Resistance 3


Written by Chris Price
11 Sunday 11th September 2011

But one half of Sony Playstation’s platform-exclusive Christmas titles, Insomniac have evidently gone all out to rinse the platform for all it’s not-inconsiderable power. Resistance 3 looks truly lovely. A beguiling bit of fluff for the console agnostic when lashed against  PS3’s sub-£200 RRP drop. In a year that has heard remonstration from mighty development teams that the current generation’s hardware is coming up short, Resistance 3 is certainly one of the flagbearers of a generation coming of age.

With a mid-century American flavour offset by way of alien invasion, Resistance reels of the memorable set-pieces with aplomb. It’s a journey across the wilds of a post-alien invasion America, where the Chimera now outnumber humans ten to one, and the remaining humans are hiding from potential extinction. A tear in time and space has popped up, providing a portal for the full-fat variants of the semi-skimmed interstellar menace. It’s underdog time, as hero of the piece, Joe Capelli, dishonourably discharged from the army at the beginning of the game, decides to hike out to New York City to plug the hole and stop the Earth being turning in a giant dangling icicle.

It’s dripping in atmosphere, with plenty of incidental moments. Travelling on a train as scores of giant Widowmakers stampede across pastures illuminated by arcs of lightening, squads of Hybrid soldiers patrolling the cornfields of trad American farmhouses. The opening mission has you meet one of the Chimera’s heavy unit soldiers as a massive laser is about to engulf the town, swirling masonry around you as you run from cover to roof top.

Resistance 3’s straight run & gun dynamic is paced, from defence to attack, battlefields to close quarters, sniping to blind destruction - even squeezing in a faux-stealth section that would give even Solid Snake a run for his money as spotlights from circling dropships cast bold shadows from the foliage of a Pennsylvanian forest.  Each scenario has several routes through and around, perfectly complimented by the weaponry.

Oh yes, Resistance 3 is all about having fun.  An inventory of weapons that increase with potency and gimmicks the more regularly you use them (as well as gleefully dishing out Trophies). Each weapon has a dual fire mechanic – so you’ll have Chimerian Auger – a rifle that shoots through walls to enemies marked by heat signature and a mobile shield that allows you to deploy this even during the heat of battle. A Magnum pistol with explosive rounds, the Cryogun that freezes and then bursts opponents. But the piece-de-resistance has to be the Mutator, which pops out blobs of viral goo, that sends humans into an exacerbated toxic-shock, vomiting out their intestines before their head erupts like a broken fire hydrant, leaving the torso a bubbling proximity mine.

Each weapon delivers delicious force feedback, rattling hot nine’s from the hip into various classes of Chimera (both tactical soldiers and wild), bursting heads left right and centre. With added Move capability and firing from the hip so effective, it’s certainly worth trying experimenting with each weapon – and each new tranche of aliens gives you a wealth of options for dispatch. AI is solid, especially with the Chimeran ability to leap and climb meaning even high spots will quickly be descended upon. Tunnels and multiple battles also allow for flanking techniques, sneaking up on fire teams a laying waste with an errant Molotov cocktail.

But for all its gilt and substance, Resistance 3 remains very much a traditional shooter, in the most traditional sense – and an exceptionally familiar experience. An Escape From New York meets The Rock prison sequence, Resident Evil 4 feral village battles – even a poignant InFamous 2 style post-Katrina boat ride. Ideas rarely feel fresh in the FPS genre, but swathes of Resistance 3 provoke many déjà vu moments.

It's an eminently crafted game, with a huge amount of care and detail – not too long, not too short (12 or so hours), flexible weaponry and perfect pacing.  It doesn’t bring anything wildly new to the table, but it does deliver a polished, responsive performance, that belies a heritage of professionalism and care. So much so I’m tempted to go back to the previous iterations and see what I’ve been missing out on these four years.

Resistance 3 is out exclusively for Playstation 3 now

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