by Quinn Levandoski
previewed on PS3
Finding its Own
When the Playstation 3 launched way back in November of 2006, I wasn't overly impressed with most of the titles available. It isn't that the games were necessarily bad, but rather that none of them seemed particularly unique. There was, however, one game that stood above the rest and became, at least in my eyes, the first must-own game on the PS3. That game was Resistance: Fall of Man. I didn't go into the game expecting much. As I said before, I was looking for something unique to usher in Sony's new behemoth and on paper the Resistance franchise is anything but. Military shooters are a dime a dozen, and alien shooters are even more common than that, so how could a game that combines both of these things be anything but a rehash of old ideas? Much to my surprise (and joy), my expectations were wrong. The game's multiplayer never really hooked me, but the campaign had a lot of personality. The story, which followed Sgt. Nathan Hale as he and his fellow soldiers attempted to push an invading alien force known as the Chimera out of Britain in an alternate version of 1951, seemed personal, and I really invested myself in the world. I also enjoyed how the game stood out by denying use of the regenerating health bar and two weapon limit that has taken over the post Halo: CE FPS market.
Then, Resistance 2 came along and I expected the franchise to step into the spotlight and deliver a knock-out experience. I personally didn't mind the game, but many people felt that it lost sight of what made the first one so good. Smaller and more desperate skirmishes were replaced with larger action set pieces and a brighter color palate; the full co-op campaign was replaced with separate co-op missions; and a two gun limit and regenerating health bar were inserted. On the upside, however, Insomniac made all the right moves in the multiplayer department, delivering an online experience that could rival any of this generation's heavy hitters. Enter Resistance 3, a game that is attempting to combine the best features of both its predecessors, while also trying to carve out its own identity in the franchise.
To End All Wars
In Resistance: FoM, players battled the Chimera in Britain as part of a large and relatively intact military force. Resistance 2 saw Hale come to the US to protect his home ground. Resistance 3 will be shaking things up in terms of story. The conflict with the Chimera can barely even be called a war anymore. It's now more of an extermination. The United States military is in shambles, and the only hope for humanity lies in small bands of people operating under their own will and command. They aren't fighting out of patriotism or duty, they are fighting to keep the human race from extinction. Along with this new direction in storytelling comes a brand new protagonist by the name of Joseph Capelli. But, just because Resistance 3 won't be featuring world-wide military forces doesn't mean that the scale of conflict won't still be epic. The goal isn't to push the Chimera out with brute force, but instead to find a weapon that returning character Dr. Malikov believes could turn the tide of the entire war. The only problem is that this weapon is located in New York, and you're currently way over in Haven, Oklahoma. Distance won't stand in the way, however, as Capelli and Malikov decide to journey all the way to New York, battling the Chimera along the way. Hopefully, if they are able to attain it, this weapon will be strong enough to bring hope back to humanity. This journey will see our protagonist traveling through many different American landscapes, something that should help the game from sliding into the rut of environmental repetitiveness that so many war games seem to fall victim to. So far we've seen camps in Haven, Oklahoma, mining outposts in Pennsylvania, forested streams, cabin outposts, stretches of the Mississippi, and more. I can only hope that the game expands on these locations and delivers on visiting the vast and varying landscapes present in the American East.
Along with these varying environments throughout the campaign of Re3 will come a wide range of gameplay experiences both in terms of physical layout and enemies. Not every battle will be a balls-to-the-wall action movie romp (although there will certainly be plenty of gunning for any of you that may be worried that the game is being toned down too much). Some areas, such as one set in the previously mentioned mining outpost, will instead put focus on moving slow to master your surroundings and make sure that the enemy can't get an unexpected jump on you. This more systematic style of progressing through some missions is complemented by the fact that the maps will now be much more open ended than before, allowing players to put into action a wide range of combat methods depending on which way they chose to go. It doesn't look like it will be openness on the same level as games such as Far Cry or Crysis, but I welcome even limited freedom with open arms. Additionally, along these paths Capelli will run into brand new enemies never seen before. A few of these new creatures include snipers with cloaks that can only be spotted by the subtle distortion their cloak creates and their red laser sight; shield drones that are indestructible from the front and must be taken out from behind; and brawlers which seem like the bigger nastier uncles of the Gears of War Berserkers.