Review by wigsplasher
"Exceeds all expectations"
First, let me talk about the difficulty... A lot of people have been bickering about how Resistance 2's AI is excruciatingly tough and how around every corner lies one cheap shot after the other. These complaints would be undoubtedly true if the game was played like Doom, however, Resistance 2 takes a much different approach than the aforementioned archaic shooter. For instance, ducking for cover and employing constant strategy in your experience will not only make the game much less cheap, but also make the game much more intense yet satisfying. You will feel like you're actually a badass super soldier, but at the same time, you will feel like you're actually battling super soldier enemies. I likened the game's difficulty to that of old-school games, and this reminded me of a first-person Contra for today's market. Overall, if you can back up your self-proclaimed game-god reputation, you'll fly through this game, but even casual gamers can make it, too. So quit whining, it's a challenge.
Second, the weapons in this game are great in their own right. You won't really find any of the Ratchet & Clank weapons that Insomniac Games are best known for, but you won't be disappointed either. The weapons primarily fit your standard repertoire for a first-person shooter, however, the secondary function of each weapon is what makes them unique. "Tag" enemies with the Bullseye, shoot a traveling electrified bolt from your Chimeran Marksman, or feel free to detonate Magnum rounds that are lodged in your foe's back. Whichever weapon you decide to use, you won't be dissatisfied. Also, Insomniac Games has decided to adopt the two-weapon rule, which allows the player to only carry two weapons at once. This isn't as bad as it sounds though, since any two weapons can be carried. In other words, you're not going to get stuck carrying a primary weapon with a half-assed secondary weapon. Finally, in a touch that I liked, although some others have expressed disdain over, Insomniac Games has placed key weapons throughout the single-player campaign just a little off the beaten path. So, when you're about to face a huge Goliath of a monster, look inside the shack to your right, and you might just find a rocket launcher.
Lastly, the scripted events and the epic levels in this game are nothing short of amazing. Look up at the sky at almost any moment and your jaw will drop. You may be thinking that you've heard this before, but that's because it can't be stated enough. Insomniac Games has pulled off a game that throws you straight into the action, makes you feel like you're in a war, and has you battling bosses that put the Green Giant to shame. This is a game that will exceed the expectations of even the most skeptical. I was new to the Resistance franchise, and was expecting a good -- not great -- shooter that would keep me entertained for an hour. While the single-player campaign can be completed in less than 10 hours, the campaign gives you a short-but-sweet feel and doesn't overstay it's welcome. The game can be replayed over higher difficulties a slew of unlockables and trophies can be won. XP points are also conveniently racked up in the single-player campaign that transfer to your overall online rating. In conclusion, Resistance 2 deserves at least an immediate rental.
What can I say? This is standard shooter fare, and by that I mean it doesn't really push any boundaries. Sure, the story keeps you playing through the campaign but we're not looking at any awards being won. It's your everyday aliens-versus-humans storyline with some infection added in.
Here's the most debated facet of the game. First, let me explain to you that the scope of this game is unreal. You can definitely tell that the guys who made the Ratchet & Clank games also made this. There's something always going on around you, and the maps are huge and meticulously crafted. However, this isn't all rainbows and sugar. My second point is that the graphics are somewhat inconsistent. Yes, the game looks beautiful... Most of the time. The rest of the time, you're seeing weird instances of pixelation and low-res graphics. Why? I'm not exactly sure, but I'm assuming that in order to push all the polygons and all the other crap that's going on on-screen, Insomniac Games had to make a few sacrifices. Nothing that really breaks the game, but nothing that really shoots it to the next level either. However, given the scope of the game and the fact that 60 players can shoot it out online without any noticeable lag, this section deserves a 10/10.
Sound / Music:
The music was not really a big thing with me. It wasn't annoying and never forced me to turn it off after I got sick of it, but it also never forced me to turn it up and rock out. This is some pretty normal ho-hum shooter music that serves its purpose perfectly: background music. The sound on the other hand is pretty sweet and I can't really see anyone being disappointed with it. The voice-acting also doesn't leave anything to complain about. Overall, Resistance 2 is a nice-sounding game.
I can't get enough of the online in this game. Seriously. Yes, it's true that up to 60 players can fight simultaneously and no noticeable lag will occur, but there's more to it than that.
Co-op allows up to 8 players to get together and fight the AI in a separate campaign mode from the single-player. This is great fun if you're with the right group of people, but as all online games go, this won't happen all the time. The co-op allows medics to heal others, soldiers to dish out the dirt and shield others, and spec-ops to provide ammo and pick off enemies for others. Overall, it's a nice change since teamwork is extremely necessary.
Competitive contains your standard deathmatch, team deathmatch, capture the flag (Core Control), and a somewhat different mode: Skirmish. I'm not going to get into the other modes other than Skirmish, since they're all pretty self-explanatory. Skirmish, however, is a great deal of fun since it sets up each time in groups of 5 and gives each group an objective. Capturing a spire, eliminating an enemy package, and protecting your own package (no pun intended) keeps the game varied. Overall, it's a great new addition to the online portion of the game.
Experience points are also given out for performance in co-op, and competitive. As you gain more and more experience points, you'll unlock new weapons, new outfits, new models, and new ranks. With that being said, there's no shortage of incentive to progress through the ranks.
Overall, I'm giving Resistance 2 a 10/10. Yea, it's got some things holding it back, but it's also got a lot going for it. Give it a try and you won't be disappointed. I was once a skeptic and I decided to pick it up. The game exceeds all expectations. Recommendation? Buy now.
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 12/04/08
Game Release: Resistance 2 (US, 11/04/08)
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