Resistance: Fall of Man PlayStation 3
Published by: Sony Computer Entertainment Europe
Developed by: Insomniac Games
Release Date: Out Now
Every console launch brings a mixed bag of launch titles. There are the multi-platform titles that have already appeared on other systems. Then there are the mediocre titles that are destined to hit the bargain bin as soon as the euphoria surrounding the console's release has died down. Finally, if you're lucky, there are a couple of games that the critics deem worthy of being called 'must own titles'. In this latter category many critics have decided to herald Motorstorm and Resistance: Fall of Man as the 'must own titles'. Opinions on both titles are not completely unanimous though and whilst many have praised both games to the hilt, there has been some negative comments for both titles. Here we'll look at Resistance: Fall of Man and see if it's as good as many are claiming it to be.
The game is set in the twentieth century but in this story World War II did not occur. That's not to say that this alternate twentieth century is preferable though. The Earth has been invaded by a race known as the Chimera. All of Russia, Asia and Europe has fallen. The game is set during 1951. You'll play as Sgt. Nathan Hale of the US Army, the only person to be infected by the Chimeran virus and not be killed or mutated. The story is told from the perspective of an English female officer and the game covers the events that occur during July 11th through July 14th. The single-player campaign can also be played as a two-player co-operative game and online play, featuring half a dozen or some traditional modes, can be played with up to 40 players being able to take part.
If you're an FPS enthusiast you'll have enjoyed games such as Half-Life 2, Halo, No One Lives Forever 2 etc. and you'll be keen to see how Resistance: Fall of Man compares to these titles. In truth I wouldn't put Resistance up there with the best FPS games I've played but that's not to say it isn't enjoyable. The main problem I think Resistance has is that the game doesn't have that instant appeal that most of the great FPS games have. The storyline isn’t very interesting and isn't fleshed out enough for my liking. It takes a while for the action to really get going too. Once you are several hours into the game it does become very enjoyable though. However, there's nothing here that you won't have seen many times before. Those who have played Halo will immediately recognize the elements of the game that have been duplicated in Resistance. The game does become very repetitive and it's only thanks to the quality level design (something that couldn't always be said about the Halo games) that the game never becomes tedious. The weapons in Resistance are quite impressive and the enemy AI is good enough to offer a strong challenge to most gamers.
Being able to have online games with 40 players in total is simply amazing for a console and even though the game hasn't been out that long it's already becoming one of the more popular PlayStation 3 online games. I haven't been involved in a 40 player game but those I have played in have performed very nicely with little to no lag. Given that every PlayStation 3 comes equipped with a hard drive, it's rather disappointing that there is no quicksave feature. The game uses the old fashioned method of using checkpoints and whilst you can save the game at any time, your progress is only recorded as far as the last checkpoint you encountered. Whilst this is disappointing it wouldn't be a problem if the checkpoints were evenly spread. However, some checkpoints are quite far apart and should you be killed, it can be a little irritating having to repeat the last 15 minutes or so to get back to the point where you fell. The game only uses one save slot. It's not possible to have multiple save slots for each player and again given that your progress is being saved to a rather expansive HDD and not a memory card, it's disappointing.
Graphical quality is always a cause for concern with games that appear on new consoles. Given the theoretical capabilities of the PlayStation 3 everything is supposed to look breathtakingly good, which is a little unrealistic as most gamers will know that the first generation (and second generation for that matter) of console titles rarely make the most of hardware at their disposal due to the games having being developed before the console specifications have been finalized. Bearing this in mind; Resistance: Fall of Man actually looks quite good. Sure the character models don't surpass, although they do equal, anything we've seen on the Xbox 360 or the PC and neither do the various environments you'll battle in but on the whole the game looks more than good enough for a launch title. It's also fair to mention that the game does look slightly more impressive when playing the game on a HD display. What is notable is that the frame rate remains rock solid throughout. It doesn't matter how hectic the action gets (and when you get to Manchester it gets very hectic), you'll never seem the frame rate drop and for a launch title that's very impressive.
Deaf gamers will be pleased to learn that Resistance: Fall of Man is subtitled. The subtitling is very basic in that you just get the spoken text displayed onscreen with no character names or portraits placed alongside the text. There aren't any captions in the game but you do have directional indicators that show you which direction an enemy is firing from. There are times when you'll be surprised by an enemy that hearing gamers would have heard approaching, but for the most part the game isn't problematic for deaf gamers. As we mentioned earlier, when you save a game it only records your progress to the last checkpoint you reach and thankfully you are notified when a checkpoint has been reached.
Some reviews have made Resistance: Fall of Man out to be one of the greatest FPS games of recent times. I personally wouldn't go that far but there's plenty here to suggest that Insomniac Games have the potential to create some amazing FPS games in the future. Resistance needed to be more interesting in the early stages, be less repetitive and have a more fleshed out story to truly be regarded as an FPS classic. However, I think Resistance is actually very good for a launch title. The frame rate is amazing throughout and when the game gets going it's very enjoyable. The potential to play against 39 other players online is also pretty amazing and surpasses anything previously seen on a console to date in that respect. In fact despite my niggles with the game I would regard this as the best FPS on the PlayStation 3 at the moment and fans of the genre are definitely going to enjoy what it offers.
Resistance: Fall of Man isn't perfect but it does impress in a number of ways and is currently the best FPS on the PlayStation 3.