Review: Resistance 3 (PS3)

Title: Resistance 3
Format: Blu-ray Disc
Release Date: September 6, 2011
Publisher: SCEA
Developer: Insomniac Games
Original MSRP: $59.99
ESRB: M
Extras: PlayStation Move Compatible, 3D Compatible

As the appointed “FPS-Guy” here at PS Nation, I get to see and play a lot of them. I always liked the first in this series, but number 2 fell-short in a few areas. Even still, there were many things in Resistance 2 that were impressive and innovative. The 60-player online, and 8-player co-op worked beautifully, and the party system definitely helped pave the way for other PS3 titles to include such a feature.

Because of the rocky road that Resistance 2 traversed, I had a lot of trepidation with the 3rd, but the 1st glimpse that we got at GDC immediately gave me hope, with hands-on with both the single and multiplayer, I was instantly hooked, and I’m not ashamed to admit that I was begging for more. Let’s see how it turned-out!

Gameplay:
It’s all there, the weapons wheel, the secondary fire, the crazy weapons like the Auger, and the fantastic storytelling. From the moment the game starts, humans have literally moved underground to avoid being discovered by the Chimera, who have ravaged the country and have essentially have won the war. Colonies of humans are scattered across the landscape, and there’s not much hope left.

I was very happy to realize that the 2 demos that I’d seen previously (one at GDC, one with the Blu-ray of Battle: LA,) were basically the first two sections of gameplay. It took my fears of any possible spoilers right away, and it made it a lot easier to settle-in to the experience.

The feel is a familiar one, with a lot more tuning. Every weapon feels unique, and every weapon has its own look, right down to the sights. The pacing is near-perfect throughout the campaign, with cutscenes peppered in for some much needed breaks from the action. The mission-types too, are varied and well thought out.

The one thing that needs to be talked about though, is the writing. The story and dialogue in Resistance 3 is fantastic from beginning to end. The arc that the player traverses is one that works your emotions at very specific instances, and you’ll never see what’s coming. I never had a “not more of this crap” moment in the entire game, and that makes me very happy. The roller coaster ride that Insomniac takes us on is one that I want to ride again, and very soon if time allows. One nice addition is that once you’ve completed the campaign, you can go back and load any section of the game to play again, good news for those meticulous trophy hunters out there.

Last but not least, the PlayStation Move controls. If you liked them in Killzone 3 or SOCOM 4, you’ll like them here. They play as expected from past experience, and work very well in this game.

Visuals:
This isn’t just a number 3. The visuals have been stepped-up a ton this time around. A lot of the effects that we’ve seen in some other AAA titles are here as well, but in a much more subtle way. Dust lingers rays of sunlight, you’re blinded by laser sights when a sniper rifle is trained on your forehead, and the full and not overused HDR lighting is beautifully utilized. The framerate is rock solid, and the colors are bold and plentiful. This is a gorgeous game, and definitely the best looking in the franchise. Another great thing visually is that it looks identical in multiplayer, with the same great effects and lighting that you’ll experience in the campaign.

One other piece of the puzzle that begs to be discussed is the scope, not only of the levels, but of the overall game itself. You’ll see off into the vistas when in the country, and the amount of detail in the cityscapes is truly epic. When you first walk out of the subways to see what has become of Times Square, it’s jarring.

The 3D is very well done, with a lot of depth and clarity. It’s great to see developers finally figuring-out how to use this tech correctly. Even when not in 3D, they do a wonderful job with depth-of-field, and in 3D the effect is even greater. This is definitely one to play in 3D if you have the means.

Audio:
I’ll save the best for last here, so to start, the audio is great. Weapons all pack a punch, environmental sounds are wonderfully done, and the voice acting is top-notch. Also, like in the first two games, you’ll come upon a radio occasionally with reports from around the country. That along with the use of audio journals that you find, all help move the action along while still feeding information or invoking an emotional response.

But the heart of not only the audio portion, but of the game itself, is the mindblowing soundtrack. There’s not a moment throughout the game where the soundtrack doesn’t fit the mood or what’s happening in the action. The music complements everything happening in the game, be it an emotional cutscene or an epic battle in the middle of a prison. This is definitely one of those time that the clichéd “if you have surround sound or gaming headphones, crank them up” phrase must be included, because it’s that damned good.

Online/Multiplayer:
First, the bad news. I wasn’t able to try the cooperative play at all, and I apologize for that. Both offline split-screen and online coop are available though, and I can definitely see playing through this with someone else. The goods news though, is that the competitive multiplayer is great!

I played the multiplayer beta quite a bit, and it’ll be refreshing for most to know that the progression is much slower than expected. Skill points are much more precious now as only one is given at each promotion, with a larger amount given at each 10 levels. The maps are quite varied and all so far are quite enjoyable.

Conclusion:
If you couldn’t tell, I honestly love this game. I’m not sure if personally the multiplayer will be something that will hold me forever, but I do love what they’ve done this time around. The decision to limit matches to 16, and the return to form from the first game is a welcome format.

It stands on its own and doesn’t beg for comparison, and yet it still pays respect to the fans of the series. Insomniac has obviously spent a lot of time, effort, sweat, and tears to make this a fun and long-lasting game, while showing that you can set your own trends instead of trying to emulate someone else’s.

Score:
9.0

Written by Glenn Percival

Glenn Percival

Just a guy that loves games, movies, Golf, Football, and Baseball.

Editor-in-Chief, Video Producer, and whipping-boy

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