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Tuesday | October 23, 2018
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Resistance Retribution (PSP)

Resistance Retribution (PSP)


We don’t often review games on the handheld consoles because most of them aren’t really relevant to our audience. We are willing to make exceptions however and today we have one of the finest games released on Sony’s PSP up for review. Developer Sony Bend have released a modern day classic which hits the mark and will go down in the annals of history as one of the finest PSP games ever made.

Let’s get it out of the way quickly, Resistance Retribution is brilliant. It has an engaging single player campaign and a huge plethora of unlockables. Not only that, but it has Playstation 3 connectivity and some of the most brilliant multiplayer online support I have experienced to date. Quite honestly if you have a PSP, then you need to stop reading this review and head into your local store and pick this up as soon as possible.

The game is set between Resistance: Fall Of Man and Resistance 2. It tells the tale of James Grayson a British marine who has been doing his duties against the Chimera for as long as he can remember. Unfortunately, he and a pair of soldiers crashed into the middle of a Chimera conversion process, which involves the horrible mutation between human and beast. Grayson and his team mates managed to take out the bad guys but while doing so found out that the person involved in the conversion process was actually Grayson’s brother. Being a man of duty Grayson kills his brother and ends up having to deal with guilt and regret on a daily basis. Finding it hard to cope with this pain, he goes AWOL and leaves the armed services to head on a personal vendetta to destroy every conversion facility he can find. After the 25th facility is destroyed the Marines catch up with Grayson to punish him for his desertion with the penalty being death. Before he can face the firing squad however the European resistance known as the Maquis appear to ask the allies for help and deliver a radical new potion which will help destroy the Chimera forces. The allied forces offer to let Grayson repent by asking him to help destroy the Chimera.

This opening movie is absolutely brilliant and sets the tone for a wonderful experience to come.

Once you begin playing the story it gets stronger as it progresses and a lot of this is due to the depth and determination of Grayson himself. He is a tough character with a soul and this is a rare combination to grace a game, nevermind a portable one. You can feel his pain throughout as he attempts to lessen his own guilt for killing his brother and he does so by dealing as much death as possible to the Chimera scum that infest the lands. He doesn’t often follow the rules and is a character who adapts his tactics to suit the surroundings. There are many strong storyline sections which only strengthen Grayson’s resolve and make us like the guy even more.

The game lasts around 12 hours and has so many wonderful sequences and storyline twists that it seems almost criminal of me to detail them before you get a chance to play it yourself.

The game play mechanic is solid and the interface works extremely well throughout and will be instantly recognisable to anyone who has played Syphon Filter. Sony Bend have introduced the same control scheme it pioneered with Gabe Logan but they have added a number of refinements to enhance the third person shooter even more. The analog controller moves Grayson forwards and backwards as well as side to side. The PSP face buttons control his point of view while tapping on the D pad will cycle through your weapons and holding right will pause the game and bring up your weapon wheel. Pressing R fires the weapons and holding L switches to the weapons secondary fire.

The weapon wheel deserves special mention because you can leisurely cycle through every weapon you have in your position. You never lose guns and you will hold onto your full arsenal throughout the whole game, right till the end. Perhaps it is not realistic to have 8 guns in your backpack but its a lot more fun when you are playing a game to not have to worry about sacrificing one weapon for another in the middle of a firefight.


I have already mentioned Syphon Filter, but the closeness in design in noticeable throughout. The save icon is the same, the journals preceding the missions and more are even in the same Logan’s Shadow style albeit with small tweaks to make the experience more flowing and enjoyable. At the top of the list is the game’s Aim Assist options which appear during play as a yellow box on the screen. If you position an enemy in this box, the crosshairs of your gun will automatically fix to the foe so you can run and gun without having to worry about trigger hair type aiming. This is a simple system which helps overcome the limitations of the platform when it comes to accuracy.

Cover is also an integral aspect of Resistance Retribution. When you walk up to a box for example Grayson will stick to it automatically but unlike the Syphon Filter games there is now no need to blind fire or aimless firing from cover (which never worked very well). Grayson now merely adheres to the object, you move the crosshairs into position and tap or hold R to fire. When you stop shooting, Grayson then moves automatically back to the cover point. There is no need to tell him to crouch because he instinctively understands what he needs to do and when he needs to do it. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, Grayson has been endowed with a brain of his own to handle the mundane tasks.

While I was personally a huge fan of the Syphon Filter games, by nature they did feel slightly robotic and never flowied or felt instinctive to play. The developers have in time fine tuned their game mechanic to a point today with which we can enjoy the combat without having to worry about issuing mindless commands to the character involved.

The only aspect of Syphon Filter I actually preferred was the slightly more challenging gameplay on normal level, so much so in fact that I would recommend Syphon Filter experts to play this game on hard difficulty setting, right out of the box.

Resistance: Retribution is a hell of an experience and it has some of the finest weaponry ever to grace a handheld console. There are around 12 weapons in it and they all play an important role to your survival. Almost every enemy in the game has a specific weapon which proves to be most devastating, for example the shotgun is fantastic for taking out Leapers which emerge from the gooey eggs on the walls or ground. Shooting through the walls with the Auger proves useful on a few of the levels especially when you are near to death and unable to risk a close combat experience.

For every environmental section there are Skill Point Objectives. These vary between feats such as getting a series of headshots with the sniper rifle to killing a certain amount of enemies with an RPG. If you play the levels and achieve the goals then you unlock all the movies, music and files up for grabs. That said the developers have cleverly hidden the achievement details for the specific level you are playing until after you beat it. This means the options for replaying the levels are greater and will make sure that many gamers get a lot of satisfaction from a second run through later. In total there are 67 pieces of intel hidden throughout the game and if you find all of these pieces in one of the three categories then you unlock the weapon connected to that specific category. These include such goodies as the Plasma Grenade and the Longbow 1S-1K. If you unlock everything then the Magnum awaits, which fires explosive bullets to cause maximum damage.


If all this seems like too much effort to unlock the weapons there are several further options to unlock the goodies on offer. Put Resistance 2 in your PS3, go into the options and select connect PSP. From here you can select Infect Resistance: Retribution and activiate Resistance: Retribution Plus. Obviously the PSP needs to be plugged into the Ps3 when you do this, however it offers some extras in the PSP game.

One of them changes everything about James Grayson. Rather than being a standard tough guy human on the rampage to avenge his dead brother he is infected with the same virus Nathan Hale struggles with on the PS3 version of Resistance. He can now breathe underwater and can regenerate his health meter but he also gets a Spectre suits like Hale’s from Resistance 2 as well as the magnum gun we all long to possess. This change only lasts as long as Retribution is played for after the infection, so if you quit the game to the XMB and restart it all returns to normal. Even more impressive is the fact that if you play sections of the game with an infected player then the dialogue changes and his eyes turn yellow. On a cool scale of 10, this rates 11.

Activating Resistance: Retribution Plus is another cool option that has been circulating on the news boards for a while. When you select this option from the R2 menu with Retribution plugged into the Ps3 you transfer your PS3 controller to the PSP. So you can control the action on the PSP with the Sixaxis or Dualshock 3 ! The controls carry over button for button except you can now use the second analog stick to control Grayson’s POV rather than the PSP’s face buttons. The big change however is that this method of control eliminates the need for the Aim Assist box to be used for aiming (it disappears). Believe it or not, while this sounds easier, it actually makes the game more difficult as although the PS3 controller is great, it doesn’t really translate perfectly to the handheld console. That said options such as selecting weapons are now handled back and forward by the shoulder buttons rather than one way with the PSP built in controls.

Online options for the game are brilliant and the community is thriving. The structure is set up for eight player matches (four people v four people) in one of five modes. There are clans, voice chat, 12 ranks to reach as well as a friends list, unranked matches and much more. There are 22 medals for example online each with gold, silver and bronze ratings, these are also attached to your profile so that everyone can see how much you rock if you managed to get 300+ kills with a pistol.

All in all, the PSP online facet of Resistance Retribution is stunning in all regards and it as good as anything I have experienced with the PS3 community. Hell you can even taunt fallen foes to rub their face in it! If you progress further then you get access to more insulting dialogue as well as dances over their dead bodies to add more salt to the wounds. Equally as important you can revive downed teammates by pushing downing on the D pad nearby.

In relation to the five modes most of them are well known. Team Deathmatch an Capture the Flag for example are standard modes while Free For All is basically a regular Deathmatch mode. There are two modes however which deserve some more explanation. Containment is a mode to allow two squads to battle in an environment while capturing and holding coolant nodes for as long as possible. Assimilation starts with a single player in the Cloven team while everyone else joins the Maquis side. It is up to the Cloven player to kill, and assimilate players into the Cloven side. This is a mega mode which is good if you pit the best player as the Cloven guy against everyone else.

Retribution has a total of five Multiplayer maps that are reminiscent of the maps from the single player campaign. They all are well designed and very suited to a strong multiplayer experience. Retribution has some great additional options, there are 60 clan patches to select from and you can leave messages for all your clan buddies as well as tracking stats on You can even import PSN friends who have played Retribution which is useful.

The graphics are perfectly fine although there are times when the game shudders with all the action onscreen. They aren’t bad, but are quite reminiscent of Syphon Filter with slightly updated environmental detail and characterisations.

The audio is much stronger with some fantastic explosions and ambient sound effects with a pumping score to set the tone as you do battle with the enemy. Playing through a good pair of headphones does the experience justice as there are plenty of bass deep explosions to rock your ears.

Resistance Retribution is without a doubt my favourite game on the Playstation portable. It is the most rounded package to hit the platform and has no glaring weaknesses to report which is rare on this rather fading platform. The storyline is strong and engaging and the main character endears you to want to do well. Multiplayer is fantastic and is sure to drive a lot of gamers online to play with their buddies. Highly recommended to anyone with a pulse and hopefully this is a sign of things to come this year for the PSP.


Weapons are great, single player and multiplayer are both very strong. Immense fun.
CGI is strong but the actual in game graphics are nothing out of the ordinary.
Amazing score and effects steal the show.
Immensely strong online support with a huge range of options. The single player is great too.

A brilliant PSP game, very rare indeed.

About Author

Stuart Davidson

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