Resistance 3

It must be a difficult task to decide when to release a sequel in a popular gaming franchise. Finding the right balance of development time, hype, expectation and familiarity to ensure that there's still plenty of interest in the series, without people groaning that another sequel has already been churned out has to be a very tricky task. Insomniac Games have a great deal of experience though now, with the Ratchet and Resistance series well established in their various fields. Resistance 3 arrives a full two years after Resistance 2, and aims to correct many of the minor niggles that affected the previous game. The elapsed time is almost perfect, with this latest adventure feeling fresh, while also retaining a sense of familiarity, like a reunion with an old friend. Combining a few core concepts from both existing games in the PS3 series, Insomniac's latest attempts to tick all the FPS boxes, and succeeds in creating a very promising shooter.

Resistance 3

Given that the franchise is now well established, with a solid set of gameplay mechanics that only continue to receive positive tweaks, it's no real surprise that the control and shooting aspects are extremely satisfying. Resistance games are a lot more responsive and rapid than heavier games like Call of Duty and Killzone. In Resistance, you can dart around, spinning your gunsights at pace, and wheel around on those that might chase you. Like a TimeSplitters game, the frantic pace and sharp shooting is very rewarding, and a joy to play. It won't suit everyone, but for those that like smooth, rapid FPS games, Resistance has an excellent formula. But it's not the gameplay that instantly provides the differentiator with previous Resistance games, it's the story, which takes a very different flavour this time around.

Fans of the series, those who have followed the exploits of Nathan Hale through to the concluding events of Resistance 2, might be expecting a certain set of things to happen in Resistance 3, and they're likely to be disappointed. Resistance 3's story is both a strength and a weakness, in that the game drops the central thread of the first two games completely, and instead follows an offshoot. The tangential story is itself very strong, sometimes moving, and thoroughly enjoyable from start to finish, but its emphasis on one man's struggle to save his family differs so greatly from the overall struggle of humanity seen in the first two that it feels a tiny bit disjointed. As a result, viewed as a separate game, Resistance 3 is an excellent example of FPS story telling, but attached to its predecessors, it seems a tiny bit lost.

Resistance 3

Following Joe Capelli, part of Hale's team in Resistance 2, very few other recognizeable characters appear, limited really to just Dr Malikov. The cast is actually quite strong though, with some memorable characters along the way, often involved in decent set pieces. They also serve to provide distinct, varied distractions as Joe journeys across America to thwart the Chimera. The pesky alien-infected hybrids and their assorted bad stuffs are gradually shaping Earth as they see fit, and it's time to stop them, either with Science or big, bad-ass bombs. A nice touch is that, during this struggle, you witness the struggle between military Chimera and feral creatures (including the formidable Widowmakers) as well as a few pockets of life continuing to resist in their own way, despite the carnage around them. The game takes a microscope to certain areas of the Resistance universe and shows you meaningful connections and a plot that forms only a tiny component of the overall picture, as opposed to the grand views of previous games, and it works, despite that nagging disjoint feeling.

It wouldn't be a Resistance game without crazy weaponry and lots of enemies to shoot, and Resistance 3 meets expectations with favourite guns like the Bullseye and Auger returning, complemented by new weaponry like the Atomizer and Cryogun. Duffing up Chimeran enemies with a decent armada at your disposal is pretty satisfying, and there's plenty of them to shoot, including some new enemy types that bound around the screen, dodging everything but the best-aimed shots. It says a lot about the main character in the game that, despite being a moron in Resistance 2, you do actually begin to care for him as he tears apart Chimeran badfolk. By the end of the game, supporting Joe's plight seems like the right thing to do, and you'll feel a genuine sense of determination as you take on the final enemies.

Resistance 3

Graphically, things do start out a little brown and grey, reflecting the general sense of a world that is beginning to lose hope in the face of such a relentless threat. Although the mood conjured does suit the early parts of the story, it doesn't exactly delight you visually with its extravagant visuals. A game like Dark Souls might start you off in a dreary dungeon, but it stills grants gamers some truly epic views within the first hour of the game. Resistance 3 gradually unveils its visual prowess, with some of the best-looking environments reserved for later levels in the game. In reality, it's true to its subject matter, but that might not please graphics junkies. The sound is similar, with solid voice acting and decent effects, but nothing particularly ground-breaking until later in the game. By the time you're taking on the biggest monsters, traversed the grandest structures, fired the baddest weapons and listened to the end credits though, you begin to appreciate the game's strength in the audio field.

Cooperative play is another area of strength, and one that's frequently mentioned on this site. The first game featured cooperative play for the entire campaign, while Resistance 2 took the unusual step of reserving co-op play for stand-alone missions. Resistance 3 returns to the series' roots, allowing full two-player co-op play for the entire campaign, this time also facilitating online co-op as well as offline two-player gaming. While the game is fun to play alone, it's even better with a friend, particularly since there's always enough ammo and enemies to keep players busy. There's online competitive play too, while will happily sink many hours to those who want to try it, but the real draw is the campaign, and multiplayer campaigns really are the way to go.

Resistance 3

Somehow, Insomniac managed the impossible at the launch of PS3, providing a solid FPS game that not only looked great, but also provided an online multiplayer that worked perfectly from day one, with great squad usage, ideal comms and a fair, perk-free competitive setup. In many ways, this has still not been matched by other online games that find themselves obsessed with perks, or unable to provide decent squad and comms systems. Resistance 2 sacrificed many of the things that made Resistance brilliant, but Resistance 3 goes some way to re-capturing the series' former glory. The game is not a perfect example of an FPS game, but it is an extremely strong one, with plenty of options to keep gamers playing for many tens of hours. The slightly side-story nature of the game's plot prevent Resistance 3 from achieving true greatness, but considered in isolation, Resistance 3 is still an excellent example of FPS greatness.

Game details

Game logo

Publisher:

Sony

Developer:

Insomniac Games

Players:

1-2

Online:

1-16

Release:

2011-09-09

Trophies:

59

Review summary

Gameplay:

Classic Resistance handling and gunplay

Graphics:

A little washed out, but fitting for the scenario

Sound:

Great voicework and effects throughout

Lastability:

A decent campaign with great co-op support

8.7

Supernova

Post a comment

Comment:

characters remaining.

User comments

MeteorStorm Random Quote Picker

QuoterQuoter

Qwark

I'll escort you here, to a conveniently exposed thermal exhaust port. We will then endure rigorous calisthenics until we have lost enough body fat to squeeze through the port.