Review by Wiggis
"An excellent game that's difficult to, well, resist!"
To be honest, I didn't play the first title, Resistance: Fall of Man, all too extensively. There were a lot of good points, yet ultimately it was plagued by problems common in titles that release on day one of a specific console. But when Insomniac is given time to work, they can certainly pull many rabbits from their hat.
STORY: 7 / 10
There are 2 parallel stories that exist within Resistance 2: the Campaign story and the Co-operative story.
The Campaign story continues the tale of Nathan Hale, the only survivor of Resistance: Fall of Man. Set 2 years after FoM, Nathan has learned to control his Chimeran infection through inhibitor treatments and training. Armed with new knowledge and strength, Nathan sets out across various American cities to help wipe out an against-all-odds invasion with little hope for a happy ending. Given how lackluster the stories are in nearly every other FPS, R2's story is far better than the average bear's, with a surprisingly great ending to top it off.
The Co-op story, however, is a lot more loose, acting as more of filler during the time between the first two titles. It also explains gaps left open during the single-player campaign. Though not as strong as the single-player's story, it does give good insight to the hopelessness of humanity as they fight a losing war against a race that wants more than anything to see them dead.
GRAPHICS: 9 / 10
Everything about how this game looks is a great step up from the PS3 launch title. The overall color palette is expanded, no longer relying so much on black, white and gray. Metal shines brilliantly, enemies explode in a beautiful mess of gore when hit really, really hard and environments vary greatly, moving from cities, a forest, a swamp, a metropolis, etc. Every enemy looks great, especially when they're larger than life. Even in multiplayer, even during the most hectic 60-player matches, the graphical quality is not marred at all.
SOUND: 8 / 10
The sound quality is very strong on this particular PlayStation 3 disc. To start off, the voice acting is excellent. Nobody sounds like they're over-exaggerating or giving a half-hearted script reading. It helps that there are no "macho", over-the-top characters that other shooters always include. Everyone is believable within the context of the game. It seems a bit odd that people standing next to you will sound like they're talking to you through a radio, but this isn't anything that ultimately harms the quality of the voice acting.
All of the sound effects are top quality. Every gun and grenade makes it's own sound. Though many Chimera make very similar roars, there are also invisible enemies that "coo", warning players of their possible fate. Speaking of the Chimera, their skulls make a very satisfying "splat" when felled by a headshot.
The music is good enough. It's your basic orchestral symphony music that 98.4% of first person shooters feature. It suits the whole "the world is falling apart around our ears" motif of Resistance 2, but none of these songs will live forever. But, for reasons only known by Insomniac and Sony, this game does not support custom soundtracks! Simply put, this is wrong. In this day and age, there is no excuse.
CONTROL: 9 / 10
No complaints. Everything works the way it should. The Campaign mode allows for multiple different control schemes, including room for 100% customizable button layouts. The Sixaxis, thankfully, is delegated merely to melee attacks, which is also defaulted to a press of the R3 button.
The guns don't have that "wander" to them (ex: Call of Duty) and are all very easy to handle once you realize how each firearm is executed. Even in the most intense skirmishes, guns are easy to aim steadily.
Personally, I don't see why they do not allocate the primary fire of the weapons to the trigger buttons of the controller. The L2 and R2 buttons are perfect for shooters, yet the defaults state they belong on L1 and R1. By no means is this a debilitating setback, it simply raises questions.
GAMEPLAY: 9 / 10
Ultimately, Resistance 2 can be broken down into three parts: Campaign, Co-operative and Competitive.
The Campaign is, obviously, the title's story mode as you follow Nathan Hale's journey against the Chimera. This is the mode I would suggest playing first, as it's a great way to get used to using the game's various weapons. The Campaign mode is also the best way to get a majority of the game's trophies. It isn't too long and upon completion you unlock various little extras including a harder difficulty, an arcade mode, concept art, etc. Resistance 2's story mode isn't without fault, however. There are no longer vehicles, the AI can sometimes be spotty and a couple of the boss fights are underwhelming at best. But this is a journey well worth taking, especially for the game's very satisfying ending.
In Co-operative mode, up to eight players can team up to fight Chimera jacked up on super steroids. Though the individual missions don't vary greatly, they're still a blast to play, especially when in a full 8-person team that are working together like a well-oiled machine. When choosing Co-op, players are given the choice between 3 classes: Soldier (a heavy weapon-wielding class), Medic (the healer) and Special Ops (the ammo re-supplier). Thanks to superb balancing, there is no "better" or even "best" class. They all work wonderfully together in a whole "one hand washes the other" fashion, which is good because teams are often asked to take down behemoths with murder in their eyes. Teamwork makes all the difference here. When all are working together, games go by quick and smooth with even the biggest hoard of enemies falling helplessly. Take the camaraderie away, you're left with a mess of dead soldiers, with those living left broken, bruised and out of ammo.
Competitive mode contains your standard online vs. mode favorites, such as Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, Capture the Flag, etc. Only in Resistance 2, Insomniac kicks it up a notch by allowing up to 60 players to fight at a time! The player capacity may seem a bit daunting, but given the size of some of the game's maps, everything seems to flow just right. Plus, it is very easy to simply opt for a smaller room/game, making it so you don't have to jump straight into a chaotic brawl if you don't want to. Luckily, even at maximum capacity, I've never seen even a hint of lag. Games run silky smooth to completion, even with a wireless connection. The only true downside is that the character interaction with the environment isn't as fluid as it is in other titles of it's ilk, such as Call of Duty or Rainbow Six. Examples of this include difficulty in going through windows or the inability of treading specific objects. Also, when choosing "FIND GAME" to go to ranked matches, the game will sometimes kick you out, stating "not enough players were able to join", despite how obvious it was the room was filling up nicely.
All three game modes compliment like a well-cooked s'more. Since they all control similarly, they also share a couple problems. Whether they're AI controlled or Joe Random from across the PSN, your allies feel they must stand in front of your gun at the worst possible moments. You can't kill them, but they will stop your bullets, no matter how big or powerful, leaving whoever you were trying to kill at full health while you now have less ammo. If you plan on collecting trophies for this game, you will curse every time this happens, especially when it sometimes feels that they're doing this on purpose. Plus, the fact that they abandoned the "weapon wheel" for the "I can only hold 2 weapons at a time" is a massive kick in the crotch for anyone familiar with either Ratchet & Clank or even the first Resistance title. My fingers are crossed that Resistance 3 will re-introduce carrying all weapons at once. Despite these issues, there is still a great deal of fun to be had, whether you're trying to kill 15 minutes or have a whole day of nothing to do. Online games are easy to connect & play and trophies are easy enough to unlock to keep you playing until you unlock more.
OVERALL: 8 / 10
Insomniac may have been a bit stricken with "sequel-itis" with Resistance 2 by trading away a few good points, but the overall package makes this a definitive must-own for the PS3. If you consider yourself a fan first-person shooters, don't even think about it; add this to your collection and enjoy.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 08/23/10
Game Release: Resistance 2 (US, 11/04/08)
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