Resistance 2 PlayStation 3
Published by: Sony Computer Entertainment Europe
Developed by: Insomniac Games
Release Date: Out Now
I don't think there can be any doubt as to which was the best PlayStation 3 game when the console launched in Europe back in March 2007. Resistance: Fall of Man was not only a hugely enjoyable first person shooter, it also lacked a lot of the technical problems that a launch title commonly has. The frame rate was absolutely rock solid and it even had support for 40 players in online play. One of the few problems I had with the game however, was that the story didn't feel as though it had been fleshed out enough. Unfortunately this is still a problem with Resistance 2 but in every other sense it's a very enjoyable sequel.
Resistance 2 carries on right where Fall of Man left off. For those of you who didn't play the original game it's set in the twentieth century and in the game's story World War II never happened. Large parts of the Earth were conquered by the Chimera (who as it turns out are actually humans who have been infected with an alien virus). In the game you played as Sgt. Nathan Hale of the US Army, the only person to be infected by the Chimeran virus and not be killed or have mutated into one of the Chimera. The game begins with Nathan Hale being transported to a Special Research Projects Administration (SRPA) base in Iceland. The helicopter is attacked by a Chimeran Goliath and only Hale and Major Black survive the attack. To make matters worse, Daedalus, the beast who controls the Chimera is unwittingly released. Whilst Fall of Man was set in Britain, Resistance 2 is mostly set in the US.
The single-player campaign isn't bad but it certainly could have been much better. Tutorial messages don't always appear at the best of times. You'll need to jump before you're told what button to press to jump for instance. There are too many times when the AI enemies are unrealistically accurate in their attempts to kill you forcing you back to the last checkpoint. To make matters worse there are now invisible Chimerans, called Chameleons, who won't hesitate to run at you. They only lose their invisibility when they are on top of you which gives you practically no warning at all. Hearing gamers will pick up on the strange sound and those with surround sound will probably be able to figure out the direction from which they are coming. Deaf gamers will have no such luxury however. I still don't have access to a DualShock 3 controller so I can't say if there's any force feedback to alert you of an impending attack. The storyline is also rather skimpy which does make the single-player game feel a little sterile. That's not to say it's all bad however. Taken on its FPS merits, the single-player campaign is certainly enjoyable and some of the enemy creatures you come up against are absolutely huge and there are some genuinely jaw-dropping moments here.
The multiplayer portion of the game is where it really shines and it's here that most will spend their time with the game. The game offers both co-operative and competitive play. The co-operative play allows you and seven others to play in a series of missions as one of three different classes. Competitive multiplayer modes are Skirmish, Team Deathmatch, Deathmatch and Core Central. All of these modes are familiar and solid but what's really impressive is the amount of people that can play. Skirmish allows 60 players to participate whilst Team Deathmatch allows 40, Deathmatch 20 and Core Central 10. Both the co-operative and competitive play allow you to 'level-up' and unlock additional abilities and items etc. which keeps you coming back for more. Both modes are very enjoyable and for now at least, it's one of the best online experiences you can have in an FPS on the PlayStation 3.
In parts, Resistance 2 looks excellent. Some of the enemies in the game are absolutely huge. The landscapes in the game are generally impressive too. There are some disappointing aspects however. There are some graphical glitches and some of the textures in the game are rather on the bland side. The frame rate is generally fine but there are some occasions when a dip in the frame rate is noticeable, although it's never problematic. Load times are generally fine although it's annoying that you have to wait a moment or two when being returned to the last checkpoint after coming unstuck.
You'll be able to follow the important dialogue in the game thanks to Resistance 2 being subtitled. The cutscene dialogue and all of the important in-game dialogue is subtitled so you're aware of what's going on at all times. Some of the dialogue in the game isn't subtitled and whilst almost all of the dialogue that isn't subtitled is of no real importance, you do miss some of the game's ambience as a result. Your objectives can be recalled at any time and you can also reread any of the intelligence documents that you've found during the course of a mission. Tutorial messages are shown in text. You are visually notified when a checkpoint has been reached. For the most part there are no real problems with the exception of those troublesome Chameleons that we mentioned earlier.
Resistance 2 is a worthy successor to Resistance: Fall of Man but it's not the classic that most would have hoped for. The single-player game is the reason for this because as enjoyable as it can be at times, it does have its problems and when you compare it to some of the truly impressive single-player experiences that have been on offer this year it comes up short. The multiplayer options do a heck of a lot to compensate for this however and it's worth the asking price for the multiplayer experience alone.