Friday, September 16, 2011

Resistance 3 Review

Resistance has always been one of the frontrunners of the Playstation 3, earning great reviews on each of the past two iterations. Resistance: Fall of Man released alongside the PS3 back in 2006, and was received pretty well by critics and gamers alike. Resistance 2 released in 2008, and though it was received well by critics, the game just didn't seem as polished as it should have been. Resistance 3 proves to be Insomniac's masterpiece though, taking the best of both previous games and combining them into something outstanding.

The story follows that of Joseph Capelli, which makes sense following the events of Resistance 2. The entire world has nearly been overrun by Chimera, with nearly 90% of the population being extinguished. Seemingly, there is no hope for humanity, and everyone is forced to live in hiding, hoping that they're not discovered. Joseph and his wife Susan, and son Jack, have been living in a hideout in Haven, Oklahoma for the past few years. Eventually, though, the Chimera would find them, but Joseph had hoped it would be much later in life. The arrival of Fyodor Malikov, the leading researcher in the cure of the Chimeran virus, brought a swarm of Chimera, forcing the town to evacuate. His visit was not without meaning, however, presenting Joseph with an opportunity to strike back at the Chimera by destroying the tower in New York. Joseph immediately dismisses Malikov, but his wife convinces him that if there is any chance at all to create a future for his son, he must take that chance and embark on a journey to eradicate the Chimera.

The story follows Joseph and Malikov's journey to New York, which isn't very easy with a nation completely overrun by Chimera. The two protagonists travel by plane, train, and automobile as they make their way to the Chimeran tower in New York City, to ultimately destroy it and stop the conversion of Earth into the new Chimeran home world. Many different locations are explored, from dark and dreary corroded homes swarming with grims to large prisons which have been taking over by the prisoners, and which Joseph must escape. Ultimately, Joseph does make it to the Chimeran tower, which is working to convert the world to a much colder climate, leaving the area covered in snow. The end of the game really leaves more to be desired, at least in terms of unanswered questions. Otherwise, Insomniac does a great ending to a fantastic story.

There's more than just brown in this game.
The gameplay of the story itself feels like a combination of both of the first two games. It takes the large scale battles of the second game and combines it with the return of the weapon wheel from the first. Unfortunately, you don't regenerate health, since the Chimeran virus was cured in humans by the Hale Vaccine. Instead, medpacks are usually plentiful, but sometimes it can get a bit stressful looking on the ground for something easy to miss. The return of the weapon wheel makes this less of a straight playthrough once game and creates a sense of strategy. Instead of just having one weapon at a time, every weapon you pick up through the game is available, provided you have ammo. The story is paced well, and has different sequences in which your jaw will drop in astonishment at the sense of scale. The story is only about 7 hours, but for a first person shooter, that's probably around average nowadays, and really isn't too bad. Also, co-op has been reintroduced, which can be played online or offline split-screen.

The weapon wheel! Yay!
The multiplayer has been entirely redone as well. Instead of 60 player chaotic games, Insomniac decided to emphasize the human struggle by going with 8v8 matches. This works much better than Resistance 2, in which many players only searched for small games since the large games were just far too chaotic in a small space. The core gameplay mechanics really reflect those of the first Resistance, but combine elements of the second game as well. The weapons aren't on the map like the first game, but are instead presented to you in loadout form, which can be customized. Each of the numerous weapons can be upgraded 2 times, making it more powerful each time or giving different abilities. Also, grenades can be chosen, along with two active and passive abilities. All of these abilities have upgrades available which cost experience skill points. The passive abilities range from a multitude of things, giving bigger clip sizes, allowing you to see a player's health, and more. The active abilities are something you must choose to use in game, and provide a distraction such as a projection of a decoy, or a shield that can protect you in a last minute chance at survival. Level 60 is the highest level, but there is Remnant mode, which reverts you back to level one and gives you unique titles for being a Remnant.

Don't shoot the doppelganger!
The maps for the multiplayer are very well designed. There are an astonishing 12 maps shipped with the game, and probably more coming through DLC, but each one of them has a unique play style and doesn't feel too unbalanced. Each play style, from sniping to run and gunning, is accommodated on each map. There are many ins and outs, as well as long stretches for sniping. The maps are located all over the world, so some locations may seem familiar, while most are completely fresh to the player, making the multiplayer a separate, yet familiar, experience. Unfortunately, at the moment, the multiplayer is infected with lag, especially when played in the split-screen mode. There have been a few patches already, with another on the way. Fear not, Resistance fans, it will be fixed soon.

Overall, Resistance 3 proves to be possibly the best in the series. It doesn't drag on during the story and has a multiplayer mode that combines the best of both worlds. There are moments of strange animations, especially when played in split-screen mode, but they don't ruin the game. Resistance 3 is a fitting end, if that is the case, to a great trilogy.

Story – 9.5
Great, well-paced, but a bit short. Also, it leaves a few unanswered questions for fans of the series.
Gameplay – 9
Other than a few hiccups, the game plays great.
Graphics – 8
The graphics have been improved over the last two, and provides a unique art style.
Sound – 9.5
The music score provides the perfect feel for the series, and the voice acting is top notch.
Replayability - 9
There are multiple ways to tackle each battle using the weapon wheel, and multiplayer is great.

Overall Rating – 9


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