Resistance 3 starts off with a comic book style opening briefly explaining the events that took place in the first two games. After this, you are plunged into the world where you, as the father of a little boy, have been injected with a cure to the game’s enemies virus that mutates whatever it comes into contact with. As an outcast warrior with Nathan Hale’s blood on your hands, you are sent on an epic adventure to rid the world of the remaining Chimera by blowing up there space station and and… well, that’s pretty much it. The game is your standard by the levels shooter with a meek story that almost never feels like it has anything to do with the first two games (Three counting Resistance Retribution on PSP).
I wouldn’t mind so much if the game didn’t try so hard to be an engaging cinematic experience with the feeling that you’re on an epic quest to accomplish something great.
However, Resistance 3 tries too hard to make you connect to these characters without offering you an incentive as to why you should. Am I trying to redeem my family’s name after killing the last games’ protagonist Nathan Hale by ridding the world of the invading Chimera for good? The game starts off with an interesting premise of the rebel fighting for his family, but it keeps this premise stretched throughout the entire 10-12 hour experience. What I mean is every other cutscene your silent protagonist will magically be able to speak, only to remind you about his wife and son constantly. It gets really annoying real soon.
That’s this game’s flaw; it tries too hard to be something that it’s not. The game tries to grab your sensitive side by showing off little kids in shelters spread throughout the game. Still, without any substance to back it up, it feels like it’s only been added in for shock value or to make you care about what your fighting for when all you really want to do in the back of your mind is kill stuff. You will often run into characters who begin to tell you interesting stories about there lives, and just as you start to get interested, the game throws you at wave after wave of Chimera, and you will be given absolutely no intent to continue filling you in on the characters’ backstories.
The game suffers from the same mistake that Homefront made. Just because you put little kids in a war game doesn’t make it any more compelling, it’s obvious they’re just there for shock value, and it doesn’t even do that right. If the game wanted to really shock the hell out of you, it should have shown little kids getting mutated in front of your eyes as you are forced to kill them in front of their parents to avoid causing them any more pain.
Now that’s clearly not what the developers were going for, but at least that would make you really angry at the alien monsters who dare to attack children and force you to murder them. If the game had that kind of balls, I would totally respect the developers for doing so. But even without all the faux character development and pointless cutscenes, the game falls short of greatness on a few other levels.
Resistance 3 loses some of the restraints that the previous game had, such as only being able to carry two guns at once. But I found it to be a little too forgiving at times. Now I’m all up for shooters that try to stray away from the two weapon limit regenerative health formula, but Resistance 3 is not the way to do it right. First off the upgrading system, what a joke, if Insomniac was aiming to add RPG elements to their game, then in that regard, they failed.
Instead of acquiring experience points to use to upgrade your weapons by oh say going to a weapons vendor like in most good RPG shooter games, Insomniac seems to think that guns magically get stronger after use.
If you fire a gun repeatedly to the point where you’ve exhausted its threshold, then logic says that the gun will get weaker over time.
However, in the magical world of resistance, your guns upgrade in strength and speed and even acquire new attachments out of the blue just from killing enough enemies. The game also makes no effort to hide the fact that it wants to be half-life 2. From the abandoned train station to the mineshaft level to the bearded scientist who’s eyes seem to glow in the dark everything in this game feels as though it is a derivative of valve’s greatest successes, I was even expecting halfway through the game to acquire a portal gun.
Now in terms of actual gunplay, the series shines brightest. Freezing enemies to death, blowing their heads off, and electrocuting someone has never felt better in a video game. But I couldn’t help but feel that the game was unbalanced even with such a dreaded arsenal at your disposal. In one level I was sent out into a barnyard to fend off invading Chimera, the moment I went into this scenario, I was ambushed from every direction by what felt like an endless wave of enemies. They constantly appear from out of thin air and never give you a chance to think, you just have to mindlessly shoot them until either they give up or you die.
All that I wanted to do in this scenario was get past them and continue onward with my quest, but having a constant stream of enemies bombarding you from every angle makes the game feel like padding, instead of focusing on the level design the developers just thought that it would be easier to throw endless waves of enemies at you.
This is especially loathsome during the last level of the game. Instead of setting the stage for an epic boss battle, you just navigate your way through seemingly endless corridors that all look the same with no sense of direction or what you’re supposed to be doing. And the game just ends without so much as an epic battle against some gigantic mother, Chimera. That’s right Resistance 3 does not have a final boss.
The game tries throwing everything that it has at you towards the very end, but none of the enemies is a match for your overpowered arsenal.
Also, one of my biggest gripes with the campaign would be the inability to restart from a previous checkpoint. Since this is a by the levels shooter, I don’t see why they couldn’t make a restart from checkpoint option.
This was most annoying for me when I just barely missed a diary entry on the ground a few meters above where I just fell, and I wanted to collect it so I could complete my diary and audio log collection, but since I couldn’t restart from the pause menu, I had to kill myself just to get back to the time before I missed the journal.
Oh, by the way, did I mention that this game has audio logs. So on top of shamelessly ripping off half-life, the developers also wanted to take a crack at Bioshock. One finally gripe about the gameplay is why the hell can’t I carry around health packs to use at my disposal whenever I wish? You’d think that a guy who can carry around 11 guns a sledgehammer and 20 grenades would have room for a health packet or 2.
The game doesn’t have regenerating health, which is fine, but there were often times when I felt that the game was teasing me. There was one instance where I came across an abundance of health packs, but I already had full health, and there were no enemies in sight. So the whole point of having a cluster of Health packs in that spot felt completely useless since I couldn’t carry them around. As far as multiplayer goes, it’s a standard affair.
It doesn’t have the epic sense that Resistance 2’s 60 player online battles had, and with a paper-thin unlock system, there’s not much to keep you here for long. Nonetheless, a fun little distraction that will keep you entertained for at least a couple of hours. The single-player portion, however, needs to amp up its game. It is long, and some of the levels are memorable, like the prison escape level, Which I found to be the best and most well-developed section of the game. It’s ironic how a game that focuses on fighting aliens is at its peak when it pits you up against other humans.
The game also supports co-op both locally via split-screen and online, however other than unlocking two trophies; the co-op feels pointless. It makes the game feel like a cakewalk since you never truly fear to die, knowing that your partner could always revive you at any time. Still, if you really want to shoot some aliens with an arsenal that would make Rambo blush Resistance 3 can be a lot of fun. But if you want a sci-fi game with RPG elements that are fun and offer an interesting story as well as a way of implementing these elements into the gameplay, I would recommend Singularity or Deus EX human revolution.