Sunday, November 6, 2011

Resistance 3

Is Resistance Useless?

 The number 3 is magical this season.  We have Resistance, Gears of War, Battlefield, Uncharted and Modern Warfare 3 just waiting to blow away our minds.  Resistance 3 was the first to come out and its definitely the under dog in the list.  It's a PS3 original with not a huge following behind it compared to the other big guns.  With that said, Resistance puts a very solid effort together.

Resistance tells the story of an alien virus that infects the Earth and creates an army of Chimera beings.  Like most alien games, the intrusive invaders are feral, mindless beasts hellbent on destruction and yet they are smart enough to build weapons, space crafts and huge towers.  In the third Resistance, you play Joseph Capelli, a former soldier who decides to ignore the whole alien invasion thing and start a family.  Unfortunately, opportunity knocks, and Joseph must journey with a doctor into alien occupied New York to stop a worm hole.

Anyone who has just gotten comfortable with Resistance 2 will notice some differences.  This comes with pros and cons.  The major change is that you no longer have recovering health (unless you unlock the cheat).  If you are low on health you need to scour the area for a health kit.  This gets annoying because you have to leave the heat of battle to look for a health kit.  Sometimes you are pinned down by fire and you have one bar of health left and there's absolutely no hope for you of getting out.  The upside is that its harder to kill you than in the second one.

Resistance also removed the two guns at a time rule in favor of the Doom style buffet of weapons.  This was a smart idea because you never really got much exposure to guns in R2.  Now you can pull out an ice gun, electricity gun, machine gun, tag gun, shotgun, missile launcher and mutator at any second.  The reason behind having millions of guns at your disposal is the ability to upgrade them as you use them.  Your shotgun gets flame rounds, the electricity gun develops an arc caster that shocks multiple enemies and the carbine gets a bayonet.  This makes every gun useful in its own way and necessary for different sections.  The only drawback is that there are no hotkeys to get a certain gun.  You have to stop the action and pick out a gun in order to use it.

The campaign mode is pretty straight forward.  You don't have one epic journey as much as you have a lot of levels with mini games inside of them.  In one level you are defending a bar from enemies coming out of a drop ship.  In another level you are running through the sewers trying to fend off the egg hatchlings.  Some levels start off slow, while others propel you straight into the action.  One of the new concepts that Resistance 2 didn't have is the open ended battlegrounds where you can strategize how you get into the battle.  Overall, the levels are all fast paced and gripping in their own way.  You can also get into the action with a friend over co-op.  You either have a human friend or an online friend, but the game has no matchmaking service to help you find an online friend.  That means you'll actually have to meet someone face to face and talk to them (shudder).

Resistance has always had a confusing story and I am convinced that the writers are as confused as we are.  It almost seems like they were trying to fuse Half-Life, Gears of War, Left 4 Dead, Call of Duty 2 and Halo into one epic bundle.  The result is a muddy universe that no one can get sucked into.  I groan at games where you have to go to Wikipedia in order to understand their story.  I'm not majoring in Resistance Studies so why do I have homework?  Resistance 3 has some of the best cut scenes and touching moments, which is not the biggest feat considering that the other 2 games had as much drama as bread mold.  After six hours the campaign ends and the final cutscene drops the curtain on the franchise. No epic ending, no twisted plot turns and absolutely no super boss-it just ends.   Resistance seems to live off its crazy gameplay and innovative weapons more than its story.

Multiplayer is changed from the previous two games.  You no longer get XP just by shooting people; now you have to kill your opponent to level up.  This means that I didn't get points for some matches because I couldn't get a single kill.  Resistance's multiplayer plays a lot like Call of Duty 4 Modern Warfare.  You select your class, perks and you get more stuff as you level up.  The gameplay loves throwing perks, berserks and tons of little upgrades at you so that you feel like you are doing stuff.  Some of the perks include having a mirage of yourself to distract enemies and the ability to track footsteps.  But even with all those little add-ons it's hard to get into the action if you are not an intense multiplayer addict.  The second Resistance gave you much more incentive to stick it out because of partial XP rewards and the fact that your perks would build up over time instead of waiting for you to get 3 kills in a row.  It's not a trashy multiplayer by any means, it's just not as easy to get into.

The graphics are a mixed bag.  The game is excellent at portraying a war torn post apocalyptic America.  Each level is beautiful in its own way.  but the textures on some of the aliens are a little weak.  I've always had a problem with the fact that the Chimera race has no distinct art concept.  It's almost as if the artists copy pasted their textures onto Left 4 Dead and Halo enemies.

Resistance 3 is all about Joseph Capelli leaving his comfortable life with his wife and child to end a war.  He had a choice to make and he chose the greater good.  Sounds very similar to Jesus in the choices he had to make.  Jesus could have chosen to stay in Heaven, but he opted to do ministry on Earth.  Jesus could have chosen to live the rest of his years on Earth, but he choose to get arrested and crucified for our benefit.  Reminds me of the Bible verse from Phil 2:5-6

 Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself. He had equal status with God but didn't think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. Not at all. When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human!

 Resistance 3 was supposed to be a counter for Xbox fans getting Gears of War 3.  While Gears of War got higher praises because of story, I don't think Resistance is out of the running.  The gameplay is tight and intense, the weapons are insanely fun and ultimately you are going to have a good romping time.  But if you already own the other two Resistance games than you should think long and hard before you shell 60 bucks to get this one.

Score out of 7

Graphics and Sound 5: Gorgeous vistas and environments, but not so pretty monsters.

Gameplay 6: Fast and intense campaign modes with exciting weapons.  You'll be done with the campaign mode in 6 hours.  Finding health kits and changing weapons takes you out of the action.

Multiplayer 5: Multiplayer is kind of slow for newcomers. It competes fairly well with the top shooters of today, but it still lacks some polish.

Content 3: It wears its M rating like a badge.  Lots of blood, gibbing and swearing.  Jesus' is mentioned more in this game than in some books of the Bible.  The mutator gun is not for the squeamish.

Final 5:  A very solid effort from Insomniac Games.  They still prove that they have a handle on the FPS market.  I'm relieved that I don't have to go solely to Halo to get my sci-fi shooter fix.  But I wish some of the elements that made Resistance 2 so great were in here.

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