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

Twitter Digg Delicious Stumbleupon Technorati Facebook
  • Great review. Thanks for making it as spoiler free as possible (although I’m dying to know if this truly is the end of the series). 

  • nice review, I should have pre-ordered this…   Resistance 2 kind of let me down but this looks to be a classic

  • Nick Segura

    Damn it. Now i’m going to be even more frenzied to leave work and pickup my pre-order. Good review.

  • Very good review. Going to pick up my copy in a few.

  • Nice review, looking forward to playing it.

  • I really like how they limited the multiplayer to 16 players. In my opinion, less is more sometimes.

    • Anonymous

      I agree. Too many players will degrade the gaming experience if you ask me.

  • I’m grabbing our review copy of Dead Island tonight, but I’ll definitely be up for some R3 multiplayer as well. I get to stay up late since I’m off tomorrow 🙂

    • Anonymous

      Hey Glenn, this is off topic but how come you are not a Mod? Joel and Josh are.

  • Fun fact: Boris from Game Crashers was a tester on Resistance 3  🙂

    •  Yeah, we know, that’s all he talked about at at E3 😛

  • Nice Im getting this one is a couple of days

  • Anonymous

    Playing the game now and I have to agree with Glenn (Torgo – T-O-R-G-Muthaf#ckin-O, Torgo) this game is awesome! Playing in 3D and the depth is amazing (helps when fighting through cornfields). Hopefully Glenn, you guys will be able to expand on the Shop feature in the game.

    Great review and I can’t wait for the podcast.

  • Anonymous

    Been playing through the campaign with a pal coop and it’s amazing.  I like the fact that your weapon stats carry over to friends games and you can level up your weapons and get trophies in their games.  While the person joining you is just another character along for the ride being able to make viable progress in someone elses game is very cool.

    Also I’m looking forward to trying the game with the Sharpshooter.  Zipper has the best options for the Sharpshooter Move combo with respect to tweaking setting with GGames a close second.  I play Socom 4 and KZ3 almost exclusively with Sharpshooter and look forward to the same with R3.

    Totally agree with this review in my short time playing.  Everything felt fresh and I keep reading about the pacing of the game and it really is awesome.  Each section I thought to myself, “I cannot wait to see what’s next!” and playing with a friend there’s lot of “OMG did you see that!?!” moments.

    Also the game has a feature where you can change enemy weapons on additional play throughs.  I plan on finishing this one in Superhuman with a friend.  I really like what they’ve done with the campaign.

    • I love the game but Im having some technical problems playing online:
      1) The game freezes every few matches and I have to turn off the console completely.
      2) In a couple of matches the animation of my teammates was messed up, like the torso was moving all over the place.

  • Loving the game so far myself. Still a bit early on in the game myself, but considering how much I like the series, and that this title fixed the problem I had with the second I don’t think my opinion will change. The multiplayer beta was a good distraction and I look forward to playing the real multiplayer once I’m finished with the single player campaign.

  • Anonymous

    Started playing the game in co-op mode online.  It’s a nice added feature.  The game really shines with the 3D.  I’m playing it on a 55″ Samsung and think it’s absolutely stunning.  I’ve played a handful of other 3D games – Killzone 3, Mortal Kombat, Socom 4 – and this one stands out as the best (visually) so far.  Socom 4 is a close 2nd.

    The coolest thing about the 3D is that when you look down the iron sights of your weapon, or through the scope, the 3D depth perception is so good that you have to literally close one eye – as you normally would when aiming/firing a real gun – in order to avoid the normal double target vision. 

    As of right now, Resistance 3 is the game to beat for 3D.  Fortunately, Uncharted 3 is just a few short months away and I have a feeling will take 3rd person 3D to a whole new level.

  • Anonymous

    Too many good games in such a short space of time. I was hoping this wouldn’t be such a good game. Now I have to go and sell a kidney or something.