Firemen and Chimera-men
Obviously the big question with this game is going to come down to how it controls. A fast paced FPS has yet to successfully make the transition to a handheld device, so we're breaking into new territory here. Overall, it works out pretty well, but you'll occasionally find that the precision you might want isn't there. When I play competitive FPS's online, I use one of those KontrolFreek adapters that raises up the analog stick to give you more precise control. The analog nubs on a Vita are the polar opposite of that, so those tiny sticks with their short range of motion mean pinpoint accuracy on the fly is NOT easy for an old man like me. Being a Vita title, there is also a fair bit of screen-touching happening, also with mixed results. Generally it is used to activate the alternate modes of the weapons, often to tap an enemy to "lock on" to them, although sometimes you use a gesture to raise a shield, load a crossbow or vent the minigun as well. Tapping the back touchpad activate sprint mode, and most door or pickups are activated by tapping them. My biggest issue was when I THOUGHT I was tapping a door or other object, only the context-sensitive icon hadn't appeared yet and I fired a grenade into my own face.
The game looks alright, although it isn't up to the graphical excellence of Uncharted: Golden Abyss by any stretch. The various Chimera look good, and the other humans are modeled nicely. The environment are a bit monochromatic and not all that detailed though, and artifacts are abundant. Worst of all, the cutscenes seem horribly blurry and artifacty. It's nice that they have this old "newsreel" quality, but that doesn't mean they have the right to look like absolute shit.
Unfortunately the whole experience ends up being more of a chore than anything. While I thought the level design was decent in the GW Bridge section, the rest of the game is spent wandering through dull linear corridors and going through doors that lock behind you, revealing a room full of badguys that need to be dispatched before moving on. Often times the sheer number of Chimera you have to fight borders on the ridiculous, and if you die late in the fight you'll need to go back to the last checkpoint which is always BEFORE the massive battle, forcing you to repeat it over and over. The handful of boss fights all boil down to "fire at the obvious weakpoints until it dies" as the boss launches basically unavoidable attacks at you over and over as you pray they don't finish you off before you finish them off. The lack of any indicator of your health means you need to just be on your toes all the time (well, the screen does go red when you are "near" death). Especially egregious is the final boss fight where if you die, you are sent back to a long, twisty corridor that takes 30 seconds to run down while the same voiceover plays again and again JUST to get back to the fight.
There is also an online multiplayer component (a series staple) that only features Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch and Survival modes. You'll get the usual range of unlocks as you level up, allowing you to apply customizations to the weapons and all that, but the whole experience feels a little tacked on. The maps are just subunits of the single player levels, and don't seem optimized for online play in any way. Spawning happens at the worst spots at the worst times and the level design doesn't lend itself to much in the way of tactics. Of course, the imprecise controls make targeting wile running much more difficult than it would be on a console, and Nihilistic hasn't made any adjustments to make it more enjoyable. This certainly won't make anyone forget about Call of Duty, that's for sure.
I can't say that I had high hopes for Resistance, but they managed to not even live up to expectations of mediocrity. This certainly isn't the worst game I've ever played, and for all its foibles the single player experience has a few moments here and there. It's not like there is anywhere else you can turn for FPS action on your Vita right now, but I have to say if there was, you'd probably be better of going there. For now, if you have the itch, and you want to kill your friends on the go, this'll get the job done. Just don't expect the polished Resistance experience you'd get on a console.