Review by SolidFantasy
"Resistance 3: Kind of like Oregon Trail but in first person with New York, aliens, and kick-ass guns!"
Back when the PS3 launched and everyone said it had no games, there was a popular one called Resistance: Fall of Man that was a great blend of alien sci-fi and shooting with guns that had style. It is good to see that to this day the series is still relevant and that many of the franchise's original fans are still around. There seems to be a popular opinion that while Resistance 2 was a bit more cinematic and had a more interesting story, at the same time Insomniac Games nerfed the game-play removing a lot of attracted fans in the first place. It seems Insomniac is returning Resistance to its roots in both the story and multi-player department while also moving the franchise forward in its own way. The real question though is in a time where the market is over-saturated with First Person Shooters, just how relevant is Resistance 3 really and is the third entry worth your time
Story: It is now 1957, 4 years after the events of Resistance 2. The Chimera seems to have the war won. Meanwhile Joseph Capelli has given up and now hides with his wife and daughter. Dr. Malikov arrives though and shares info on what he has been working on. Basically, Malikov's plan is to hit the Chimera hard where their Wormhole is; New York City. Reluctant at first Joe decides to say his goodbyes and go along with the suicide mission. That's pretty much it in a nutshell (I did omit a few minor things that clear up the Resistance 2 ending to keep this spoiler-free) and honestly it is pretty damn underwhelming from both a story and character standpoint. I never gave a damn about Joe (even during a few ridiculously cheesy scenes that try and make you want to see Joe make it home) and the story just does not expand much in the Resistance universe or answer many questions. The ending is extremely rushed and underwhelming to the point where I had felt like I had accomplished nothing after beating the game. There is one really cool story-aspect though but without spoiling it, it isn't anything directly story-related. The game just puts a real cool twist or implication on one of its bosses. Everything else is entirely forgettable though which a shame because the game does have very good production values, voice acting, and amazing full CGI cut-scenes that look gorgeous. On a related note I will say the game has very immersive and atmospheric environments. Throughout most of the journey to New York across various other locales, the game does give off a great vibe that if you do reach New York you can change the entire tide of the war. Sadly the ending cancels that out as it's not only insanely short but makes you feel duped of $60 because nothing whatsoever happens in the game. It feels like filler for a Resistance 4. Overall, there is quite a bit of hit and miss here.
Game-play: Insomniac heard the cries of Resistance fans around the world and has returned to their roots. The weapon wheel is back for starters and the level-design is much more improved. There are classic weapons returning (everybody's favorite; the Auger that shoots through frickin walls) and all new toys to try out such as the Atomizer (an electricity based shotgun that can also shoot vortexes that suck your enemies in and destroy them), a cryo-based gun that freezes and shatters enemies and more. The weapon variety is everything you would expect and more from Insomniac. Having all of them at your disposal at the same time allows you to really spice up the variety. I played the entire Campaign in Co-op and it was a blast using our weapons co-operatively. For instance sometimes my partner would freeze an enemy while I whip out my Rossmore Shotgun and shoot them and watch them immediately shatter. On harder difficulties I would imagine that there is a ton of creative strategy involved which is great. You can also level these weapons up by using them which also unlocks stronger modes of fire and various abilities. The other big change is that Resistance 3 has no regenerating health! Yep, just like in the original you will be hunting down health packs. The enemies themselves vary greatly and contain everything from the classic Hybrids to Grims to Leeches to even human enemies during a few chapters that do a great job at breaking up the game-play. There's various mini-bosses and actual bosses but just like a recent PS3 exclusive; Infamous 2, they are nothing but boring battles consisting of shooting obvious weak spots until they drop. They are reused a lot too and you just get annoyed upon seeing them again. One of the bosses is very awesome though from a design stand-point all the way to its story-purpose.
From a level design stand-point the game is fantastic and again very immersive. Some levels have you in apocalyptic renditions of Oklahoma to New York to a prison in Pennsylvania. It's all really immersive and atmospheric too. The locales of the game are broken up and spaced nicely too so you never really get bored but the huge enemy variety also is a factor there. The last few chapters of the game almost feel like the movie Aliens and are really awesome. There are some fantastic levels revolving around set-pieces such as levels where you defend a train and a boat in an on-rails sequence that is very intense. The actual game feels very traditional to FPS's but the game also allows you to fully customize the controls which honestly are something that every game should have, period. If anything it's a joke that developers push their own control schemes on the player so major kudos to Insomniac here. Once again I played the game from start to finish in co-op which was a blast but there were some bugs. Whoever player 2 is will experience some annoying checkpoints; one I got was being literally stuck inside the bottom of a bridge. This was during a pretty big battle too so we replayed the level, I died again, and the same thing happened. There's also a pretty big bug during a sequence where we had to haul ass up and around a staircase but whoever was last up the first set up stairs would randomly die. The creature chasing us was looking the other way too so I have no idea what was going wrong but we did pass the section by running as close as we possibly could to each other. Aside from that Co-op was definitely an enhancement to the experience and while it is not necessary at all to fully enjoy the game I recommend it.
Obviously there is once again competitive multiplayer too and from what I've played if you enjoy Resistance on-line you will most likely enjoy this. I was experiencing lag and match-making issues but another patch was released and eliminated these problems. Insomniac seems to be really supporting the game by being on the ball with patches and having new maps available soon on top of the maps already in the game. One of the things I really like is how the maps aren't just ripped from the Campaign but rather completely new renditions of locales in this apocalyptic Chimera invaded Earth. The game seems to have adopted some features from Call of Duty in which you can buy preferred upgrades right away which is a good thing. I won't put in much time to the on-line component because competitive multi-player isn't my cup of tea but it seems deep and like it will attract new fans and Resistance fans alike. The only thing left to talk about is the fact that the game does support Move and Sharpshooter controls. I unfortunately (or rather fortunately in my honest opinion) do not have either so I cannot comment on how they work with Resistance 3. Overall, the game-play (more specifically weapon and enemy variety which is enhanced via co-op) is where Resistance 3 shines.
Graphics/Sound; First off the graphics are outstanding and I have no idea what game the haters are playing but it sure as hell isn't Resistance 3. The environments, more specifically things like the particle effects, lighting, and scope of the areas are incredible. I will say some guns, character, and enemy textures/animations are somewhat flat but the truly engaging environments that just suck you in and have you looking around levels in awe more than make up for it. A lot of the game's cut-scenes are completely CGI again too and they look beautiful. The sound-effects from Chimeras growling to explosions to the guns all sound pretty neat. While the music isn't special it definitely gets the job done. Resistance 3 also can be played in 3D which I'm sure probably looks even more incredible. Regardless the game is pretty damn good here.
Re-playability: For all you people whining about how games don't have cheats these days or how trophies are pointless to earn; Insomniac has found a way to satisfy both of you at the same time. Whenever you earn a trophy (this game has one of the more challenging trophy lists I've noticed) you earn points to buy various cheats with. These cheats range from infinite ammo to ones that work against you and gives enemies more powerful weapons. Not a cheater? You can also buy various skins, multiplayer titles, and even development videos such as a bug reel. I should be on that bug reel stuck inside of a damn bridge but I digress. You also unlock Superhuman difficulty upon beating the game. When you factor the extensively deep multiplayer it's easy to say Resistance 3 offers a plethora of content for $60.
Returns to its roots!
Outstanding graphics and CGI
Varied and atmospheric environments
FULLY customizable controls
Co-op is a blast
Great level design
One great boss battle
Good voice acting
3D, Move, and Sharpshooter compatible
Lots of unlockables
Bugs in co-op: -.3
Weak story that adds nothing to the Resistance universe and leaves questions still unanswered: -1.0
Cardboard generic characters you won't care about: -.5
Lame boss battles that get recycled: -.5
Some animations, character models, and textures are weak: -.4
Verdict: A worthy sequel and a good game, but nothing revolutionary or something you have to play. Resistance fans will love it as it is the best yet- 7.3/10
Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 09/09/11, Updated 09/16/11
Game Release: Resistance 3 (US, 09/06/11)
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