than-effective teammates was wielding one of the rarer heavy weapons, with seemingly unlimited ammunition. In my hands that weapon could turn the entire tide of the war! Sadly, the opportunity to sacrifice that young man for the good of mankind never presented itself.

The locations have also been well expanded beyond the seemingly endless grey, industrial maps of the original. You'll be greeted by some really spectacular set pieces as you as span a good chunk of North America in your quest to do something...or other. Not all of the locales are great, but when they work, they work with flourish, and you won't be disappointed in the eye candy.

Once you've finished the campaign you can go back and select any level to replay. This is helpful if you want to collect any missing pieces of intel you may have missed your first time through. These sparse collectibles are really your only window into the overarching fiction.  As someone who really appreciates some narrative context surrounding my mass murder, I found myself desperate to latch onto anything that might give me some more insight. While the intel you find won't do much to make the entire world make sense, it is a must for anyone hoping to extract even the slightest bit of coherence from the plot.


Fighting other humans is where this game shines.
Really, though, all this single-player nonsense is just an introduction and setup for the much more engaging multiplayer. It's in the cooperative and competitive multiplayer that Resistance 2 really begins to deliver on being one of the best shooters for the PlayStation 3. While the head scratching single-player campaign will take you all of 8-10 hours, the multiplayer modes are where players are going to sink the majority of their time. Both modes offer a leveling system that allows you to gain experience and unlock new items and abilities. It's easy to get engrossed in the constant need to reach the next level with any given class, and that's further aided by the ease with which you can actually get into games. Both modes include a button labeled “play” which instantly takes you into the action and on the road to gaining experience. While you still have the option to manually setup or pick a map, being able to get into a game in one button press really takes the anxiety out of having to find a group, especially for the co-op.


Calling the co-op a campaign is actually a bit of a misnomer. It really has nothing to do with the single-player campaign, other than taking place in the same universe and making liberal use of that special forces team you just met. Upon starting a map, you, and up to seven other players, will pick a class from three different archetypes: soldier, special ops, and medic. The most outstanding element is how much all these classes need to rely on each other, probably more than in any other class-based shooter I've played before. The medic will obviously heal your team while the special ops member is your only source of ammunition. The soldier class gets the heavy weapon and he'll be at the vanguard of your attacks. Luckily, the secondary fire on his weapon will throw up a shield and protect him from incoming fire, but it's still in everyone's best interest to constantly feed him health and ammunition. It demands a balanced and diverse team, and grouping with a party that understands these particular roles is a rewarding and unique experience.

Speaking of experience, you'll be racking it up almost constantly while you blast your way through each map. New levels will unlock new weapons and abilities, making you all the more eager to hit that play button again and again. Your team will also have the opportunity unlock a certain amount of something called “grey tech” per map, depending on how far you can make it without everyone dying. This grey tech can then be spent on even more upgrades for each class, and unlike earned experience, the amount of grey tech you have acquired isn't locked to the particular class with which you may have earned it.

These are some really nice places for killing.
On the competitive side of the multiplayer you'll find Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, Core Control (essentially capture the flag) and Skirmish. Skirmish is probably the most exceptional, and for my money, the most entertaining of the bunch. This mode allows a total of 60 players--yeah, 60--to compete in a variety of objectives. The players are broken up into two teams, each of which is further broken up into smaller squads and then assigned their own unique objectives. It's a really fun mode, which will have your squad racing around the map to different flash points as new objectives appear. It's also a mode which makes good use of the extremely high player counts, whereas some of the others felt a little too chaotic for my aging reflexes. Luckily, when I got bored or embarrassed in the competitive arenas I would drag my sorry ass back to the excellent eight player co-op, which is where I spent the majority of my time.

So there you have it. Resistance 2 has a rubbish single-player campaign, which left me angry and confused. The lack of coherent storytelling is my biggest issue, but there's really nothing wrong with the overall gameplay. I am still of the opinion that the rest of the package makes it one of the best multiplayer shooters currently out for the PlayStation 3. Though my experience with the co-op definitely varied depending on the group I was with, it never ceased being entertaining. On top of that, the leveling seems to come slowly, but just quickly enough to keep you coming back for more. This game does not stand out for its single-player content, but those interested in sinking hours and hours into a unique and rewarding multiplayer shooter experience will find Resistance 2 well worth their money. Vinny Caravella on Google+
120 Comments
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Posted by Turtlefuzz

Great review! It's nice to see Vinny doing more than videos these days. I really want to pick this one up.

Posted by Roger_Klotz

Nice review vinny! I can't wait to play this games.

Posted by Sanj

Nice review, although kinda harsh on the single-player. Don't agree entirely with that, but the multiplayer is amazing.

Posted by Snipes424

The single player to me isn't as bad as a lot of these gaming journalist set it out to be (not just you Vinny).  Is it as good as Bioshock?  Not even close, but I would say it's about on par with Halo 3's single player, it exist, has good pacing, and entertaining, but in no way "great."  

That's about my only gripe with the review, other then that, pretty good review Vinny, thanks.
Posted by TheGamerGeek

I was sadly very disappointed with this game.

Posted by PJ

A bit sad that the story and single player gameplay isnt there since thats what Insomniac  is known for. Have to say that i expected more then just multi player from this game. Probebly not going to pick it up since i already have a mp game that takes up my time.

Edited by Jordan23

Great review Vinny and Resistance 2 is a great game and certainly in the G.O.T.Y. talks. And Resistance 2 has some of the best multiplayer in gaming... those 60 player matches are mindblowing!

Posted by Bucketdeth

I thought the single player was great, same with multiplayer......oh well.

Posted by Media_Master

Now I HAVE TO BUY !

Posted by DragoonKain1687

The bad point I think is that the SP story is told as with the first, via intel reports found in the stages, so unless you find many of this, or the more important ones, you are always left with that "WTF" just happened feeling. Still, I like the review, but excessively harsh just for the story, considering that Gears 2 half baked story is on par with this. (Yes I have both). Still, this are the best 2 action games for the summer-winter (depending your location).

Posted by RHCPfan24

Interesting review.  I thought this would get a 5, but whatever. (As long as L4D gets one I will be happy).

Posted by Destroyeron

Unfortunate they botched the single player.

Posted by Cube

Wow. I kind of knew you guys would give it a 4.

Posted by Drebin_893

Great review! I'm sure with your powers Vinny, you could record and feature in your own video review?

Posted by I2v2nr20I

Your word choice seems kind of inconsistent in regards to the single player... Horrible rubbish, but the only issue is the narrative.

Great review 'sides that though. Definitely a must have for PS3 owners, like the first one.

Posted by ZeroCast

That was a very coherent review but i have a feeling some people won't like the score...

Posted by Otacon

As long as the single player isn't as dull as the first game I think I will pick this one up.

Posted by TwoOneFive

man. they showed off those cool trailers and made everyone think this game would have a very cool story. 

Posted by brocool

Well good thing I dont come to this site for the reviews.

Posted by p4ddym1607

I think this review is being to harsh on the single player.

Posted by mubress

If i get it I would ave only been doing so for the multiplayer anyway, so sounds good!

Posted by sdauz

sp content is entirely based on perspectives - i though mercenaries 1 had a lot of story and of course most ppl didnt agree with me

Edited by spilledmilkfactory

calling the single player horrible, largely because of the story, is quite the exaggeration. that's like calling the original Gears of War's campaign horrible just because the story sucked, when in fact it was excellent despite the nonsensical narrative. other than that, good review.

Posted by Pleasureizmine

NO U

Posted by PLWolf

Got my copy from Gamefly, I'll have to tear myself away from LBP to play it though. :p

Seemed a bit harsh on the SP, Vinny, but great review anyway. Thanks!!

Posted by iAmJohn

In before people call you guys M$ shills and biassed.  Oh wait. :(

Posted by ReTarDedFisHy

ReTarDedFisHy thinks the singleplayer is a bit "Meh."
However, the multiplayer alone is what makes Resistance 2 stand out.
Co-op is overwhelmingly awesome.

Nice review, Vinny  :}

Edited by RelentlessKnight

Oh no! Not this again, fanboys up at arms and assuming they are MS shills? Oh MY!

They are NOT fucking bias, just look at the MGS4 and LBP score and come back!

Posted by MattBodega

I just can't wait for the VInny-O Review!
Ha ha!.....
Another Fantastic Review, Vinny! You've got real editorial chops!

Posted by Demyx

A little disappointed in the single player.
But I have yet to play the game, so I'll save my opinions.

Nice review.

Posted by ieatlions

Its just an opinion witch is perfectly reasonable and in my opinion is perfectly wrong but wat eves great reveiw !
and how biased is this it is - 100 x 2 biased

Posted by GeekyDad

Nice review. Thanks

Posted by sionweeks

OHHHHHHHHH 4 STARS!?!?

Let the Halo/GoW  fan boys v Sony's Big Title fan boys commence!

Posted by StaticFalconar

The zombie guys didn't need the cooling system because they weren't as enhanced as the other guys.

Posted by r3b3lr0b0t
These are definitely of the “fast zombie” variety and I found myself backed into a corner more than once, screaming “Oh God, Oh God, Oh...I'm dead.”

haha
Posted by allen_waker

and a million sony fanboys weep

Edited by yellownumber5

I agree 99.9% vinny.  I was also a little let down by the single player.  Incoherent story was a big problem, but that wouldn't have mattered if the levels didn't try to go way over the top.  Didn't help that I played Dead Space for the third time right before I picked R2 up.  Halfway through R2's single player I was actually wishing I was rather playing Dead Space to finish getting a certain trophy.

Co-op in R2 is hella fun though... fuck yeah!  well as long as you dont get on a team with douchebag spec ops.  those fuckers make me wish friendly fire was on so I could whack them upside the head when I've been out of ammo for five minutes and they haven't hit circle for the entire map.

Edited by Bigrhyno

Well then I guess it's a good thing that I never planned to play the game's single player (nor do I with most shooters). I highly recommend it to anyone wanting a great Co-op or competitive experience.

Posted by dtran1212

if this was on the xbox it would receive a 5/5

Posted by sofakingcool

Don't cry sony fanboys... Game Trailers said you could skip Resistance 2. I mean they gave Fable 2 four stars too and that game was 10 times as unique as this generic ass shooter. At least you still got MSG4!

Posted by faustyn

"if this was on the xbox it would receive a 5/5"

i lol'd.

Posted by GioVANNI

I'm not surprised, it just looked like a linear WWII shooter with aliens slapped on.  Very meh IMO.  I was guessing 3 *'s.

Posted by nickystixx

haha good review.

Posted by Bulldog19892

Humans vs. Aliens FPS #1752

This game doesn't stand out to me in any way. Ever since Halo every first person shooter has to be aliens invading earth, or WWII. It's getting repetitive.

Posted by samcotts

Christ, since when has 4 stars been a bad score?

Good review Vinny.
Posted by MKO619

FINALLY an honest review of Resistance 2

Posted by OmegaPirate

Guys no sense in saying sony is shite for getting a 4* review

No sense in saying vinny is shite for giving a 4* review

No sense in saying OMGZ AN HONEST REVIEW TO THIS OVERHYPED TRASH

No sense in saying OMGZ THEY PAYED OF BY M$

Its simple,4* is a great score, this game is a great game, the single player may be lacking in narrative - but look at the compariosns, halo, Gears- not especially oscar winnign storylines here - the guns fire, they guys die, it looks pretty - what more can you want from an fps??

Nice review, great game, glad to have it as an exclusive- end rant/
Posted by AndrewB

We all knew that the PS3's real show-stopper was going to be Killzone 2. I think the only reason the first Resistance game was so well-received was because the PS3 was only just released, and there wasn't a single "AAA" game at the time, so all the attention was focused on the one game that didn't outright suck.

Don't think that I'm an anti-ps3 guy, either. The 360's launch was just as pathetic.

Posted by Pibo47

Fanboys back off. I was super excited for this game and the SP sucks ass. Get over it, its a 4 star game anyway. Great review vinny!

Posted by President_Evil

fair review.  will recommend this to my PStriple-owning friends. :-]

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