Four years have past since the events of Resistance 2. Mankind has grown tired and weak as the Chimera continue to ravage Earth. An Earth that, as each day passes, looks and feels more like the frozen Chimera homeworld.
Between the change in climate and landscape and the worm-hole now forming above New York City, the future looks bleak. But between the mind of Dr. Malikov and the combat skills of Joseph Capelli, hope may not be lost after all. And so begins the journey of one man who wishes nothing more than to have his family live their lives without fear of what the next day might bring.
The first thing that Resistance 3 does right is allow for you to invest in a believable, down-to-earth family man — Joseph Capelli. By doing so, the desire to progress is immediately established. Thankfully though, this is far from the only driving force in the game.
The feeling of hopelessness and tension that is strewn throughout the campaign in its environments and characters is nothing short of awe inspiring. This world that Insomniac has created can only be compared to that of Metro 2033 — a game that’s environment is second to none. But while the environment and characters are an important factor, most are probably more concerned with the gameplay — especially after the lukewarm campaign experience in Resistance 2.
One of the biggest strengths in Insomniac titles is the variety of weapons that are made available. Resistance 3 is no different in this regard. Throughout the campaign, up to eleven weapons with primary and secondary firing modes are provided to you one by one, within the critical path of the game.
While it may seem disappointing at first that these weapons are accessed without any effort, it is actually a benefit to the overall experience. It is in the weapons that the combat in the campaign maintains a consistently fresh, rewarding feel. With each weapon having unique primary and secondary firing modes and additional benefits being rewarded through its continued use, the sheer number of options available to you allows for a sense of strategy that is usually missing in modern first-person shooters.
The large arsenal is almost a necessity at times as the battles are some of the most grand scale, intense, engaging experiences I have ever had the pleasure of participating in. Between the cinematic, scripted events and even the smaller scale gunfights, the campaign manages to keep you at the edge of your seat and never lets up. While at times the overwhelming variety and number of enemies may feel cheap, this acts as a quick reminder that the weapons at your disposal need to be utilized intelligently.
The strongest improvements over Resistance 2 is the removal of regenerative health in the campaign. Before you shake your head at this old-school gameplay element, know that the placement of health capsules is extremely balanced and allows for a much more challenging and rewarding experience. It adds yet another element of strategy to the game as it is extremely important to be aware of your surroundings and use each health capsule when it is absolutely necessary.
The campaign is not without its issues though as various scripted events can fail to occur. While this experience may vary from player to player, you may find that a quick reload of the latest save is required in order to allow for the game to make another attempt at the event. Another annoyance is in the friendly AI when leading or following a character. The AI will at times get stuck in certain places so it becomes very important to stay close with the AI whenever possible.
Speaking of annoyances, the first experience for every player with Resistance 3 will be one of the most frustrating, lengthy experiences — one that comes with the PS3 territory though I suppose. When booting up the game for the first time, a mandatory install occurs that takes roughly ten minutes. After the install is complete, a game update will need to be downloaded and installed adding another five to ten minutes. Finally, once through downloads and installs, the game will ask you to enter the online pass code which actually requires you to exit the game, go into the PlayStation Store, and enter the online pass code. This convoluted process, although a one-time occurrence, is enough to frustrate any gamer.
Sorry about that. Got a bit off track there. Anyhow, what kept me playing Resistance 2 long-term was the unique co-op mode. These co-op events were quick, collaborative, multi-stage scenarios and allowed for each player to fill a specific role. Unfortunately, this mode has been scraped and co-op is nothing more than co-op campaign. In all honesty, if Insomniac had kept Resistance 2‘s co-op mode and still added co-op campaign, this would have been one of the most complete first-person shooter packages available this year.
This time around, it is instead the multiplayer that will extend the life of the title. While the 60-player online multiplayer in Resistance 2 was a great idea, the actual experience was very lacking as each match turned into a chaotic mess. Resistance 3‘s 16-player multiplayer contains various game modes that most may have become used to in multiplayer today. The leveling system and perks aren’t anything revolutionary, but that does not hold the multiplayer back from being a balanced, rewarding, fun experience. Keep in mind though, this will in no way overshadow the multiplayer beasts that are Modern Warfare and Battlefield.
For those of you that still have their PlayStation Move lying around, Resistance 3 comes with full motion support. But, as with most PlayStation Move games, it is ultimately a disappointment. The input lag is noticeable and an extreme disadvantage during the large-scale battles within the campaign. This support feels tacked on and should not, under any circumstance, be a factor when deciding whether to purchase.
In the end, Resistance 3 is one of the year’s best first-person shooter experiences. The single-player and co-op campaign is easily worth the price of admission as it is an engaging, challenging experience. This is not only a must for Resistance fans, but any PS3 owner looking for a solid first-person shooter.