This year sees a wealth of games with the word ‘three’ at the end of their title and Resistance doesn’t want to be left out and so just calls itself plain old Resistance 3. I’ve never actually played the previous two consoles iterations properly but I did enjoy the PSP outing so am familiar with the alternative reality set in wartime 1950s this time where a virus from outer space called Chimera has infected people and resulted in armies of mutated humanoids, insects and tech that are harvesting humans and now just killing them for an as yet unknown reason.
You play through the game as Joseph Capelli, a character from the last game (explained in a nicely rendered recap movie during the start screen) that shot the previous hero Nathan Hale when he started turning into one of the six-eyed beasts. The action begins in one of the bunkers in the United States that son falls under attack from the Chimera. You soon learn that the Chimera have opened up a wormhole in New York and that’s changing the climate of the Earth, making it too cold and uninhabitable in just a few months. And so off you go on a jolly jaunt from West to East coast to make it to the Big Apple and stop the big freeze. What this means of course is that you encounter a myriad of environments and characters as you go on your quest and this makes for a great deal of variety in gameplay which is very welcome in an FPS. Stages include all-out war in hometowns, boat trips in swamps, fighting through a prison, a stage on an out of control freight train and of course a fight to save the day through snowy New York. Everything looks very pretty (well, as pretty as it can when things have taken a turn for the worse and everything has been destroyed) and the action and pacing across the six hour campaign is pretty spot on.
Of course, one of the things that makes or breaks an FPS is the weapons and how they feel. Old favourites make a return such as the pistol that lets you explode any bullets fired using the secondary fire button and the Auger which lets you shoot through walls when you detect an enemy’s heat signature. There’s also the Bullseye machine gun that lets you lock onto a target and fire bullets round corners, the Rossmore shotgun that fires concussion grenades as well and some really fun guns later on including an ice gun that freezes enemies solid and shatters them with a shockwave and the Mutator that fires a fast acting Chimera virus into people and engulfs them in a big pile of pulsating green snot! The enemy AI is also pretty good at flanking you so you can’t just take cover and pop out to shoot things all of the time (especially seeing as they also have weapons that can shoot through walls at times too). For once since Halo, life doesn’t regenerate so you have to pick up health dropped from fallen enemies or find it scattered about. At first this is a worry but you soon get used to the way to play and when to pick up health packs.
You can also play the campaign in co-op mode as well but it’s a shame the game doesn’t employ a drop in and out system as we’ve seen before in games such as Resident Evil 5. You have to play with someone on your friends list and organising times to play (if you have a job or a social life) isn’t the easiest of things to do. Still, the option’s there which is a nice touch if you don’t like playing through games alone. Speaking of not playing the game alone, that brings us to the multiplayer section of the game. All the game modes pit humans against Chimera and the same addictive model is present in that as you gain levels you also get extra perks and upgrades that give you the edge in battle. New loadouts are unlocked which offer new weapons such as sniper rifles and shotguns and you can also edit your own custom loadout to mix and match what you’ve already unlocked. Points you earn from achievements in the campaign can also be used to unlock new skins, titles and tags which won’t help you in battle but will give you a bit more identity online. There are some interesting new perks and abilities that you won’t see in a more realistic shooter such as shield barriers, holograms you can project beside you to confuse your opponent, invisibility or the ability to see recent footsteps of your foes. This keeps things interesting. It’s a shame there aren’t any clever new game modes though. It’s the usual deathmatch, team deathmatch and defend and capture modes you’ve seen before but it does do them well and the constant carrot being dangled in front of you as you level up is sure to keep you playing.
Resistance 3 is one of the best FPS games I’ve played on the PS3 for a while. It also has Move support if you like your aiming to feel more tactile and you can play it in 3D if you so wish as well. I haven’t tried that as it always sends my eyes a bit squiffy but if you own a 3DTV then it’s an added bonus if you’re into that sort of thing. The campaign’s short but sweet and the multiplayer mode should keep you playing for ages so Resistance 3 gets a Chimera-crunching 9 out of 10.
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