Aftershock: Resistance 3 Is The Year’s Great Shooter

I’m not ashamed to admit I felt pretty ambivalent toward Resistance 3 before I picked it up a couple weeks ago. The first two games were merely OK, and I hadn’t seen anything to make me think this one would be different. But oh Lordy it is different, and there are two main reasons for that.

First, the player does not have regenerating health. Not a shocker, considering the first game was like that, although the second did have regeneration. That in itself was a pleasant surprise, though.

Second, this game is like Serious Sam in the number of enemies it throws at you. Any given battle will see dozens of bad guys attack you all at the same time, and it’s effing glorious. They just keep coming and keep coming.

It’s the combination of those two things that makes this game such an effective shooter. You’re never safe. Battles are as hellish and hectic as in any other shooter I’ve played in a long time. You have to think quickly and move even more quickly.

It’s hard to overstate just how much not having regenerating health affects a game as intense as this one. You are required to really be on the top of your game if you want to survive. The mistakes you make stick with you until you’re dead or you somehow overcome the odds. This game does not forgive you for screwing up.

And it’s almost beautiful how many enemies it throws at you. So often, when you consider your lack of regenerating health, it feels overwhelming, like there’s no way you can survive. But the game is so well balanced, thanks to your massive arsenal of weapons, that you always have a chance, even if it doesn’t feel that way when enemies are pouring out of that drop ship.

The weapons are another way Resistance 3 bucks the current shooter trends. You can carry all of the weapons you find at once, rather than having to switch out because you only have two weapon slots. And that’s a great thing, because you’ll find some extraordinary weapons along the way, and you won’t want to ever have to part with them. And you won’t have to!

Resistance 3 is the year’s great shooter, and it’s a throwback. It reminds us why it is we liked shooters to begin with, back when every battle was tense, and every encounter could kill us. Nothing about this game feels easy, and yet it’s so well put together that it never feels impossible. Insomniac has struck a balance with this game that few shooters ever have, and for that reason I feel confident in saying that Resistance 3 is the year’s best shooter.

Remember, I’m the person who values the campaign over online, so you can have your Battlefield 3 and Modern Warfare 3, although I’m sure those games will have perfectly acceptable campaigns. Resistance 3, though, is for the gamers who have been playing shooters since the genre was invented 20 years ago. That group of gamers will find in Resistance 3 one of the most satisfying shooter experiences they’ve had in years. Enjoy it.

Follow Phil on Twitter: @philrowen

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1 Comment on Aftershock: Resistance 3 Is The Year’s Great Shooter

JosephPS3 Herman Cain 4 Pres

On October 25, 2011 at 3:04 pm

I was like Phil in terms of my attitude towards R3-meh, blah, whatever. R1 and R2 was interesting but nothing really exciting. I thought R3 was going to be just another silly sci fi shooter but R3 takes a much more adult, serious, mature tone. The graphics are excellent. You can’t judge it by video clips. I’ve traded Rage but I’ll be keeping R3 because its a game I’ll be coming back to once in awile.