By: Joseph Frymire
The Playstation 3 has never handled shooters very well; the controller’s analog sticks, buttons and triggers aren’t laid out in a way that feels natural. That said, Resistance 3 is probably the best shooter on the PS3. It paints a picture of a world where humanity lost the war against the Hollywood aliens that so frequently invade earth on the silver screen; aliens that now hunt us to extinction. It’s a competent shooter, but can it hold its own against the competition?
In an alternate 1957, the human race has nearly been wiped out by the alien Chimera. Joseph Capelli, an ex-soldier, lives in hiding with his wife and son in Haven, Oklahoma where they try to meek out a semblance of normalcy. When someone from his past comes looking for him, Joseph must make a perilous trip to New York to save humanity from complete genocide. Where previous games in the series were war stories, Resistance 3 is more of a tale of survival. The people you meet primarily live underground, and seem hopeless or mad with grief. It’s a grim world; nowhere is safe and not every person you meet is friendly. Unfortunately, Joseph is a one note protagonist who’s never quite a sympathetic enough character for you to get too attached to him.
The Chimera, who killed 90% of the human population and apparently have taken over Earth, are not scary. They try their best; the bug-eyed beasties have a tendency to jump at you and roar the alien version of, “booga booga,” but can be effortlessly swatted off like an obnoxious gnat. But what makes them utterly benign is just how legendarily stupid they are. The normal foot-soldiers don’t use tactics or flank, they just madly fire while advancing on your position in a straight line. More specialized enemies will jump around like grasshoppers; screaming and randomly peppering the area with bullets. But where they should use this mobility to their advantage and stay at range, they instead jump directly at you while yelling the aforementioned “booga booga.” One soothing shotgun blast to the face later, and you’re back to fighting the predictable ground soldiers.
Aiming isn’t the game’s strong suit, and the developers probably knew it. The main machine gun has a mode where you don’t even have to point the gun at an enemy; you can fire into the sky and the bullets will curve up and around walls to find their target. Another gun can actually fire through walls, giving the player plenty of time and cover to line up their shots. It doesn’t make the game too easy though; the Chimera, though dumber than rocks, are thrown at you in such numbers that they can overwhelm you if you don’t stay on your toes.
Co-op allows two people to team up and play through the whole game’s story mode, though it seems somewhat of a step back from the previous installment’s cooperative play where eight players could tackle the Chimera at once. Multiplayer is your standard blend of Capture the Flag, Deathmatch and Assault maps, with the added ability to customize and upgrade your weapons before each match. It’s nothing new in the competitive FPS world, but it adds some replay value to the game at least.
Resistance is a fast paced, frantic, fun shooter; but it lacks that certain something. Maybe it’s that the enemies aren’t interesting enough, or world isn’t engaging enough; it’s hard to boil it down to one thing. It’s a “B” game, there’s nothing terribly wrong with it, but nothing about it particularly stands out either. Resistance 3 is a really good game, but it’s not a great game.