Backlog: Resistance 3 or How to Drag a Series Out of the Toilet One Chimera at a Time

Resistance: Fall of Man was one of the original launch titles for the PS3. It was developed of by Insomniac Games of Ratchet and Clank fame. It wasn’t just A launch title. It was THE launch title, and probably the only good game on the system until the release of Heavenly Sword and the original Uncharted much later in the year. Resistance: Fall of Man is a game that takes place in an alternate history during 1951. What separates the game’s history and ours is a widespread monster invasion of Europe from Russia (Its always Russia, isn’t it?). These creatures, the Chimera, steamroller Europe and are in the process of invading England when you, the American (Of course), come to save them. In reality, Resistance is just another World War 2 shooter, but using monsters instead of Nazis. The same boring brown environments that inhabit every WW2 game are present, as is the European backdrop. Other than the Chimera, the biggest difference is that the weapons are interesting and fun, which is what you’d expect from the developers of Ratchet and Clank and that the game has a long single player mode.

I LOVE YOU! GIVE ME A KISS!

Resistance: Fall of Man set a high standard, and Resistance 2 was set to deliver. It promised huge boss battles, more multiplayer including a whole co-op campaign, and a magnum that has exploding bullets. Unfortunately for the series, Resistance 2 was utter, derivative garbage. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare had come out and made its impact on shooters, and Resistance 2 jumped in and said “me too”. Who cares about interesting weapons in the game, because, now, you are only allowed to carry two with you at a time. The cast is full of brain-dead marine stereotypes who have the personality of a well used sock. To make matters worse, the game actually made the original worse by over explaining everything and ruining the mystery of the Chimera, which was actually interesting. Add in some truly uninspired boss battles, bland, ugly environments, and painfully boring stealth sequences and you have a terrible, terrible game.

It is a crime that it is so boring to fight this wonderful beast.

Ignoring the PSP game, Resistance Retribution, which was pretty good, things were looking down for the series. It had completely lost the uniqueness that made it interesting. Fortunately, Resistance 3 is a good game, a very good game. The first thing the game did right was to cast Joe Capelli as the main character. This is a good thing, as I still have goodwill towards him for (Spoiler, but seriously, its a shooter) killing the last main character, who was awful in every way. The previous main character, Nathan Hale, was a mute (Not entirely, but might as well have been) American grunt, who brought absolutely nothing to the game story wise, or personality wise. Capelli isn’t much better, but at least they gave him a family, so he has SOMETHING to fight for.

This is Nathan Hale. He has as much personality as his haircut would suggest.

Resistance 3 throws away all of the military trappings, which shoehorned the first two games and instead focuses on Capelli and his journey to New York and the Road Warrior-esque world that humans now inhabit. You see, unlike the countless post apocalyptic games out there, this one takes place DURING the apocalypse, so its a little unique there. The first two-thirds of Resistance 3 are some of the strongest moments in a standard level-based first person shooter. Going across the country and seeing the different ways that the Chimera invasion has affected the population from resistance, to religion, to banditry. The atmosphere is good and the game flows well between objectives. As if they realized how much they sacrificed to be a Call of Duty clone, Insomniac threw away many modern first person trappings including regenerating health, and, thankfully, a two weapon limit. Once again, the fun and sometimes wacky weapons are the stars of the show, and they do not disappoint. Like the Mutator, which causes enemies to throw up until they die, or grow huge tumours (Its not a gross as it sounds). The only problem with the game comes during the last third when you get to New York, which is both anti-climactic and ends up with you on a Chimeran ship, possessing the same boring, lifeless environments as you saw in Resistance 2.

There is very little human drama here, but its still lightyears ahead of most shooters.

Resistance 3 is a good game. It changes the formula from a military shooter to an apocalyptic shooter, and the change was smart as it finally allows the Resistance series to distance itself from Call of Duty and generic World War 2 shooters. Its nice to see Playstation 3’s premier series get back on its feet, instead of dying a slow and painful death. It looks like Insomniac is not enthused at continuing the series, which would be a shame, but if they do need to stop, it is good to go out on such a high note.

– Mistranslations for the Modern Gamer

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