Review: Resistance 3

A few years ago I picked up my PS3 with a copy of the first Resistance game, and sat down to experience one of the most intense and great looking FPS games I’d ever witnessed. But things change, you only need to look at the fact the PS3 in question came from Woolworths to realise that, so with Resistance 3 having arrived with us does it continue to impress in the same ways? Well if you want a short review, here’s your answer: yes. Want something more? Read on…

Getting started with Resistance 3 isn’t a quick moment. After the multitude of downloaded updates there’s a hefty install onto the PS3’s hard drive. Luckily for us, there’s an introductory animated video which talks us through the story of the Resistance games so far, from the opening moments of Resistance¬†1 through to the shocking climax of Resistance 2. This happens over the top of the installation, giving you something far more useful to watch than a bar trickling across your screen. That is, at least, until it finishes.

With the installation at about 20%. Bugger.

Still it’s a nice attempt to hide the installation which, once done, is soon forgotten. Whether you choose to hit the single player campaign, dive online for some competetive multiplayer (with a little help from your Online Pass code) or start from day 1 on the co-op campaign you’ll instantly be met by some gorgeous looking visuals. Run-down buildings, dusty towns and some great looking explosions contribute to something which looks better than most similar games currently available, and the effects and soundtrack only add to the feeling of desperation and despair.

These emotions come about from the pretty decent storyline that’s woven into the game, with your character Joseph Capelli leading his wife and ill child to safety while he goes off to make his way across America to kick some alien ass and put a stop to it all. Helping him on his mission are some fantastic and meaty weapons, from the ever-present Bullseye to the undeniably cool Mutator which sprouts boils on the enemy’s body which grow rapidly until exploding. Lovely. Every weapon feels like it packs an almighty punch, yet picking the right tool at the right time is key. Unlike other FPS titles once you’ve found a weapon it stays available, ammo permitting, and some of the secondary fire options are also very cool. Shields, grenades, small turrets that can be shot a fair distance and shoot bad guys while you go off and so something else, it’s all here. Mixing up the weapons and ammo will be more important than ever if you want to make it all the way to New York in one piece.

The campaign itself is somewhere in the region of 10 hours long, depending on how measured you are with your approach to taking care of the Chimera – quite often care is key, and rushing headlong into a battle will see you quite dead and back at the previous checkpoint. Later moments in the game are especially lethal with more and more Chimera looking for a piece of the action, sometimes even getting a bit over the top and annoying. But if you fancy getting your hands dirty with friends, then the multiplayer options are well worth a look. The co-op option is quite impressive, allowing you and a friend to play through the entire campaign together and even letting you drop in and out at any point you wish. You could be battling through by yourself, see a friend pop up online and invite them in. Moments later they’re fighting alongside you and reviving you when you’ve done something a bit stupid. Likewise, the split-screen option lets someone in the same room also join in on the fun. Good Stuff.

In terms of competitive multiplayer the standard Deathmatch modes are joined by a couple of intense and fun modes. Breach sees you and your team attempting to destroy or protect a series of key areas, and Chain Reaction is the now popular mode with two teams trying to capture enough successive points to join them up and create (or prevent) a wormhole from being created. Pretty much any multiplayer mode you end up in will give you a blisteringly intense experience, and any unlocks or upgrades you earn are available almost immediately so you won’t need to wait too long before getting hold of your new toys.

Not many games can offer such emotion and intensity in such huge quantities as Resistance 3 does. There are annoyances unfortunately; the online co-op MUST be with a friend, so if you don’t know anyone else with the game or someone who wants to sit with you to play it through you’ll miss out on that. In addition you’ll start to find the game gets harder because there are just too many Chimera to fight, not because the enemies are actually better. But these are just little blips that chip into a hugely enjoyable experience. Whether it ends up being the best FPS of 2011 remains to be seen, but after the over-scaled Resistance 2 cause a little disappointment in the gaming world, Insomniac have brought the Resistance series back in style.

Reviewed on PS3

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