|Release: September 6, 2011|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p||Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Strong Language|
by Robert VerBruggen
As Resistance 3 begins, things aren't looking so great for humanity—or for the Resistance series. Humans have all but lost a war against aliens. We are no longer fighting off an invasion, but rather conducting a guerrilla war against beasts who have more or less taken over.
Reactions to Resistance 2 were mixed, to say the least. In a market filled to the brim with first-person shooter games with aliens in them, it takes only a couple of missteps before a franchise meets its apocalypse.
Fortunately, it looks like the developers are introducing a slew of great new features with Resistance 3. It could be the game that revives the franchise, just as the plot could mark the beginning of a turnaround for humanity. We won't know for a few months yet whether everything will come together as planned, but the plans are epic indeed.
You play as Joseph Capelli, who—spoiler alert—killed Nathan Hale, the protagonist of the first two games. Capelli is now a former soldier, but he's a current husband and father in Oklahoma. When Capelli is offered the chance to leave hiding and attack the Chimera—who are trying to make the entire Earth freezing cold like their home planet—his wife urges him to go. He heads out on a trip to New York.
A lot of the changes stem directly from the human race's bad position. While Capelli is a military man, regular people will take up arms to help you. Stealth plays a role, because ammo is scarce and you no longer have the resources to mount a full-scale campaign against the invaders. Many weapons, including grenades, have been fashioned out of random materials, not made by professionals. Even the regenerating health has been taken out to reflect life's fragility; if you get hurt, you'll be scouring the landscape for health packs. That last element is a bit of a throwback—but it's also a perfect fit for what Resistance 3 aims to accomplish.
That's just one aspect of the dramatic improvements that developer Insomniac is implementing. The last iteration came out all the way back in 2008—meaning that the studio had a full three years to develop and refine the game.
Combat should be an entirely different experience than what we're used to. The weapon wheel makes its triumphant return, so you always have access to all the guns you've acquired throughout the game—guns that will now include a sniper rifle with a secondary-fire mode that allows you to blow things up. Even better, the guns will level up as you use them, becoming more accurate and powerful and adding features like alternative fire modes. According to various reports, the A.I. has improved markedly, with enemies more likely to take cover. The Chimera have a cloaking ability now, too, and in a Resistance first, the game will support Move controls.
The developers have also stepped it up when it comes to presentation. The story takes place across the U.S.—the developers cite Cormac McCarthy's post-apocalyptic novel The Road as an inspiration—and the entire game is shrouded in a creepy, brown-tinted atmosphere. The various levels are far more open than the environments in previous games; one puts you in a boat, another in a moody, sniper-filled patch of woods.
If you have a TV that supports it, you can experience the entire game in 3D. Given all the effort that was put into the graphics here, I imagine it will be a good choice for people with the requisite hardware.
Whereas the campaign is confined to America, the multiplayer maps include locations from around the world, including Bogota, Colombia. The battles will be limited to two teams of eight players, but the reduced player count allows the developers to keep the graphical detail high. In addition, the game will feature custom loadouts, in which players pick two active and two passive abilities, the latter of which includes shields. This should make for a variety of play styles to keep things interesting.
In addition to competitive multiplayer, the game will feature local and online co-op. The downside? Resistance 3 will be the first game to use Sony's new "online pass" system, which disables certain online features for players who rent the game or buy it used. It's not yet clear which features will cost these players an extra few dollars.
After a highly questionable Resistance title, not to mention the fact that many gamers are getting tired of mowing down aliens, Resistance 3 has its work cut out for it. It has to redeem an entire series, not to mention stand out in a crowded FPS field. If the information that's available so far means anything, however, it's that Insomniac isn't cutting any corners in trying to make all that happen.
CCC Contributing Writer