Review by ScionX
Perhaps some of you remember just over 2 years ago when many of you lined up to get your PS3's. Odds are you also picked up Resistance: Fall of Man. I enjoyed Resistance, it felt oddly different from most of today's dried up and boring shooters. You could almost say it "resisted" being like other shooters and felt it could make it's own market rather than compete with the likes of other shooters. But does the sequal impress?
Starting off, graphics. Not completely important, but if you are going to put a lot of time into a game, nothing wrong with having it look nice. For the most part, R2 looks better than R:FOM in every way. At it's worst, it looks just as good. Not much more to say they are thoroughly average, but good enough so it is not a distraction in any way.
(Art) Design- 6/10
When it came to the design of the game, I had mixed feelings. The first Resistance was bland and gray and boring. The second installment has far more detail in it's environments, and it shows. I especially enjoy the ruined Chicago level, with it's crumbling buildings and wrecked cars. There was also much more color in this game, from the woods of Idaho to streets of San Fransisco, you could tell there was much more thought put into the coloring scheme. Despite all of this, however, the game feels just as bland.If you play a level in a city, it looks very orange (One could attribute this to the time of day, but still, very orange). If you are in a woodland area, everything looks green. While some of you are probably going, "Duh, you're in the woods," it just makes it feel like they had a preset color for every level and tinted everything in the level that color. However, it's a minor complaint, and one that is easily overlooked by the far greater detail put into this game.
Gameplay (Single Player)- 3/10
If you were planning on buying Resistance 2 only for it's campaign mode, don't. Insomniac really dropped the ball on this one. Gone is the weapon wheel, half of the unique weapons, health quadrants, and the ability to unload an entire clip of ammo into an enemy and still have him stand. Whereas the first Resistance felt and played differently from every other shooter on the market, Resistance 2 can only truly be related to the most recent Call of Duty games. You now aim your weapon downsights by holding L1, you can now sprint by holding L2 (The one control change I actually enjoyed), crouching is now toggled by tapping L2, the weapon system works perfectly like Halo's, and even the melee has been remapped to R3. In the end, it feels like a strange combination of Halo's, Cod's, and the first Resistance's control scheme, and it doesn't come off impressive. However, you can customize your control scheme, so it's a minor complaint. At least grenades are still mapped to circle.
It now also uses the regenerative health system of every other shooter on the market. You no longer have to stragetize and cautiously approach every gunfight like in the first Resistance, you just shoot until the screen is red, then hide behind a wall until it isn't. While I haven't counted personally, it feels like there are even less weapons than in R1. And even if there are more, they aren't all for the better. Most of the unique weapons from R1 are gone (The Auger is the only remaining "unique" one), the carbine and both versions of the Bullseye return and again make up most of your arsenal for the game, and the Fareye, Rossmore, and Laark reutrn completely identical, except the Laark's secondary fire is now some mini missile thing I never ended up using. New weapons include a magnum that plants a bullet bomb thing that you activate with secondary fire, a grenade launcher, a minigun weapon with an incredibly useful shield, the marksman, a highly accurate mid-range to long-range weapon, a gun that shoots saw blades, and a high powered pulse rifle. For the grenades, the excellent backlash grenade is gone, but in it's place is an equally awesome spider grenade, which creates a web of fire on the ground and clears out ground troops pretty quickly. Of the new weapons, the only one that stands out is the saw shooter, which was rather disappointing. Though not as disappointing as the campaign itself.
R1 was a fairly linear shooter, and R2 is no different. But where R1 had shocking and some good moments, R2 tries to make up with size. Insomniac's theory was bigger is better, so they made everything bigger. The only problem is that this size lacks substance. Where R1 gunfights were intense, R2 gunfights just add more enemies to shoot at in hopes of recreating intensity. You can tell when certain enemies are coming up because certain weapons will be placed right before it. Did you walk over the shotgun? You can probably bet zombie things will chase you soon. Pass by a minigun? You got some heavy gunners coming up. Walk up to a pulse rifle or a Laark? It's boss battle time. This predictabililty ruins any surprise you might have had and then ruins the experience somewhat. It's all to unfortunate that this is a common occurence in the campaign, as it does nothing to draw you in.
Or maybe you aren't drawn in because half the game you're dead. Obviously an exaggeration, but so many of the fights come down to finding a place to heal fully or going down the corridor a second time because the first time those 3 invisible enemies killed you in one hit while you were running to your next objective.
The worst done parts of the story though, would have to be the underwhelming boss fights. Maybe the leviathan fight would have been better if they didn't reveal it before hand, or if it wasn't terribly scripted, or maybe if your hand wasn't held through it the entire way, but every boss fight comes down to just shooting the crap out of it or,if that isn't the case, a blatantly obvious solution should appear to you.
Whatever way you look at it, the single player campaign proves bigger doesn't always equal better. However, that definitely worked in their favor for multiplayer.
Multiplyer (Competitive)- 8/10
Now here is where the control changes actually benefit R2. The weapon wheel made yu a sitting duck in the R1, so in that sense the 2 weapon system actually helps.
There was a lot of talk and hype for the multiplayer, which promised huge 30 vs. 30 battles on massive maps while being a smooth as a... smooth operator. Anyways, Insomniac easily delivered. The multiplayer offers the standard Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, Capture the Flag, and the truly awesome Skirmish. This mode breaks people up into squads of 5 to attempt to achieve certain objectives for their team while facing off against another squad with a similar objective. While this usually is controlled, sometimes squads will cross over and insanity ensues with usually up to 20 people on each team shooting at each other in truly satisfying gunplay. Skirmish mode isn't without it's flaws though, as with less than 60 people on these large maps can make it feel almost empty and you have to travel way to far to get anywhere. Also, if you aren't playing with people who have headsets, all teamwork is thrown out the window and it becomes nothing more than a giant deathmatch. The other modes are quite standard, but are a nice break from Skirmish, which really steal the show.
The matchmaking is fine and it has a similar ranking structure to R1, nothing much changed there.
Multiplayer (Cooperative)- 9/10
Cooperative play is this game's highlight. Barring recent releases such as Left 4 Dead and MMO's, you could argue this is the definitive co-op of any game. Rather than sending you through the main game with 1 or 3 other buddies, Insomniac has forged what I hope will become the new standard that others will improve upon when they think of co-op in FPS's. Co-op holds up to 8 people in a completely separate campaign from the main game.
Insomniac doesn't just throw 8 people in there with a gun and tell them to start shooting, however. They set up a class based system that not only supports, but requires teamwork. Soldiers deal heavy damage and provide shielding for the rest of the group, Special Ops have a longer range and provide ammo, and Medics are required to heal the other 2 classes, who have no regenerating health. This requires you to pick out teams before hand, and balance it all out. Sure, you could go with only soldiers, but you would run out of ammo really quick. Similar deficits occur when the party becomes too unbalanced. There is also an experience system that improves abilities over time as well.
This forced teamwork creates the most intense experience, as there is nothing like a soldier pushing forward with a medic behind his shield to a point were a fallen teammate lies amidst 40 chimera letting loose all they've got on the survivors.
Resistance 2 feels much more generic and similar to most modern shooters today. It got rid of most of the original's creative and appeal. But at the same time it refined what everyone else was doing, especially co-op.
If you plan on playing online, R2 is the best shooter you will play on the PS3 this year (Unless you are a die hard SOCOM fan).
If you can't or won't enter the online realm, skip this one.
Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 12/02/08
Game Release: Resistance 2 (US, 11/04/08)
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