Resistance 3 (PS3)
The original Resistance title from Insomniac games launched with the PS3 back in 2006 and proved to be a critic pleasing best-seller. In 2008 the story was continued with Resistance 2 where Nathan Hale resumed his battle against the Chimera, this time across Europe. Again the title proved to be a best-seller for the PlayStation 3, solidifying the franchise as one of the best on that platform. Resistance 3 is set four years after the events of Resistance 2 and Nathan Hale has succumbed to the Chimera so our new protagonist and member of the resistance Joseph Capelli has taken to hiding in a rats nest of tunnels under a small town in Oklahoma. Capelli narrates a very beautifully animated opening sequence to cover what has happened so far...
And that is that Resistance 3 takes place in 1950s North America in an alternative timeline. Capelli is pulled into the action by Fyodor Malikov who in his attempt to locate our character leads the Chimera right to his hideout. Capelli must now make the decision to leave his family and accompany Malikov to New York as he believes he is the only man with the knowledge to thwart Chimera's latest endeavours.
After an emotional goodbye to Capelli's wife and child the game throws us into the thick of the action, taking on our enemy with a wide range of weapons which are activated with the weapon select wheel, something which was absent from Resistance 2.
Despite the very linear path set for us to play through the story and gameplay contained within Resistance 3 are enough of a distraction that we rarely notice that we're effectively on rails. The featured environments seem vast, the feeling of desolation is superbly relayed and there are plenty of awe inspiring moments in the opening chapters. Make no mistake the re-imagined Earth is grim, society has fallen and the human encounters we experience along the way truly convey there's a serious war under way here.
As progress is made through the game additional weapons are added to our arsenal and each features a primary and secondary fire. These secondary fire options can be essential in some of the larger encounters such as against Brawlers or a Widowmaker which can take a hefty amount of fire power to put down. Each item also has unique upgrades available, unlocked by scoring kills with that particular weapon. These range from improved scopes to exploding rounds.
For the controls Insomniac have kept a reasonably normal control system for the standard controller. R1 is primary fire, with R2 for secondary fire. L1 handles scopes/iron sights, L2 throws a grenade/mine with Left and Right on the d-pad selecting which type of grenade is currently in use. Holding Triangle brings the weapon wheel onto the screen, the left analogue stick is used to select the weapon while the wheel is displayed and gameplay is paused while the wheel is active. During gameplay the left analogue controls look and the right stick controls movement. Then the journal is accessible under the start menu and provides detailed information on the enemies and their weaknesses as well as other intel that is collected.
Resistance 3 also fully supports the Move controllers and Sharp Shooter accessory and while most players might be content with their Dual Shock the Sharp Shooter adds another level of depth to the gameplay. Insomniac have done a very good job setting up the controls for the Sharp Shooter and offer further sensitivity tweaks if required. That said while the Sharpshooter is entertaining to use it can at times become disorientating whilst fighting in close quarters combat.
A further gameplay tweak which will help this game appeal to older gamers in Resistance 3 there is no auto-regenerative health system. Instead we have to look for health packs which are scattered around or dropped by foes, just like classic FPS games. This heightens the suspense and feeling of relief when we dispatch the last enemy in each area and can hunt out that health pack. Casual gamers today might not be a fan of health bars but their use often means we have to think about our actions in detail, something which makes for a more engaging experience.
In terms of length the single player campaign can be played through in about 12 hours and completing the campaign gives players the chance to play through again at Super-Human difficulty level. Adding further content to the game are the multi-player options where we can choose a 2-player Co-op campaign, which can be played on or offline, and more traditional online modes. These include Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, Capture the Flag, and others such as Assault and R3's version of Domination.
The maximum number of players this time around is 16, down from Resistance 2's large scale 60-player games. The online multiplayer battles can be played on 12 maps currently with more DLC promised and the locations for each are taken from around the globe including Africa, Australia and the UK.
As is the norm with recent games we also have character progression to keep us going in the multiplayer modes and the Resistance 3 system is based on Experience which is passed out for kills/assist, killstreaks etc. New loadouts are unlocked at each level with the players able to customise loadouts depending on level and available points. Perks also make an appearance in the form of "Abilities" which include ammo regenerators, personal shields and even a doppelganger which creates a projection of yourself that moves in unison, the idea being that the opposing team will shoot the wrong target.
Finally, also worth noting for those looking to pick up a pre-owned copy is that this title makes use of the play pass system meaning they will have to pay to use the online features of the game if the code has been activated previously.
Graphics and Audio
When a title has a platform exclusive agreement you can guarantee the game will be seen as a crown jewel for the machine, they are intended to sell consoles by showcasing what can be done. Resistance 3 accomplishes this in the graphics department as the level of detail that has gone into the environment really impresses. Aspects such as the level of destruction are visible as far as the eye can see and the unfolding commotion as a Goliath steam rollers through the scenery is brilliantly reproduced. But where would first class visuals be without the heart thumping score and ambience to go along with them? Thankfully this area is another success story for Insomniac; the narrative between characters is produced extremely well helping to really submerge us into the unfolding plot and before we realised it the music has picked up pace and we're almost on the edge of the seat as we hunt out the next enemy.
Resistance 3's ability to continually switch-up the action ensured we enjoyed the campaign throughout. This action packed gameplay was not the only plus point though as the campaign has a personal feeling due to the characterisation which enhances rather than clashes with aspects such as the scale of the Chimera invasion.
Multiplayer is up there with the best of them, offering a well-rounded experience in each mode and while minor complaints and issues have been raised from the beta it should be noted that Insomniac are actively patching the game, since starting this review two patches have been released each almost 700MB. Some may be alarmed at patches this size during release week but the reality nowadays is that even once the game is sent off to be stamped development can and does continue. When you have a developer who is active like Insomniac it can only be seen as a plus for the consumer.
A very well rounded game which impresses on every front. Whether the gamer is looking for an epic, action packed single player campaign... an engaging story with stunning visuals and a great score or just some online battles; Resistance 3 delivers on all fronts.
||A solid first-person shooter that lives up to its predecessors and brings enough of a change up to take it up a level.
||Some of the sharpest visuals to be found on the PlayStation 3, detailed and vast environments provide an awe-inspiring backdrop to the campaign.
||Quality voice-acting with an ambience and score that match sequences perfectly.
||A solid game with plenty of action. The multiplayer and co-op options will extend play time, but pre-owned buyers be aware of the play-pass system in use for online features.
(Not an Average)
||It is a short list of titles that can truthfully say the third instalment improves on the previous releases. Resistance 3 makes that list and is one of the first must buy titles in this gaming season.