When I first heard that Resistance: Burning Skies was coming to the PlayStation Vita, I was pretty excited. Especially since I loved Resistance 3 enough to give it a 4.5/5 score in my review last year. (And I'm still mad at PS3 owners for not buying it and forcing Insomniac to ultimately pull the plug on the franchise shortly after releasing what was, by far, the best entry in the series.) Getting to go one last round against the Chimera was a very appealing prospect.
But it wasn't only the Resistance namesake that had me anticipating the launch of Burning Skies. You see, this game was making history. It was to be the very first (to my knowledge, anyway) twin-stick shooter on a handheld console (unless you count those fake shooters on the Xperia Play, and you shouldn't).
Since Burning Skies and had the potential to pave the way for new, brilliant things, I was fairly optimistic about it. You might even say I was gleeful and giddy. (If you don't believe me, check out a column I wrote called "Bring on the Handheld FPS." Just look at all the optimism I had back then!)
But I was wrong. Oh, how I was wrong.
Resistance: Burning Skies was terrible. I mean, I've played some stinkers in my day, but Burning Skies is simply unbearable. Now, I remember back when Cheat Code Central contributing writer Shelby Reiches was reviewing that awful, awful game, the netcode was so broken that neither of us could get into an online match. And we were both assuming the multiplayer was going to make or break this title. I guess we were right: The multiplayer did break this title.
I remember the frustrated conversations we were having back then, the constant back and forth that went a bit like this:
"Hey, you get into a game yet?"
"Nope. Hold on, I'm trying again."
We did eventually manage to go a few rounds, which were as decidedly unfun as you've probably guessed.
On top of all that, the campaign was boring. There was this intriguing plot about a fireman-turned-Chimera-slayer who leaves his family behind and answers the call of duty. (No pun intended. Okay, I lie. I kind of did intend for that to be a pun.) Somehow, they managed to turn that into something not even remotely interesting. (Also, I think the supporting female character, Ellie Martinez, was supposed to be Resistance's answer to Alyx Vance. And that makes me sad.)
The tragedy to all this was that, as I mentioned before, this was our introduction to the handheld, twin-stick FPS. Thanks, Burning Skies, for setting the bar lower than any of us could have even imagined.