cardon's Resistance: Jinrui Botsuraku no Hi (PlayStation 3) review

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Resistance offers an old school style fps with next-gen power

Whenever a new console launches there is usually one title that either defines the system or easily becomes the killer app. Resistance is clearly the #1 title for the PS3 at launch. Insomniac, the developers behind the Spyro and Ratchet and Clank series, go back to their roots with Resistance since their first title for the PS1 was a game called Disruptor. While Resistance doesn’t change or add anything new to the FPS genre or present CG quality visuals, it is still one of the best FPS games to have been released in the past few years.

Resistance revolves around the invasion by the Chimera, a species of unknown origin that have spread from Russia to the U.K. The Chimera is a force to be reckoned with and can infect humans to replenish their forces. You take the role of Nathan Hale, an American soldier sent to England to combat the Chimera. Hale and his squad are infected by the Chimera shortly after landing in England with Hale being the only survivor. From there the story revolves around the mystery as to why Hale hasn’t changed into a Chimera and where the Chimera come from. While most action or FPS games, such as Gears of War, present a slim story Resistance offers a deep story that is presented in an interesting fashion. At the start and end of each level a cinema, told occasionally through black & white still images, cues the player as to the background of the Chimera as well as to the player’s current location. While these cut scenes are not long they do a good of advancing the story and keeping the player informed.

As with any launch game the graphics are an important factor. When compared to Gears of War Resistance may not look that good, but for a launch game the visuals are quite good and extremely polished. Resistance has excellent art design along with a variety of locales ranging from the war torn streets of Manchester, Chimeran controlled fish canneries and the pits of Chimeran tunnels. The art design of the levels is one of the games strongest points since it keeps the game fresh and interesting. The excellent art design is also carried over to the Chimeran enemies and human soldiers. Both have various details such as swaying backpacks or air hissing out of tubes on their backs. Another strong visual point is the various effects of the weapons. Some weapons shoot fire, emit shields, and electricity. The various effects of the weapons both show off the visuals of the game along with keeping game interesting. In the end Resistance may not be the tour de force of the PS3’s graphical power but it does make an impact as a launch title.

If you play Resistance and expect revolutionary gameplay such as physics based combat or a unique covering system then Resistance offers none of that. Instead Resistance is an old fashioned straight forward FPS. It’s a standard linear game but every aspect of the game is top notch. The level design is good and overall the game is challenging when playing on the standard medium difficulty setting. The Chimera will take cover as well as follow you to certain areas. When playing Resistance there are times when it’s best to go full force into an environment, while other times you need to take the area on strategically, taking on each enemy encounter at a time. Occasionally there are some vehicle portions of the game. Expect to control both a tank and a jeep. These vehicle portions are a bit short but are fun and are a break from the intense combat. One thing Resistance does well is presenting showcase moments. There are quite a few moments in the game that are a bit unexpected as well as shocking. Seeing dozens of Chimera crawlers cascading down a city building and homing in on your position is quite cool and a bit of a shock since it’s an unexpected moment. Resistance also has some really cool showpiece levels that make you feel that you’re in a battlefield. The Manchester level is the best example of this since the area is war torn with dilapidated buildings. In this level the Chimera forces are at full force and there are dozens of soldiers on the battlefield. Insomniac manages to continue this trend of showpiece moments and encounters through the game’s 30 level single player campaign which should take most around 8 hours to complete. Resistance doesn’t offer anything new in terms of gameplay but it does stand up to and surpass the recent FPS hits of the past few years.

Another key aspect of the game is the weapons. Insomniac is best known for their crazy weapons in the Ratchet and Clank series and they continue that tradition with Resistance. There is a wide variety of weapons ranging from both human and Chimera. All the weapons have either an alternate fire or weapon. For example the Bullseye alt function is firing a homing tag that will return fire to the tagged enemy despite where you’re pointing the gun. Another example is the Auger which fires through walls and its alt function is projecting a temporary shield in front of you. All the weapons are interesting and all have unique traits and rates of fire. Not all weapons are unlocked during your first play through so it’s encouraged that you play again to unlock some of the crazier weapons.

As with any FPS game the controls are an important part. If you’re playing a breakneck game that requires precision but the controls are poor then that will completely ruin the game. Happily Resistance has excellent controls. Control with the analog sticks is sharp and the speed of movement is perfect. Using the new L2 and R2 buttons for secondary command are fine and the overall control layout is perfect. Resistance also utilizes the Sixaxis control of the PS3 controller. When playing in single player you can shake the controller when an enemy attacks you to shake them off. The Sixaxis is also used in the multiplayer part of the game. When tagged by an enemies weapon shaking the controller with shake the weapons tag off you. The same shaking mechanic is used when you’re on fire. While the Sixaxis control is not that deep it is still interesting and doesn’t feel tacked on.

Resistance also offers top notch audio. Both the music and voice acting is varied and very professional. There isn’t a lot of in game chatter but during the cut scenes the voice acting is on par with other story driven games and certainly surpassed Gears of War. The music is also excellent and really immerses the player into the game.

FPS games are known for the multiplayer modes. In some cases this can either make or break a game. Thankfully Resistance has a good amount of modes both old and new. There are a total of 5 multiplayer modes. They include, deathwatch, team deathmatch, capture the flag, Meltdown, and Breach. Meltdown and Breach both revolve around destroying an enemy’s base and taking over it. These modes along with the others are interesting and make for fun matches. The various maps for the MP modes are based off levels found in the single plater game. Of course these maps are slightly different and offer key positions if you’re into sniping or straight up shooting. Most importantly there is no lag in the game and finding a match is easy. Resistance also offers good stat tracking along with ranking the player based on their performance. By playing ranked matches the player can get various ribbons and medals based off certain achievements such as melee kills, head shots, and multiple kills. This is a good way off offering achievements since PS3 online offers no achievements points. Resistance does include co-op play but its only offline via splitscreen. There is no online co-op which is the only downside to the game.

In the end Resistance may not be a revolutionary game but it does make a major impact as a launch title. It’s an old school shooter that will surely engage old school players and new players. If you like a story driven FPS that also has deep multi-player modes then Resistance is the game to own if you have a PS3.

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