Hands On with Resistance 3
My grizzled band of survivors is not looking good. These are not the hardy, devil may care marines I’m used to seeing in first person shooters. There’s an old man with grey hair, a bald spot and thick rimmed glasses. This guy belongs in a nursing home, not on a battlefield. And then there’s the scrawny kid that looks like he got lost on his way to 3rd period. I watch him pick his way across the charred remains of what used to be a bustling city. What was his name again? Suddenly a group of Hybrid Chimera appear on a rooftop. With a yowling screech the leader pounces on the kid and rips his head off in one fluid movement. I hear the old man shout over the wind: “Billy’s down!” Oh right, Billy, that was his name. He’s not so much “down” as “viciously decapitated” but I suppose there’s no real point in correcting the old geezer.
And so begins the next chapter in Insomniac’s Resistance saga. If you were hoping for a bunch of smart mouth soldiers with muscles akin to overzealous bodybuilders, you are going to be sorely disappointed. This is what’s left. They’re elders and kids that fled to safe havens while all the men of fighting age were busy being either slaughtered or converted into more chimera. I couldn’t be more thrilled at this welcome change of pace. It’s refreshing to be frantically fighting for your life rather than nobly defending the planet. Ross Lincoln has more juicy plot details on how humans got themselves in this predicament here.
Resistance 3′s single player deviates from standard FPS games in more than just it’s choice of characters. It also has an actual health gauge that you have to refill by picking up health packs! I know I’m a bit overexcited about this, but ever since Halo’s magically refilling shield technology broke on the scene, FPS games have been drifting further away from my beloved health bars. Nowadays it’s all bloody screens and blurred vision.
The weapons are a joy to use. My carbine seems to have realistic kick, yet its accurate at the same time. The alien “Bullseye” sounds like a hyperactive nail gun as it shreds enemies to ribbons. All the guns in this game all have a secondary fire option that I’ve seen in games like Dead Space and Bulletstorm. R1 fires normally and R2 fires your “special” rounds. For instance, if I press R2 with with the Carbine, it spits out a grenade. If I press R2 with the magnum it fires a round that can be detonated after piercing an enemy. You get the idea. Interestingly, all the guns in Resistance 3 will be upgradeable.
In addition to the standard guns, there’s a wide array of secondary equipment. A few examples I saw were grenades, shields that protect you from melee attacks and bubbles that protect you from projectiles. This kind of futuristic weaponry adds another level of complexity to the game and allows players to tackle challenges in unique ways.
One down side I noticed is that the melee attacks are really nothing special. When you’re competing against games like Killzone 2 and Gears of War that have some fantastically gory quick time kills, I expect a little more than just a whack in the head. I know a lot of FPS players will disagree with me here on the grounds that quick time kills take control away from the player or get repetitive, etc. But I like seeing a good neck snapping or chainsaw evisceration when I get close to someone. It’s like the game’s way of saying “Way to sneak up on that guy! Here’s something for your trouble!”
The controls are intuitive and smooth. The buttons are all pretty much where you’d expect them to be. I still think that the Playstation Dual-Shock controller is ill-designed for FPS games. My thumbs run into each other on the sticks sometimes, but there’s nothing the makers of Resistance can do about that. What they have done however, is pushed the PS3 to it’s limit in terms of graphics. The amount of detail packed into every pile of rubble is astonishing. Debris blows realistically through the wind and I can see wrinkles in the gnarled flesh of my enemies as it stretches across their mutated bones.
And speaking of the enemies, the Chimera are not fucking around this time. I watched a level designer named Cameron die on a level HE CREATED. He got sniped to death by some cloaking Chimera that hid in the trees and used laser sights to target him (inspired by Predator perhaps?). Since Cameron couldn’t see the cloaked enemies he had to follow their laser sights back to their bodies. It was a task that took just long enough for every Chimera in the area to set their sights on him. Other interesting enemies included a robot that follows the Chimera around shielding them and a massive ape-like creature called a Brawler. I got to go 12 rounds with the Brawler in a nerve wracking boss fight shortly after poor Billy’s demise. This thing swatted me halfway across the map and then THREW A CAR AT ME. And you couldn’t just shoot it anywhere. You had to blow up it’s heat sinks in order to defeat it.
Resistance 3 had me feeling frazzled, scared and hopeless and I loved every minute of it. There’s a pervading sense that humans have already lost that makes this game stand out among it’s competitors. Add to that some beautiful graphics, intense enemies and a good old fashioned health gauge and suddenly I can’t give Insomniac my money fast enough. Resistance 3 comes out On September 6, 2011.
Crush the Chimera for a third time — with Game Front’s walkthrough.