There haven’t been many games made where you have nothing worth fighting for, or have no chance of completely eliminating the enemy. Resistance 3 portrays that scenario. The game takes place in the US, where the entire country has been overrun by the Chimera, and whatever humans that still survive after being inoculated by the Hale vaccine have only one objective – Resist. It’s a bleak future for mankind as they live their lives in fear and uncertainty; knowing that they can be killed anytime by the unrelenting Chimeran horde. Resistance 3 begins right after Resistance 2 ended, with the death of Nathan Hale, and with a new protagonist that Resistance fans will immediately recognize, Joseph Capelli. For people that are new to the franchise, an interesting comic style cutscene loads up during installation, bringing them up to speed with the events that occurred in the franchise.
The game commences in the town of Haven, where a few survivors have set up a place to live in a complex tunnel network. Insomniac’s creativity and visual design is readily apparent here. It paints a tale of desolation and the showcases the ability of humans to survive with what they have. It shows what it is to live with fear and the need to protect your loved ones from your oppressors, or in this case, an entire alien parasitic species. The game makes a solid first impression seamlessly switching between cutscenes to gameplay, and the latter is what makes Resistance 3 so different from its predecessors. Of course, the Chimera discover your initial hideout and from there onward begins the tale of Capelli.
Your journey takes you to the different places in the US; usually empty and desolate, but displaying striking artwork and level design. The ultimate goal of Capelli, i.e. you, is to travel to New York and disable the Chimeran tower. Sounds easy, right? It isn’t. The game throws so many twists and turns, along with an aggressive varied Chimera at your away and a few other surprises; makes reaching New York a seemingly impossible task. There are a variety of levels for you to explore, from the dusty town of Haven to the snow filled New York City, and with some surprises thrown in of course. Graphically, this is Insomniac’s best work. Although, the image quality takes a hit due to the sub-HD resolution; it’s not exactly a bad thing as the visual effects on offer in the game is simply spectacular and titillates your sensory organs.
Another area where there has been a massive improvement is the gameplay. Shooting the Chimera is a pure joy, as they feel really meaty and you can actually feel the bullet impact. The ragdoll physics combined with the gore gets a special mention due to the way they’re implemented. Here’s the simple formula – A group of charging Grim and you with a Shotgun equals to gameplay nirvana. It’s simple but also makes it the best attribute of the game. Speaking of weapons, there is an impressive arsenal of innovative weapons at your disposal, and that’s not a big surprise, since this is Insomniac Games’ we’re talking about here. You have your famous Auger and the Bullseye but quite a lot of new weapons are introduced in the game, especially the Atomizer and Mutator. The weapons are designed in a way that reflects the setting and the design oozes creativity. They gain additional power and attachments as you level them up during your journey.
Resistance 3 features some interesting design choices, especially after the intense fan-feedback Insomniac received after the first two games. The weapon wheel is back and so is the regenerating health. It feels good to play an old school shooter after a long time. It really is. You can’t sit in a corner and recharge your health; you need to move and find health packs to gain health, which also increases the pacing a lot. I completed the campaign on the ‘difficult’ setting and it took me approximately 10 hours to clear it. There is very few filler material in the campaign and each and every encounter with the Chimera is cleverly planned and scripted. One of my most memorable moments in the game was when I saw a horde of Widowmakers (yes, those giant spiders) stampeding near the train which was heading to New York. Hey! I said it wasn’t going to be easy to reach New York, didn’t I?
It’s still a linear scripted game, and the striking thing about Resistance 3 is obviously the weapons and the Chimera. They give the game its identity to stand out from the rest of the FPS games out there, and considering the perfect pacing by Insomniac Games, along with the addictive gameplay mechanics; it’s one of the best single player campaigns you will play this gen. The game also has a New Game + mode where the weapons are carried over. Resistance 3 does many things right, including featuring a 2 player campaign co-op mode. I can’t tell you how much fun this is, because fighting Grims’ along with your buddy is one of the most exhilarating gaming experience ever! The game also supports the Move controller, so you know the drill.
The multiplayer component of Resistance 3 doesn’t have any big hooks that made Resistance 1 and 2 stand out. Compared to the 60 player Resistance 2 multiplayer, the player count has been pared back to 16 and concentrates on giving you a focused multiplayer experience instead of a large scale warfare. The 8 player co-op from Resistance 2 has been unfortunately taken out; something that I personally will miss a lot. One of the great things about the multiplayer here is that finding games’ is extremely quick. It has an insanely fast matchmaking system that puts you in a game in a few seconds, but other than that the netcode right now is questionable. It does feature dedicated servers but the game doesn’t feel smooth online. Considering it already received a 600mb patch, and an another one is in the pipeline, hopefully the problems will be addressed soon.
There are a lot of game types here, the ones you usually find in many FPS’ out there. Modes like Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, Chain Reaction, War Games’ and a few more fill up the playlist. Just like the campaign, you can level up your weapons in the multiplayer after reaching a certain rank and spending your unlock points on them. It certainly makes a new player get his ass handed to him by a higher ranked one, but hey, learning the hard way is always the best way to learn fast. There are 12 maps at your disposal and usually contain modified versions of the campaign levels. I have to hand it to Insomniac’s level design; they are beautifully created with overarching corridors and large open spaces. The gameplay is fast and mostly of the arcade variety and the core gameplay is still solid. There is a lot of fun to be had here provided Insomniac patches up the lag and other issues plaguing the multiplayer fast.
Resistance 3 is Insomniac’s swan song, and the best game in the series. They really tried their best listening to the community and implementing certain design changes that benefit the game. Resistance fans will feel at home here and the game has enough power to pull new audiences to the franchise. Considering the solid campaign, co-op and competitive modes; the replay value here is enormous and if you’re looking for a nice shooter before the holiday season, look no further; Resistance 3 is a game you should buy.
This game was reviewed on the PlayStation 3.
Engaging campaign; Co-op mode; Campaign and Multiplayer design; Replay value
Slightly disappointing ending; Buggy netcode