Released at the tail end of the PS's cycle, more than a year after the release of the PS2, C-12: Final Resistance was incredibly late to the party. Yet, being so late in its release may have been in its favor, as all the development secrets and tricks for the console were uncovered by then.
Unfortunately, despite taking advantage of vast collected knowledge in PS1 development, the game lacks the excellent application to make that knowledge count. It doesn't matter that the game may somehow be "technically" better than many other PS1 games before it because that expertise is in the service of a mediocre game at the end.
#A32: C-12: Final Resistance:-
Year: 2001, 2002.
Genre: Third-Person Shooter
First things first, I am changing my rating system to a simpler 10-point system. I fully recommend games that get above a 7, and those that get below are mostly a waste of time. The recommendation for a game scoring a 7 largely depends on your personal taste.
"We've been reduced to making our finest soldier a walking mutant... We don't stand a chance otherwise"
This "finest soldier" is Lieutenant Riley Vaughan, a man who has been "cybernetically" enhanced with alien technology to be able to combat the same aliens that are now ravishing earth. As the game's subtitle suggests, it's a desperate struggle, and each mission throws Vaughan from a bad situation to a worst one.
As PS1 stories go, this is neither offensively boring nor brilliant by any stretch. With some basic, competent, voice-acting and a clear forward thrust, it at least does the job of providing context to what you are doing. Yet, while the plot may not be that boring, the world's design sure is.
Expect to see a few shades of grey
Video Games are visual media, which is why the world's design can carry as much story weight as the actual writing and dialogue. Here, the world of C-12 is as boring as it can get. It's entirely indistinct with its greyish and brownish tones, and other than the striking cybernetic eye of the main character is devoid of any character itself.
Consequently, neither the game's story nor its world design does a good job of driving the player to play the game, leaving most of the responsibility on the shoulders of the gameplay.
"God knows we need all the help we can get right now"
Sadly, the gameplay's shoulders are not broad enough to hold the game aloft. Again, this is a case where we have largely competent gameplay that becomes a bit boring by design. Missions take place in similar-looking levels with uninspiring environments, where Vaughan must complete a set of objectives within the level to progress forward.
In theory, each level is a kind of sandbox in which you fulfill the objectives, but the reality is much more linear than how it first appears. There are no optional objectives, and every area of the small map will need to be visited to complete the levels.
With first-person aiming capabilities and full camera movements, the shooting combat feels fine and is exceptional for the PS1. However, enemy designs are boring and repetitive, and the game doesn't do anything interesting for its combat to stand out.
Scanning the environment for clues is so underused that it doesn't need to be mentioned
Actually, the game does try to add in some environmental obstacles and puzzles to shake things up, but these are boring at best, and tedious most of the time. Take a minefield you have to navigate as an example. You could only see the mines through your first-person cybernetic eye, which forces you to stop and start to recalibrate your movements laboriously throughout the stupid exercise.
Again, we see excellent technical capabilities, especially regarding camera controls, in the service of basic and uninspiring gameplay.
"I'm not concerned for Vaughan. I'm confident he can take care of himself"
Finally, let's talk about the graphical abilities responsible for this boring and poorly designed world. It's obvious that at this stage in the console's life cycle, the polygonal graphics of C-12 is some of the console's best.
Yet, raw graphical power cannot compensate for poor art direction, and that's the case here. Even though this game has better graphical capabilities than the original Metal Gear Solid and all three Resident Evil games, its style is so boring that you will struggle to remember anything about it.
Other than the always-glowing eye of Luitenant Vaughan.
This guy is basically discount Kano from Mortal Kombat
Similarly, the music is not distinctive, with suitable action rhythms and environmental sounds playing at times, but without any track standing out in any way. The game does have some solid voice acting though.
C-12 was probably one of the final high-profile releases on the PS1, and despite the technical experience it had going for it, the late release may have belied a lack of ambition in the title. This is obvious in how bland the game's world and combat feel.
Now that the game's tech has aged a bit, its design shortcomings are as obvious to see as the cybernetic eye in Vaughan's low-res face.
1- Use your gun often because bullets are plenty.
2- Also use your sub-attack to shoot grenades.
3- The sub-weapon for the rocket launcher is GREAT against bosses.
4- Use the first-person view to "snipe" targets from safe distances.
5- Often when in the middle of gunfights.
I think you fight this stupid boss three or four times across the game
For those reading one of my PS1 review blogs for the first time, here is the basic concept:
I already reviewed both major Generation 4 consoles, and am now reviewing Generation 5 consoles. I already finished reviewing the Sega Saturn, so I am now reviewing the PS1. In these reviews, I take a top 100 games list and review the games that interest me in that list.
This time, my review series is based on this list from Retro Sanctuary and other sources, since the PS1 can handle a list bigger than a top 100.
Also, note the following:
-If you have any suggestions for a game that is not on the Retro Sanctuary list that I should review, please suggest them.
-Make a bet on each game to check whether Chris Charter played it or not.
Yay, play avoid the lasers
As I expected, C-12: Final Resistance was a disappointment from start to finish. It's clear that it had some technical knowledge behind it, but that's not enough to make a good game.
The next game on the list should have LSD: Dream Emulator, a crazy surreal game with no clear objectives. However, it's Japan only, so I am going to go ahead and review a game requested by some of you, which is The Granstream Saga, the "failed" spiritual successor to Quintet's creation trilogy on the SNES. Let's see if it deserved its grim fate or not.
For Previous PS1 Game Reviews: