Resistance 3 is Insomniacs Long awaited sequel to Resistance 2, the no longer awaited sequel to Resistance - Fall of Man. The series revolves around a human military resistance to an invasion from an alien race referred to as the Chimera as they arrived to earth in the form of a virus that infected humans and converted them to hybrids of the enemy species. It's a sort of alien / zombie crossover that works if you let it. As the story unfolds throughout the series, you get the feeling that there is way more to it than the audience is privy to.
The Resistance 3 campaign is fairly entertaining to play. The graphics have some grit to them in a way that I feel really works. Insomniac seemed less interested in making the characters look real and more interested in a comic book type of effect that lies somewhere between the ultra realistic Battlefield look and the cartoonish graphics of Bulletstorm. I think this gives the game its own original vibe if nothing else.
The plot is pretty repetitive for the series. Joe Capelli, who killed the previous games' protagonist, Nathan Hale, has retired from battle and is hiding out with his family in one of the few remaining human survival camps. When that camp is discovered, His wife encourages him to return to battle in order to create a better life for her and their child. He reluctantly does so and is almost immediately given the ultimate goal of destroying a tower. The problem with this objective is that it seems to really overtake the game. In the first Resistance, Nathan Hale isn't incredibly interested in ultimate goals and just kind of traverses each level for kills and destruction of level specific landmarks. In R3, you find that no matter what level you are on, they are always talking about the tower. Sometimes you just want to play the level for the level and you don't really get an opportunity to do that in R3. For those who like Hale's regenerative health ability, you will be disappointed. Joe is not infected with anything and thus has to eat chicken a long the way to stay alive. I played on the Normal level and I would say there is an adequate amount of chicken available around the levels and very few times where you have to go trekking around desperately looking for it. But it does happen.
Another plot issue I didn't care for was the enemy fracture that explained that some chimera were breaking into what they refer to as ferel and military. The factions fight each other for reasons that are never explained and the plot point is abandoned just as the Cloven mysteries of the first and second game. I am sure to some degree they are leaving these issues to be uncovered in followup media, but at the same time you almost believe that they just don't know what the crap they are writing or how to tie it together. One other possibility is that the extra factions allow for more variety in the Global Resistance MMP game that I probably won't ever bother to play. In the end, it's like watching lost. You get a bunch of questions and no answers. Video games aren't released often enough for this type of device. By the time they explain it to me, if ever, I am sure I don't give a crap anymore.
In spite of its shortcomings story wise, the level maps are fun. They give you a nice combination of easy to follow linear maps mixed with big wide open areas that you must explore while finding cover for stick and move type battles. The weapon system from the first game has returned as in you don't have to drop weapons to pick new ones up. All weapons are permanently available once discovered. I don't know how I feel about this. It is unrealistic, but so is a viral alien invasion so what the hell, I will allow it. On the downside, one of the fun parts about playing both RFOM and R2 were the unique weapons that are uncovered late in the game that add some flair on top of the tried and true arsenol of the previous games. Resistance 3 however provided no real new interesting weapons which left me a tad disappointed especially since a lot of the game will force you to use the shotgun or Deadeye sniper rifle leaving you little opportunity to really explore the other weapons. So sad.
As of Version 1.02, there are some annoying bugs in the game. One bug I experienced was on a level where you are supposed to find a downed plane and its occupants. I found the plane and covered the occupants killing all the enemies that were attacking them. Then I go down to the plane, talk to the people there and try and figure out what the crap I am supposed to do next. I couldn't find a door or a way out of the level. After about 10 minutes of looking, I restarted the level. The second time I got to the plane, it triggered a checkpoint and the level continued. Why didn't it trigger the first time? A bug.
Another big bug I encountered - At a point in the game where you are supposed to kill a Widowmaker boss (giant spider) I was unable to. The spider has specific vulnerable points that you must hit before moving onto the next vulnerability point. I was shooting relentlessly at the indicated venerability to no avail. After 20 minutes of shooting at the same point, I restarted the level. On the second attempt, I was able to destroy each vunerability in a reasonable number of shots and had the spider down in under 3 minutes. why? BUG!
I also had to restart after defeating another boss where the game never recovered from the fade out to the cut-scenes. These bugs aren't highly detrimental to the overall playability of the game, but they are so obvious and frustrating if you don't realize they are happening that I am surprised the game was released with them. There is no way something that happened to me a few times was not caught by Insomniac Quality Assurance. So either they suck, or they opted to release with the bugs. Bad Insomniac. BAD!
I think overall, fans of the franchise will appreciate the campaign. It has length, depth, and good ratio of game-play and cut-scenes. I don't think they are breaking any new ground for single player first person shooters, but it's as good a followup as any. For people who are unfamiliar with the franchise, I don't think they would get too excited for Resistance 3 and my recommendation would be to wait for this one to marinate on the shelves a little then drop 20 bucks a piece for the entire series and enjoy.
What can I say about Resistance 3 mutliplayer that won't make it seem like it is god awful? I know. It's better than Resistance 2 mutliplayer! But that's about it. It suffers the same way a lot of mutliplayer games suffer these days. They make an attempt to be different than the most successful shooters out there and succeed until they suck.
I understand that users have classes and abilities. But to drive the point home, different types of shields and energy belts and other screen pollution show up around the characters indicating that they are using some perk whose purpose is god knows what. Also, I think the days of the 20 shot kill are so over and I have no interest in playing these games. Because the shots are so insignificant the matches I played had 10 people dancing around in a circle in the street for up to 30 seconds with players just trying to see who could get a kill before they got killed. That is the kind of skirmish these low hit power games encourage and it is lame. They have one hardcore mode with no perks or abilities or whatever but whats the point. Why should I have to give up the originality of the game to play at a level that is deemed acceptable to every other game in the genre?
One more thing. Close range attacks are a blurry mess. First off. Melee attacks do nothing. I am not even sure there is collision detection on other characters so you might just float right through them. This might be something that you can be good at once you get used to it but I don't want to get used to something so stupid. If I see someone up close, I want to hit the melee button and get a kill. If i get killed by someone faster, thats one thing, but if I hit the button and nothing happens till I get shot in the back. Lame! Up close battles also seem laggy. No matter how smooth the game seems to be playing, as soon as I get face to face with 1 or 2 enemies, either the connection, the frame-rate or both become choppy and unfollowable. My last close range gripe? No sidearm? Are you kidding me? I have 20 some odd buttons on my controller and none of them will pull a sidearm so I am not shit out of luck when I run out of bullets? Is it 1989? This is ridiculous and reason enough alone to never play Resistance 3 multiplayer again so we don't even need to discuss the lack of prone mode.
I didn't play the coop campaign mode as I don't understand why anyone plays them anyways. If you have friends to play with, why not compete?
So anyways. I know I was harsh on the game but it is playable. I am just not so sure its replayable which is why I highly recommend waiting till it either drops drastically in retail price or buying a used copy. I am certain they will be available very soon.
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