I finally beat: Resistance – Fall of Man
This was the PS3 launch title. This was the system seller. Made by Insomniac (of Rachet and Clank, and the original Spyro) fame, this PS3 fps combined the best aspects of WWII shooters and Halo (including a Co-Op campaign). With the other PS3 launch titles delayed, Resistance had to stand on its own. Was it smooth sailing, or a bumpy ride?
Overall, I enjoyed Resistance. There are certainly some things it could do better, but more importantly are some things it did that the average gamer may not expect:
1) It is DAMN fast.
Now, if you’ve played console shooters and PC shooters, you have noticed the difference. PC Shooters always move at a break-neck pace compared to their console brethren. In fact, until Halo, console shooters weren’t slow enough. They were slower, but their appeal was limited due to the console pad. Not able to pull of precision movements on targets was made all the more infuriating when the targets would move to the left and right quicker than you could spin in place <cough> Perfect Dark for the N64 </cough>.
Of course, since Halo, every shooter has basically tried to match its pacing and auto-aim friendliness. Resistance bucks this trend. While it keeps the auto-aim, it throws out the molasseses wading. Even with some wide open spaces in Resistance, there is little to no need for a sprint button. Your character moves (in all 4 directions) at the speed the average game character sprints. This takes some getting used to, and gives Resistance a very arcadey feel. Not necessarily a bad thing to feel nostalgic, especially since it hasn’t been pulled off on consoles before, but certainly feels like a throw back to an older style.
2) It is DAMN hard
Not because of cunning enemy AI. Nor because of cheap enemies (99% of the time). Simply because you have about 4 hits. Other games have done this before. Rainbow Six doesn’t even show you a health bar: You are a single head shot. The problem is most of these low hp games are cover reliant. Hide behind something and blindfire away. Resistance plays like an older shooter. The cover you are behind will be flushed out with grenades (or the gun that shoots through walls). Instead, you are meant to be constantly moving, dodging incoming energy bullets; yes, you move that fast. Like the days of Doom, you can strafe between shots as you close distance (or retreat) and fire upon your foes. The problem is if you get stuck on a barrel or piece of debris you’ll be gunned down and dead within a second or two. You may have auto regenerating health, but it only regens up to the nearest 25% mark (25%, 50%, 75%, or 100%). This means if you are taken down and almost killed, the most you can hope to recover to is 25%. This leaves you at a “i’m still only one damn hit” level of health. When I played co-op, we found you respawn with 50%. This lead to a common strategy of: if one player is 50% or below, the other player (50% or above) should pick up all the health, and the below player should go out and die in order to get back to 50%. It was the most efficient way to use the health packs since it is free to heal up to 50% with a death.
“Now, go kill yourself to get some health.”
3) It is DAMN funny to watch Angry Black Man
Unlike the announced Resistance 2, Resistance 1’s campaign is the same single player or co-op. Like Halo 1 and 2, this means the 2nd player does not appear in any story cinematic and is never referenced in any way. This is made all the more hilarious when the story is delivered via a narrator who just won’t stop talking about how amazing Nathan Hale is, but doesn’t seem to recognize the deeds done by his African American compatriot; the single black man in the entire game. Nathan Hale is unique in that he is the single soldier not wearing a hat. Either way, I could make a clever joke about the black guy sacrificing himself for Hale, but in truth Hale dies just as often for him (see “Heal 50% for free” section above). As I played Hale, I had to ask my co-op buddy to NOT finish the game’s final boss, just so I had an opportunity to fire once at it. The narrator then went on to praise how great I had been.
I hope (though it seems unlikely) that I will be able to play through Resistance 2’s single player campaign with a friend, and that Angry Black Man will return for the role. Perhaps with a name, even.
4) It has a DAMN lot of weapons
I can’t even comment much on this. It has the normal staple of FPS weapons on your first play through, each with a unique take. The Rachet and Clank games are known for their ridiculous arsenals, including, but not limited to a tornado gun and a disco ball that makes people dance. Apparently, then, when you replay it you can find ANOTHER entire set of weapons (along with the first set). Within the first level you find your standard rifle and a new pair of dual-wielded pistols with a new control scheme. There was not a single dual-wielded weapon the first time through. I can’t imagine what some of the additional weapons are. The original cast was quite diverse, each with a unique secondary fire. My only issue was constantly running low on ammo (but that may be due to having 2 players in the maps instead of one).
Overall, it is hard to judge Resistance. It is definitely better than most FPS games out there, but it would be hard to recommend getting a PS3 for it. If you like FPS games, then the 360 would be your machine as every 3rd game is a competent FPS. And when going toe-to-toe with Gears of War, I preferred Gear’s new take on things, rather than a jump back to a very well done Arcade shooter with a large number of supported players in Multiplayer.
But, if that even sounds remotely fun to you, then I imagine you’d love Resistance. It is very good at what it does, even if the PC had done most of it years ago (without the graphical spit and shine of the PS3).