PS3 Review: Resistance 3

Resistance 3 handles like an extension of your self. The controls will be familiar to an FPS fan but they are tweaked to perfection. The experience is diverse and never gets dull.

The Resistance games have been one of Sony's key exclusive franchises. What started life as an alternate reality WW2 shooter has grown into an epic struggle against alien hordes that threaten the existence of the human race. While not the most original idea under the sun, Insomniac's series has given us a fresh outlook on a saturated genre and cleverly avoided entering into the shady realm of propaganda. What I have always liked about the Resistance games above all else is the fact that you feel you are fighting a war worth fighting. So does Resistance 3 live up to its predecessors? The simple answer is oh hell yes. With Nathan Hale no longer providing our eyes and hands it is up to ex-Sentinel (and Hale's killer) Joseph Capelli to try and save the world. However, for all of your efforts in the previous two games, the world has pretty much gone to shit. The human race has been reduced to small pockets of survivors desperately trying to do just that, survive. Resistance, it seems, is the last thing any one is thinking about. But like all good heroes, Joseph can only refuse the call to action so many times and eventually enters into a journey that not only raises the bar for the franchise but delivers some of the biggest thrills of this generation. Resistance 3 is through and through a first person war game and it excels as such, but more so than in previous instalments there is a strong survival horror element. While there are still the intense and sometimes insane moments where you must battle hoards of Chimera, there are also tense and claustrophobic battles where you will be jumping at a lot of shadows. The single player campaign is diverse and often stunning, featuring every staple the genre has to offer delivered in a way that never feels stale. I generally detest vehicle sections but found that an early boat section was both tense and epic, showcasing the fantastic graphics engine as well as the scale of the mythos Insomniac has created. One thing Insomniac do really well is set up the OMG moments by teasing the player with huge colossi lumbering through the distance or worm holes tearing up the landscape. It builds anticipation for what turns into epic encounters later on in the game. In fact, while epic is an over used adjective, it really is the only word fit to describe Resistance 3. Graphically Resistance 3 is quite possibly the best looking shooter on the PS3 and the cinematic presentation is up there Metal Gear Solid 4 and Uncharted 2. It is definitely the best the franchise has looked, which after the fantastic Resistance 2, is pretty impressive. I have always found it strange that games have used techniques such as water on the lens, hand held camera work and auto focus effects to make games look cinematic when most films avoid these like the plague but still, it works pretty well here even if it is at times a little distracting. The visuals are accompanied by a solid score and really meaty sound design that really helps to sell the action. One thing that can often hamper more chaotic titles is a poor sound mix which often leads to the dialogue being drowned out. Resistance 3 manages to be incredibly loud and explosive but keep the dialogue firmly audible at all times. It sounds weird to point out but the game takes such care to craft a deep and emotional narrative that a poor sound mix would have been really detrimental. Having come directly from reviewing (and playing the hell out of) Deus Ex: Human Revolution, I was expecting to be disorientated by a new control scheme. However, the controls fell straight into place and felt natural and intuitive. The game handles really well and even someone new to the franchise should find the control scheme and the calibration of the controls easy to get to grips with. Shooting from the hip is pretty sensitive, but it is important when the bullets start to fly around you. Whereas aiming down the sights is slow but allows a lot more precision. I found the jump button to be pretty redundant as Joseph can't scale anything above the knees, but never mind. The level design does allow for a small amount of exploration, especially later on in the game, but the levels are still linear and you will never struggle to find your way to your next objective. It is a small gripe but I do find it irritating when you are penned in by waist high fences and debris when the world around you looks so interesting and worth exploring. Still the level of orchestrated chaos that Insomniac have achieved doesn't really allow for open world exploration, and while there is little freedom in regards to progression, the variety of weapons at your disposal gives you a lot of choice when it comes to handing out the pain. The previous Resistance games were much more military in their nature, they were war games but just against an alien army. I was concerned that the guerilla style warfare on offer in Resistance 3 would be less engaging but in fact it is the opposite. The story is much more personal and it adds a lot of weight to what you are doing. You want Joseph to save his family and the people he meets and as such, you are more satisfied when you kick Chimeran ass. I am a firm believer that a game should always be worth the money you fork out for it even if you never take it online. There are some really great games that are guilty of skimping on the single player however, Resistance 3 is one of the rare games that gives you enough bang for your buck that you'd forgive a total lack of multiplayer, or a even a sub par offering but what you are actually given is multiplayer that is a strong enough offering to be considered worth your purchase alone. The games have been scaled back from 60 players to 16 which does make matches less chaotic but also gives you more chance to shine. It also fits in well with the single player narrative as we are far beyond the days of major military action. Insomniac have introduced a perks system to the multiplayer alongside killstreak bonuses and the obligatory leveling up bonuses. It may be following the path set by COD and such but at the same time it is popular because it works. As you level up you unlock the full arsenal available throughout the single player campaign and it really adds to the options available. The Resistance games have always put interesting twists to the classic gun types, adding to the tactical advantages of each type and franchise stable the Auger is especially useful against people with a decent sniping spot. The usual suspects are all back with deathmatches and catch the flag but there are also objective based games, Chain Reaction where you must stop a worm hole opening and Breach Mode where you attack and defend reactors. These games feel more specific to the franchise and give a more unique experience than the others. Campaign co-op is also back though now restricted to just two players however, the option to play split screen in my opinion makes up for this. I always find local multiplayer to be a more rewarding experience though it would have been nice to have had at least four players. I should point out that the Move support is at its best ok, I found it inaccurate and a total waste of time for the most part. There is also 3D for those among us with 3D enabled TVs, which doesn't include me so that's about all I can say on that. Insomniac could have comfortably rested on their laurels and given us another Resistance 2. What they have instead given us is a more personal, more focused and more effective game that really hits home the horrors of war. You aren't a man trying to save the world so much as a man trying to save the ones he loves and that is always going to hit home. Not only have Insomniac delivered a superb single player shooter, they have also once again delivered on the multiplayer, giving players more than ever before. If you are new to the franchise get your ass down to your local gaming retailer and pick them up pre-owned, they are really cheap and a must have as is the latest in the series. Resistance 3 is out nooooooow.

A video editor by trade and a lover of movies, games and manga.