Review by Darth_Zak
"Resistance 2: Bigger, Bolder, and Better than the first"
First off, this game is outstanding for many reasons. If you are a fan of FPS then this is definitely an enjoyable game of epic proportions. Overall it is an extremely well balanced game that offers hours upon hours of play, even after you have beaten the campaign mode.
I have broken down the game into its major elements in order to give a better glimpse into the individual aspects of gameplay:
Graphics & Visual (9/10): Even playing this game even a year and a half after I first got it on its release date it still, for the most part, looks amazing. The textures look a little dated and sometimes a bit bland (especially in some of the multiplayer maps) but overall are still good enough. The lighting and shading effects are where the graphics engine really shines though. The shadows are rich, deep, and detailed especially on the surface of characters, giving them a realistic depth. The colors are much more vibrant and the color palatte is much more diverse than the gray tones and earthen hues of Resistance 1, which was personally a welcome change for me. The framerate is very steady, even with hordes of Chimera on the screen at once. The energy effects are all quite good looking, and so is vegetation. Draw distance is also a big plus, giving the levels a great deal of depth with huge backdrops.
Audio & Sound (9/10): The score is pretty solid, but maybe a little cliche and forgettable. The sound effects are great, both for the weapons and for the enemies. The surround sound really does make it sound like you're in the middle of it. The voice acting is pretty good, but sometimes a little cliche (the whole army tough-guy thing) but sometimes stereotypes exist for a reason so it wasn't a big deal for me.
Story (8/10): The story is pretty good, the premise I like alot because it is pretty novel compared to a lot of the derivitive stuff out there. I would have liked a little more story (I'm not gonna spoil it) but this entry in the franchise still does plenty to expand the Resistance universe and to move the story forward- it definitely has more of a story to it than the first one, although to get alot of the details and nuances it is important to read the intel documents gathered in the campaign and co-op modes (or read some wikipedia if you're lazy). Its also nice because the settings of the levels change quite frequently and keep the campaign pretty fresh as you visit a lot of American locales.
Gameplay (9/10): This is a FUN game, make no mistake. If you play on Hard it will be hard, and you will die, alot. If you play on Superhuman you will die more than alot. Coming from someone who has beaten it on all the difficulties, dying was no deterrent for me. The frustration of dying (or frequent dying in superhuman) was curbed by the pure fun that is the single player campaign. The weapon designs are awesome and every weapon is enjoyable in some way. Many weapons like the Splicer are just freakin fun to use, who doesnt want to shoot circular saw blades into a group of zombie like Grims and watch the blades ricochet around chopping off countless limbs? Some of the weapons from the first game also make their way back into this one, albeit with slight modifications to their specs.
The enemy AI is also pretty dang good, they're smart and they use smart tactics, and if you set it to a harder difficulty, they get a whole lot smarter so watch your back because they will flank you. Sometimes its good to run and gun and sometimes its smarter to dig into cover and pick them off one by one; the game is pretty good about letting you choose how to deal out the death, but the harder you set it, the more you'll be sitting behind cover, because otherwise you die very quickly. Just figuring out how to kill them best and what weapons to do it with is half the fun. There's also plenty of intense situations and boss fights that had me white-knuckling through them.
Multiplayer (9/10): For me, the Co-op Multiplayer aspect was one of the deepest multiplayer experiences I have ever seen or played. It was extremely enjoyable, expanded the story, and gives the player a sense that this is in fact an all out war for humanity's survival. It also forces you to rely on your teammates and to do your job as a cog in the co-op machine. If medics don't heal, everyone will die (your health does not regenerate in co-op), if soldiers don't wipe out the grunts and keep their shields up, you'll be overrun and beaten to death by the hordes of enemies, and if the marksmen don't pick off the stronger enemies and provide everyone else with ammo, then everyone runs out of ammo (including heals for the medic to give to others, and shields for the soldier that protect the group). Therefore if the group doesn't work together and everyone tries to go "rambo" then you'll all die and/or fail the mission. XP is rewarded to each class for doing their job and therefore further reinforces teamwork and encourages everyone to perform their specific duties effectively and effeciently. Plenty of time can be spent leveling up a specific class and there are plenty of missions to play. Also the shear amount of enemies makes this mode extremely fun as well, with upwards of 60 baddies on the screen at once, all trying to take your team out.
The Competitive Multiplayer (deathmatch, team deathmatch, etc.) for me was less enjoyable than the co-op, however it is still an overall solid and enjoyable experience. My biggest gripe, however, is that the ranked matches, which give you XP to level up and get better gear, are randomly picked for you (you get to pick the game type and size of the map but thats all). There is no list that allows you to browse through the ranked matches and pick one which is quite frustrating because often times you will wait 30 seconds to get thrown into a lobby for a ranked game, and then the game is cancelled bc not enough people joined, network issue, etc. and then you're back where you were, searching for a game to play. This means it takes a hell of alot of time to level up bc you have to wait for it to find games for you. For me this was just more incentive to play the co-op mode.
Overall (9/10): This game is overall a great FPS with plenty of polish and depth, offering many fun hours of play. Seeing as its a Greatest Hit title now and only about $30, theres almost no reason any self-respecting fan of the FPS genre shouldn't have this game.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 08/13/10
Game Release: Resistance 2 (US, 11/04/08)
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