Reversal of Fortune

Resistance 3 is out to make skeptics into believers.
Author: Scott Rodgers
Published: September 7, 2011
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Resistance: Fall of Man was one of the two games I bought on my launch month PS3 (along with the dreadful Mobile Suit Gundam: Crossfire). Even though there were some series growing pains with the system and it took what seemed like an eternity for the system to hit its stride, I always fell back on R:FoM as my go-to game. It didn’t matter to me at the time that I had a $599 console with only one good game, R:FoM was worth it to me. It was the game I recommended to everyone; it was the game I played when friends came over, and it was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had with gaming. Due to the PS3’s massive price of admission, the players I met online were a radically different group from anything I was use to online. It was a much older and drastically more mature group that was helpful and welcoming to newbies; opposed to the standard FPS gamers we “enjoy” today. It was a breath of fresh air and I still have some of the guys I met on my PSN friend’s list.


Then came Resistance 2, a game I was insanely excited for. Sure, they had changed some things, but the 60 player skirmishes had me drooling. After about a week or so of playing I was confused and, to be blunt, a bit angry. There was so much that was wrong, this wasn’t the Resistance experience I wanted. The competitive turned into a sniper’s paradise and just surviving a respawn was a blessing. Entire teams stayed inside of spawn bases and sniped the opposing team’s spawn and vice versa. Almost no one was on the battlefield anymore, instead they were all holed up in buildings and reenacting their favorite scenes from Enemy at the Gates. The campaign was frustrating enough that I spiked a controller, nearly breaking it, thanks to the ridiculously cheap invisible enemies. It felt as though it was horde mode with a story and the word “campaign” attached at the top. None of the levels seemed to transition, instead bouncing from one major set piece to the next. I couldn’t force myself to finish it, because I refused to play what I felt was the weakest part of a game I paid full price for and just watched the ending on YouTube. The separate co-op campaign was buckets of fun and I went back to the game over and over just to play through it with friends, but even it could not reverse the damage that had been done (it didn’t help that some of the bosses didn’t even move or really do much of anything).

So when it was decided that I would review Resistance 3 I wasn’t sure what to think. I had written off the series in 2008 and never even gave the PSP games a glance. Sure, I had played the multiplayer beta and enjoyed it quite a bit; seeing the improvement with each new patch and looking past things like hiccuping framerates, motion blurring, and popping textures. Even with those problems, though, I was still having fun and I put more time into that multiplayer beta than Uncharted 3’s. Maybe the majority of that playtime was to convince myself that the series could be trying to win me back, like that crappy Hawthorne Heights song (as an aside, I wish I could have all of the time I wasted watching Fuse TV music videos of awful bands as a teenager back, oh well, live and learn I guess). Perhaps I needed justification that the series was on its way up somewhere in my brain for convincing people to buy PS3’s at $599 to play the series. Or I could just be over-thinking things and I played so much of the Resistance 3 beta because it was fun and I hadn’t played a FPS in a while.
At any rate, I wasn’t able to touch the final multiplayer product until I was able to activate my online pass (thanks, person who came up with that brilliant idea!). So when I got the game in the mail last week I had plenty of time to play through the campaign, which seemed a bit daunting at first. My mind was flooded with the horrors of Resistance 2 but thankfully I hadn’t kept up with any of the media coverage of R3. Everything was brand new to me because, well, I didn’t really care to read anything about the game. My expectations were about as low as they could go and, if anything, I was skeptical if Insomniac could dig themselves out of the proverbial hole they had dug.
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