by Quinn Levandoski
previewed on PS3
Graphics, Guns and Gameplay
Clearly, with the military gone and humanity on the brink of final evisceration, these are dark times for planet Earth, and the tone of Resistance 3 will reflect this. The brighter color palate is gone in favor of more earthy tones. Rest assured, however, Re3 won't be losing its sense of style and visual personality along with the relative brightness of Re2; the game is still very distinctively Resistance. On the subjects of graphics, of what I've seen so far Resistance 3 seems to have really upped their game. The franchise has never really been ugly per se, but it has never really pushed the visual limit. Resistance 3 still won't be rivaling Uncharted 3 or Battlefield 3 for the graphics title this year, but it's definitely closer to the top than to the bottom.
The weapons themselves are also getting a revamp in Resistance 3. I can't say for certain since I've never been a member of any branch of the military, but I've heard it said by others that soldiers build a special bond with their weapon that is just as close as their bonds with other people. Resistance 3 seems to be trying to emulate this bond through the implementation of an all-new weapons upgrade system that rewards players for consistently using the same gun. The more you use any given gun, both its primary and secondary fire, the more upgrades you will receive for it. We aren't yet exactly sure what these upgrades will be. My guess is that it will be more along the lines of minor upgrades such as larger clip capacity, more clips, or faster reloads, rather than real game changers like additional scopes or firing modes, but at this point anything is possible. I'm not entirely sold on the idea as I'm a kind of guy that likes to mix up his weapons depending on the situation at hand, but I'll wait to place judgment until more concrete details are released.
The campaign of Re3 isn't the only thing changing; multiplayer will be seeing its share of tweaks as well. I said before that in this third entry of the franchise, smaller and more personal combat is the name of the game, and this permeates through not only Joseph Capelli's story but online play as well. Resistance: FoM let people hop online into battles with up to 40 people. Resistance 2 bumped that number up to an impressive 60. Resistance 3 is bucking the trend of increasing the amount of players and instead choosing to only allow a modest 16 players per game. This supports Insomniacs goal of making multiplayer less hectic and more about using tactics to take down your enemy. That isn't to say that the multiplayer is slow by any means. Of the videos that have been released so far the multiplayer seems to be just as fast and exciting as it has been in the past, with new passive and active perks such as cloaks, shields, bug-creatures that pop out of your dead body (yes, really), and more adding to the madness. At this point it is unknown what modes will be available for online play beyond a very vague statement of “Human vs. Chimera death match and objective-based games,” but more details will certainly be revealed in the time leading up to the game's release.
Fancy a Taste?
You don't have to wait until its release to get a taste of the game for yourself, however. Marked copies of the recently released Blu-Ray Battle: LA (which is basically Resistance: The Movie) comes packaged with an impressively lengthy 30 minute demo of Resistance 3. I won't spoil what happens since figuring it out yourself is half the fun, but it starts out with Capelli on a boat traveling up the Mississippi before things escalate. I personally thought the game controlled well, and the mood seemed intact, but the graphics left a lot to be desired. There were a lot of rough edges and some textures were just down right bad. This shouldn't alarm anyone, however. The version of the game present on the demo is nowhere near the current build (and in turn even farther from the final version) since it had to be submitted back when the Blu-Ray discs were first being burned. The videos shown at E3 should be much closer to what the game will actually look like come release day.
You may be excited about Resistance 3's decisions to bring everything to a more personal level, or you might be disappointed by the scaling down of things, but there is no denying that the game is certainly ambitious in its goal to bring the series back to the very prestigious upper echelon of Playstation exclusive titles. Will Capelli be able to find the mysterious weapon and defeat the Chimera once and for all? Will the Chimera actually win, giving us the under-utilized unhappy ending? Will the game have a definitive ending to wrap up the story of the last three games or will it end in a cliffhanger pointing towards Resistance 4? These questions and many more will probably remain unanswered until you can strap on your helmet and fight for humanity yourself. With a campaign looking as exciting as this one does, paired with multiplayer with the potential to stick for quite some time, Resistance 3 is looking to make every effort to stand out in a year that is packed to the brim with quality titles.