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Wednesday | September 19, 2018
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Resistance 2 (PS3)

Resistance 2 (PS3)

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Resistance: Fall of Man was one of the most successful Playstation 3 launch titles and developer Insomniac have been hard at work trying to recapture and improve on the original’s great combination of addictive game play and fascinating sci-fi storyline.

The original was a rather depressing tale of Europe’s devastation by an alien race called the Chimera. The sequel starts where the first ended and brings our hero Nathan Hale to the USA which is the last place in the world to escape the Chimeran onslaught. Well that is until today, because two years after Hale arrived in the USA the alien overlords have started their attack in the USA, destroying entire cities and wiping out millions of civilians in the process. To make matters worse, some of these humans have been converted into Shock troops to aid the Chimeran advance.

Hale joins up with the SRPA, an underground government agency who sends out super soldiers, called Sentinels into the fray of battle. These Sentinels are immense warriors who are basically government experiments embodied with the Chimeran virus which gives them super strength and regenerative abilities. Even with the Sentinels, the odds are overwhelming because the Alien race are more powerful, more numerous and are literally wiping out everything in their path.

The single player campaign comprises seven chapters (as well as a prologue) and even though it is slightly shorter than the original, it is a much more intense affair and the game play reaches new heights.

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The storyline is well handled and works perfectly in the context of a sci-fi thriller and the focus is clearly on the exploits of our hero Hale rather than an overview of events in the USA. I think this works well as it puts you in the role of a single man thrown into this violent and bloody war with little knowledge of what is going on elsewhere.

Resistance was always known for its epic ideas and scale and this time they are even more compelling and wide spanning. In all the levels there are jaw dropping moments which will make you glad you invested in a Playstation 3. Chicago has to be one of the most mind blowing levels I have seen in a next generation game and that is saying something as recently there have been a plethora of grade A games released.  The enemies are also extremely epic in nature, and the Leviathan and Kraken must rank as two of the most incredible pieces of monster design ever witnessed!

The various battles are also epic in nature with so many characters on screen I find it hard to believe that the Playstation 3 powers through it all, those gamers who have said the Playstation 3 is technically inferior to the Xbox 360 clearly need to spend some time with this game to have doubts put into your mind. What is even more stunning is the fact that the frame rate never seems to dip at all, even with some of the most detailed and action packed environments I have witnessed. I feel it is this epic scale and the way that the PS3 effectively handles the scenes that makes the game so immersive.

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Normally a problem with many first person shooters is appalling Artificial Intelligence (AI), but thankfully in the case of Resistance 2 the end result is a positive and believable experience. Various infantry and creatures in the Chimera army require you to use different tactics to be successful in combat. Hybrids for example team up with other soldiers and try to flank your position while they let other foes get your attention. Grunts will often just charge at you guns blazing. As the game is epic in nature, quite often you will be dealing with 30 or 40 units at a time which can lead to some heart pounding situations.

Just as positive however are ally NPC units, they frequently aid you and cover your position with friendly fire which means you are rarely forced to enter a battlefield feeling alone or cornered. The friendly Sentinel units for example are extremely potent and sometimes it is a pleasure to witness some realistic battles in your vicinity, everything flows in a realistic yet entertaining manner.

The guns in Resistance 2 are varied and powerful and Insomniac have stepped up to the plate and delivered some creative and effective weaponry to aid your battles on the field. Still apparent are the Bullseye and Augur and they are supplemented with exciting new weapons such as the Magnum and Marksman. The latter is one of my favourites as it is a sniper rifle which fires three rounds in quick succession, the secondary fire however is an electrified orb that shocks nearby enemy units allowing you to hit them while they are shaking.

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The single player game lasts around 10-12 hours but this time around the multiplayer section is just as good. There is cooperative mode which allows 8 people to jump into a game and fight against the Chimera however the added touch is that you are playing as a Spectre, a different military faction whose mission is to track down Gray Tech, which are items held by the Chimera. These cooperative missions run in conjunction with the normal single player game and it is fascinating to see the game unfold from another viewpoint rather than Nathan Hale, it further enhances the epic feel as you know that at any given time Nathan is fighting the Chimera from a different place. The Gray Tech you acquire also helps you unlock items as well as additional missions.

Gamers are given the option between three different classes each with various abilties. Spec Ops are the heavy hitters, and while they have less health they deal some wicked damage to the enemy, they also have access to ammo packs which they can share with friendly units. The Soldier is the brute of the group equipped with a chain gun, high health and an energy shield.  Medics are the last class and they use their Phoenix weaponry to suck health from enemies which they can convert to healing attacks to aid their team mates… they also can bring back wounded soldiers very quickly. These classes are integral to how you play because while everyone will get points for killing enemy units, each class will get XP points for how well they perform to their given duties. These points convert into higher rankings as well as unlocking berserk powers and new weapons.

The aforementioned berserk power are abilities connected to specific classes which are triggered when a player has enough experience points to fill a bar on screen which will drain when the power is active. For example soldiers have Ironheart which reduces damage when active and Ring Of Life allows Medics to tag a specific area which constantly regenerates the health of any friendly units in its vicinity. In multiplayer mode the game (cleverly) dynamically scales to suit the amount of people playing, so a game with 6 players will be just as challenging as simple 2 player co-op mode.

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Competitive multiplayer modes are also present and they are great fun online with friends. There are classic Death-match modes which we all know such as Deathmatch, Skirmish, Team Deathmatch and Capture the Flag (named Core Control in RS2). While all these modes are great fun, it is Skirmish mode which will be getting the most attention, mainly because it allows up to sixty players to compete on scalable maps. Again surprisingly, the Playstation 3 powers through this with no noticeable lag at all and when you have a full map the action really heats up. Skirmish mode is also objective based like the cooperative mode mentioned earlier with goals given to six squads of five players each for Human and Chimeran teams.

As I mentioned earlier the graphics are extremely impressive both on a design and implementation level. The huge scale of the battles is also something that hits home and I doubt anyone would be failed to be impressed with the proficient coding from developer Insomniac. It however is not perfect as I did notice some texture pop-in from time to time, it is noticeable but it doesn’t ruin the game. There are also some minor issues with the physics, and sometimes you will see dead soldiers shuddering on the ground as if an invisible person is shaking them violently. All in all however, considering the technical lengths the Playstation 3 has been pushed, these are forgivable.

Audio is very polished with some fantastic voice acting from a grade A list of actors. Our hero Hale for instance is handled in a movie style manner and the ambient sounds of engines, shouting and weaponry really lifts the game even higher in the immersion scale. Resistance 2 is a great showpiece for how well implemented sound can further enhance a game.

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Resistance 2 is a total success and apart from some minor technical issues with clipping Insomniac have pushed the Playstation 3 further than any game to date. The single player experience is wonderfully immersive and it is matched by fully fledged and multiplayer modes which are massively replayable. If you add in trophy support as well as a plethora of unlockables and community support then you begin to see how well rounded the full experience is. The one word to sum up Resistance 2, is certainly "epic", just make sure you don’t miss it.

Single player is wonderful, co-op and competitive modes just add to the overall package.
Points are only deducted for some minor glitches, but overall, a masterpiece.
Top notch voice acting and ambient effects. Really enhances the overall game.
10-12 hours for single player and weeks, if not months on multiplayer. Well worth the money.
(Not an Average)
One of the best games on the Playstation 3, miss this at your peril.

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About Author

Stuart Davidson

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