Review by TheWildOneV1
Finally, a worthy shooter for the portable players
First off, this is my second Resistance game. I have not played the first game on the PSP, as I will only play a shooter with two analog sticks. To me this is the bare minimum for any shooter. Now with that being said, let us get on to the review.
First off, I will not compare a portable game's graphics to the consoles. At least not quite yet. The portable market just hasn't got there yet. For me, I've been comparing games to what I've considered graphically superior on the Vita. For me, that's been Uncharted: Golden Abyss. for a portable, it's a perfect 10. The graphics are pretty clean in Burning Skies, but not the best. The game is pretty colorful, yet it still retains the look of the 50's era. Most of my issues are in the animations department. Some of the animation in the cut scenes are pretty ridiculous. Like when the game introduces you to it's upgrade system. It looks pretty silly. Other than that, it's a pretty smooth experience. Especially the final boss battle. The second level boss really looked intimidating as well.
The story is a pretty sound piece of work, that fits right into the Resistance franchise. You play as Tom Riley, a firefighter in 1951. You're experience the initial invasion of the Chimera, and end up having to rescue your family. The story stays faithful to the franchise, while adding to a new character to the series. It is a small departure from the military characters of the previous games. The character development is a bit mediocre, but gets the job done. The ending is a bit on the happy side, which may be an issue of some Resistance fans. Especially the ones who had an issue with the end of Resistance 3. For me, I really don't mind happy endings.
The voice acting is ok. It's not the best, but it's good enough to not be bad or distracting. The audio during the between level cutscenes can be bit low. I've found myself pausing, and using the headphones. Turning the Vita volume all the way up didn't really help. The sound of the guns does sound a bit fake. Audio quality wise, it wasn't bad. I really would've preferred something that didn't sound like kids laser gun. Other than that, it's ok. The sound of the Chimera are pretty good as well. They do a good job at making the alien scum sound intimidating.
This is where the game shines. I was surprised how well the game did without the PS3's R3, L3, R2, L2 buttons. The run command is handled two ways. One is by hitting down on the directional pad, and the other is by double tapping the back touch pad. I personally found the touch pad to be less distracting from the gameplay. Especially when playing online. The front touch screen handles a few of the other buttons very well. The grenades, both hedgehog and regular, are done by tapping their icons on the touch screen. You can use the touch screen to direct where the grenade will land, or just touch the grenade icon of your choice (there is only two, so it doesn't occupy much screen space), and it will be thrown in the direction your crosshairs are pointed. Once you get acquainted with this (it doesn't take long at all), you'll be set. Melee attacks are handled the exact same way. After you've obtained a weapon, you get to keep it though out the rest of the game. The secondary fire, a mainstay of the Resistance series, is handle through the front touch screen. The game keeps the movements simple, so it doesn't detract from the gameplay. You can quick switch to the last weapon used, by tapping the triangle button. To access the rest of the weapons, you just need to hold down the triangle button, and select your weapon. Enemy AI can be pretty cheap, even when playing on casual difficulty. The bosses are pretty easy in the beginning, but slide in difficulty as the campaign progresses. The game is extremely easy to platinum, as the requirement for almost all of the trophies can be done on the first playthrough. The game also has a specific point, where it introduces you to the weapon upgrade system. It's nothing special, but it does give you the option to swap out upgrades, so you can experiment with a setup you like. This will get you quickly acquainted with the online's weapon upgrade system. Speaking of online . . .
The online is not on the level of Battlefield 3, or Modern Warfare 3, which I would rate a 10 and 9 in order. The levels are small, but perfect for the 8 player online. The online itself is designed around quick gameplay, which most portable games conform to. This makes the matches fast paced, and quick. A bit more so that Call Of Duty's online gameplay. This I like, because I tend to take my PS Vita on the go, and that is when I typically play it. Now there are some abusable glitches, like hiding behind a hole on a certain level, and not being able to be shot while shooting though it. Now these aren't that plentiful, and are easy to expose after a little learning of the level. The Mule, which is the game's shot gun/crossbow hybrid, can be a bit powerful. Now it's not overpowered like some would have it. It's main balance issue, is it's range online. That does need to be nerfed. It's is easy to overcome a Mule user with the Bullseye (a starting weapon for the online), or the Auger. The other downfall to the online, is the lack of game modes. You have Deathmatch aka Free For All, Team Deathmatch, and Survival. Survival is similar to TDM, but with a twist. If start out as a human, you have to try to survive till the end of the time limit. If you die before then, you become a Chimera, and have to hunt down the rest of the humans. The fourth mode, All Modes, which just switches game modes in between matches is pretty self explanatory. You don't get to have perks like in Resistance 3, which makes the online a bit more balanced. Also, you only get one weapon starting out. You can carry more weapons during the match, by walking over the weapon of a killed player. This can shake thing up a bit, but isn't unbalancing as you loose them after death. Not the best selection of game modes, but the online is designed around quick and fast gameplay.
The game is a solid shooter, with solid controls, solid graphics, and somewhat decent sound. As for right now, you couldn't ask for more. This game will be a stepping stone for other shooter to enter the Vita library, and show that great FPS games are viable on the portable market. The online is fun enough to keep you playing for a while, at least till the next great FPS comes out. Now I do agree with what Game Informer has said about the online. Don't expect Resistance burning skies to be an FPS on the level of COD or Battlefield, but it's the best FPS on portables now.
Rating: 4.0 - Great
Product Release: Resistance: Burning Skies (US, 05/29/12)
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