The Resistance series has always flown under the radar for me; I had heard about the quality of the games from a few different sources, but I never could get into Insomniac’s alternate time-line sci-fi shooter. The first two games went by me without so much as a raised eyebrow, but with the third game pulling in such great reviews, I decided that it wouldn’t be such a bad idea to check it out.
As a newcomer to the Resistance series, did the third game strike a chord with me, or was my earlier impression of the series justified?
Despite the fact that the games had never drawn me in before, I’m actually a big fan of the universe that Insomniac has created for their series. Based in an alternate timeline 1950s where World War 2 never happened and humanity is being dominated by aliens who arrived on Earth during the Tunguska Event, Resistance has one of the most compelling back-stories I’ve ever seen in gaming.
Even though I’ve never played more than a few hours of the first two games, I’m fully aware of the story and where humanity stands at the start of Resistance 3. The war against the Chimera is all but lost, and small pockets of survivors eke out a living amidst the ruins of the old world, hoping to avoid the roaming packs of Chimeran Death Squads.
In a change from the last two games, you control Joseph Capelli, a former member of the now deceased Nathan Hale’s Sentinel squad. Thanks to Hale’s unique white blood cells, a cure for the Chimeran Virus has been found and infected humans can now be cured of the disease, provided that they get the injection in time. Capelli is living with his wife and son in a hidden settlement in Oklahoma when Doctor Fyodor Malikov appears and requests Capelli’s help in destroying a device in New York City that has opened a worm-hole and is lowering the planet’s temperature drastically (Chimeran troops survive better in colder climates, hence the heat-sinks on their backs).
While Capelli initially refuses, the Doctor was unwittingly followed by Chimeran soldiers who lay siege to the settlement and forces Capelli to take the doctor up on his offer at the behest of his wife in order preserve the remainder of the human race. The game’s plot takes Capelli all the way from the Heartland to New York City and catalogs his run-ins with both military and feral Chimera and the various groups of humans that are trying to live under the shadow of alien occupation.
The story in itself is fairly decent and manages to keep things fresh for a large part of the game. While the pattern of running into a human group and helping them achieve their goals is repeated fairly often throughout the first half of the game, you’re doing different things each time so it breaks up the pacing. The difference between military and feral Chimera means that you’ll get different doses of gameplay from chapter to chapter, even if fighting the different varieties remain largely the same. Military Chimera will attack you with Hybrids, Longlegs, and the various other types of units while fighting the feral variety will mostly consist of zombie-like battles against Grims and Leapers. True to form there are a couple of giant boss fights but nothing on the level of Resistance 2.
Resistance 3 differs from most modern shooters in a few ways, mainly how the game handles your arsenal and the fact that you use health packs in order to heal yourself (no waiting behind cover for the raspberry jam to fade away here). The guns of Resistance 3 are very, very satisfying to use and the Chimera make great targets, exploding when they’re shot in their heat-sinks and letting off distinct vocal cues when they’ve bit the dust. The different varieties of Chimera make every fight a real treat to test out your different weapons to see which one will be the most effective.
Instead of limiting your capacity to two weapons and maybe a sidearm, you can carry every weapon in the game at the same time and they all level up as you use them, becoming more powerful and adding perks like incendiary ammo and enhanced scopes. All the weapons from the previous games like the Folsom Carbine and the Auger return and there are a few new toys for you to try out like the Mutator (which launches blobs of Chimera virus and causes death by overexposure) and the Deadeye sniper rifle.
Resistance 3 provides players with a well put-together FPS romp, but it doesn’t do anything especially different from other games in the genre. Where it does succeed is its very solid presentation and gameplay and the addition of co-op campaigning (in split-screen!) instead of the separate mode from Resistance 2. If you’re looking for old-school style shooter action with fun weapons, this is where you’ll get it. If you’re looking for brand new gameplay conventions and innovation, they’re a little lacking in Resistance 3.
Insomniac also changed up the multiplayer for their third title, taking the massively ambitious outing of the second game and making it into a smaller, more arena-based type of fare. Like every other game these days, there are perks and levels for the player to gain, but the weapons and mechanics make up for the bog-standard presentation.
As a newcomer to the series I can’t definitively say whether or not this game lives up to the legacy of the last two games, but I had a fun time playing through the campaign and trying out all the weapons. Seriously, awesome weapon designs are Insomniac’s stock and trade, and they’ve earned that reputation well.
Like the saying goes, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” and Resistance 3 does just that. It doesn’t raise the bar for shooters, but it preforms admirably in providing lots of fun for any FPS gamer.
So that’s what I thought of Resistance 3! Has anyone else played it, and what do you think? For long-time followers of the games, did Insomniac’s last outing close out the series well for you?
How does our grading system work? Check out our grade chart!