Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Console: Playstation 3
Release Date: Out Now
Price: AU$109.05/ US$36.85 (Available Here)
If you haven’t heard of the Resistance franchise, then how big is that rock you’re living under? Jokes aside, Resistance returns with the third entry in the Playstation 3 trilogy. Resistance 3 has been out for quite some time, however, it is time for the review. I have had the game for a week since this game needs a great amount of time to dissect. To put it simply, this is a well built, beautifully designed video game. The gameplay stays fresh to stand out in a cesspool of first person shooters, the story is interesting and intriguing, the visuals are top notch and the musical score is beautiful and enjoyable. It is a game which every Playstation 3 owner must have in their growing collection of games.
Story and Characters
After a recap of the ending of Resistance 2 and the aftermath, the game begins with Joseph Capelli, a former Sentinel and protagonist, helps with the organisation of the hideout and is quite well-known. When a passing Chimeran convoy passes by and catches the humans, he is forced into battle before ordering an evacuation. The reason for their presence is that Capelli has discovered that Dr Fyodor Malikov, a top lead Russian scientist who made his presence in Resistance 2, has been hiding in Harem. Afterwards, the two discover a reason to evacuate the town. A Terraformer, a satellite weapon, heads to the town and will destroy it. Using a tunnel underneath the church, Susan and Jack escape the town, with Joseph heading east to New York with Malikov. A wormhole has developed over the once great city and is freezing the Earth. Since Humans hate the cold and the Chimera can thrive in such conditions, it is up to Capelli to destroy the wormhole and hopefully end the conflict once and for all.
This is the Harem section of the story and is basically the setup for the rest of the game. I actually enjoyed the story. The action is intense and emotion is rife. You feel every heart-wrenching moment the game throws at you. When Capelli’s companions fall in the heat of battle (including a very important one), I actually felt his pain to an extent. The pacing isn’t erratic and the plot is easy to follow, so you won’t be confused at certain points. The tension is well paced as well. A great story has a varying degree of it and Resistance 3’s plot is no exception. The tension peaks at the right moments with the right amount, like fending yourself from a hoard of Hybrid Chimeran.
Now, I want to talk about Capelli as a character. I actually like his development as a character in this installment compared to his appearance in Resistance 2. Throughout the story, Capelli holds onto his son’s mitten, symbolising the loss and pain he goes through. This makes the character more human, thus more sympathetic towards him and his cause. He has changed from the rash and rude Sentinel from the second to a loving, caring family man hellbent to protect what he has established. Also, he was more prone to violence in Resistance 2. I mean, he would rush into battle, he held a heavy machine gun. He was fueled by his deep hatred of the Chimera. Of course, that hatred is still there, but there is a deeper motive on top of his hatred. What seems to be the switch is actually in the second game, which is when Capelli pulls the trigger on Hale. He is ridden by guilt of his actions. This, in turn, changes him into a self-less man, ridding of the selfishness of his past life.
The supporting cast of characters more or less fits into well established archetypes of literature. Dr. Malikov is the mentor of Capelli due to the amount of research he has done on the Chimeran. He played out a similar role in the previous installment, so it is no surprise there. To be honest, Dr. Malikov is only one of few characters you may invest into. I do say may because the story is focalised through Capelli. All in all, apart from a few standouts, like Herbet, who helps you escape a prison, most of the characters around you won’t be in the story for long. Even Susan, his wife, only makes an appearance in Harem. Overall, the story is excellent and Capelli is a strong protagonist but his supporting cast, with the exception of a few, could have been drawn out more.
When one strips the various gameplay mechanics that makes Resistance 3 so unique, what they will see is a basic first person shooter. It is no different than Call of Duty or Halo. The basic formula is running to point A, shoot some enemies, running to point B, and shoot some more enemies. It is a worn-out formula for sure. The controls of the game have shifted around since the second game to be more inline with the mainstream first person shooters. The left analogue stick moves Capelli around and holding it down will allow Capelli to sprint. You have quite the stamina as it is noticeably a longer sprint time than other first person shooter games. Shooting, as with the other games, is mapped to the R1 button and looking down the sight is mapped to the L1 button. However, there has been a change to grenade and crouching buttons. Those controls swapped so that players familiar to other first person games are more familiar and can quickly pick up and play. So, pressing O will crouch and the L2 button will throw grenades.
What makes the Resistance series stand out from the rest is the weapons. Just like the previous installments, Capelli can utilise both human and Chimeran weapons. Weapons like the Bullseye, Auger, Carbine and Marksman return in Resistance 3, alongside some new weapons. One such weapon is the Cryogun, an ice based weapon which freezes all enemies. I found it quite useful when I was in a tight spot. Then there is the Mutator, which shoots out a form of the Chimeran Virus and turns human enemies into combustable land mines. New to the series is the ability to upgrade the weapons. The upgrade system is basic and fixed. Every time you kill an enemy the weapon will gain experience and moves towards another level. Each weapon has three levels which add to the weapon. The Rossmore (shotgun), for example, will have incendiary ammunition, which will cause the target to light up. The weapons of the game do not disappoint. They all feel balanced and the secondary fire adds to a new strategy. The new weapons are also quite creative. I mean, a bio weapon with the Chimeran virus as ammunition? A freeze gun? The addition of the Weapon Wheel is also a positive. Allowing the player the freedom to choose what weapon adds to the idea of different strategies the player can employ.
An area of debate seems to be the lack of health regeneration in the game, since the other two included the mechanic. It does include it, but as something that can be unlocked after the completion of the game. To put it simply, health regeneration, without the “cheat”, is non-existent. Capelli has a health bar and, to heal, Capelli must find health packs. Now, the health packs are either laying around in the level or attached to an enemy which drops after their defeat. More often than not I was frantically searching for an health pack. Most of the time I just run over them without knowing they were there. But am i against it? Actually no, I’m not. I think Insomniac went in the right direction. In order to drive the sense of survival, health regeneration had to go. A fitting mechanic for the game.
The Playstation Move is enabled with Resistance 3 and it actually works well. The T-button (trigger at the back) acts as the primary fire and the Move button (the button with the Move logo on it) acts as secondary fire. It is a great alternative to using teh controller, but it might not be popular with the hardcore crowd since it seems they have decided to avoid the Move. The sensitivity can be adjusted to your liking. At first, however, it may be a little awkward. The design of the Move (the face buttons surrounding the Move button) made my fingers go all over the place and it was tricky pulling off a melee attack (I think its thrusting the Move forward) I would note that it still felt a little awkward with a Dualshock controller instead of the Navigational controller. I suggest you use that or the Sharpshooter peripheral rather than the Dualshock for a better experience. But don’t reject this method of control. It is responsive and fun. The gameplay of Resistance 3 is enough to justify a purchase at a local brick and mortar store. It is enthralling, exciting and varied enough that you can implement different strategies every time.
If you are into a lot of dark coloured environments, then Resistance 3 is the perfect game for you. Don’t expect a wonderfully coloured world on you journey. Considering the overall tone of the plot, then it is acceptable, even fitting. The game features a lot of brown, grey, you name it. Whether it is rowing down the Mississippi River or running through a prison, you will see the darkness blanketed over Capelli. The layout of each level differs on the locations Capelli trudge through. Throughout the game, Capelli will go through locations like prisons, caves and even a gigantic coal mine. What makes this game an experience like no other is how frightening or horrifying going through these locations are. You have to be on your feet most of the time. The layout of the levels all fit the standard of an First Person Shooter. They are all finely detailed and well designed. The character models are all beautiful. Each and every one of them are detailed in all areas. They all tell a different story and reveal the character’s personality to a certain extent. Insominac did not waste time on the visuals of the game. I applaud their effort into the graphical capabilities.
There is only two words that can describe the soundtrack. Although these two words are overused and cliched, this is a moment in which I can not refuse to write them down: simply amazing. The soundtrack to this excellent game must elevate the game’s brilliance. The Resistance soundtrack, composed by does this with such elegance and beauty. The pieces convey not only the dire situation the United States and all of humanity faces, but the inner conflicts of Joseph Capelli, torn from the separation from his family in order to save not only them but the rest of mankind. The sound effects and the voice acting are all top notch. The music is something the composer should be proud of, as well as Insomniac.
If you are reading this review and have a Playstation 3, then get up, go to your local game store or department store (or online) and buy this game. It has the most intriguing, interesting and enchanting plot of this generation of first person shooters, Joseph Capelli is a strong protagonist worth caring about, the gameplay is interesting and allows different strategies, the visuals are beautiful and detailed and the music will enrich the story, with orchestral peices fitting into the mood and atmosphere of the struggles of both Capelli and mankind. Even without the ability to play multiplayer, the single player experience is fun and interesting enough to play on your own for the years to come. Forget Call of Duty or Battlefield 3, join the Resistance.