Resistance 3 Review

Our Rating
out of 5.0

This game was reviewed on the PlayStation 3.

Nathan Hale is dead.  Killed by Joseph Capelli’s own hand as he succumbed to the Chimera virus after taking down Daedalus.  However, even in death he continued to be a savior of humanity when a scientist, Dr. Fyodor Malikov, found the key to curing the Chimera virus in Hale’s blood.  For his efforts, Capelli found himself ostracized by his comrades and dishonorably discharged for his actions.

Four years later, hiding out amongst some of the few remaining survivors and his new family, Capelli finds himself once again taking up arms against the invaders.  Travelling from Oklahoma to New York City with Dr. Malikov in tow, he gets to see firsthand the devastation that has taken place since the Chimera invaded.  With over 90% of the population dead or infected by the virus, the United States has become a veritable wasteland.  It would seem that Capelli and Malikov are the last hope for salvation.

Insomniac’s third outing on the Resistance series brings back some fan favorite features that were absent in Resistance 2.  A static health indicator has once again replaced the regenerative system that most games use nowadays.  This requires you to be a little more thoughtful in how you handle battle situations than your typical shooter.  It’s nice to go back to the old school with health packs, as it provides a bit more challenge.  Also returning is the ability to carry more than just two weapons which are presented to you in a wheel menu.

With those changes in mind, Resistance 3 doesn’t bring much in the way of new to the first person shooter genre as far as gameplay is concerned; however, what it does bring is absolutely solid.  Control is precise and reacts just as you need it to.  For those who wish to change the layouts, a quick jump over to the options menu allows you to choose from a range of presets, or create your own customizable button mappings more suitable to your style of play.  Of course, Resistance 3 also has Move support as well.  However, we were not able to test it out for the purpose of this review.

Graphically, the game is absolutely beautiful.  Motion comics that give you background to the events of the previous games and leading up to the current set of events are well drawn, while the in-game graphics are strikingly detailed.  Cracks in the walls reveal rebar reinforcements, candle flames dance around with a flickering glow, and the lighting effects from the Chimeran weapons are nothing short of amazing.  Though the facial mapping and mouth movements are far short of L.A. Noire, they are done much better than most other shooters I’ve played in recent months.  Combine the graphics with the suspenseful music and sound effects and you quickly become enthralled in this world where humanity is very quickly becoming extinct.

Although the premise of Resistance 3 isn’t anything new (aliens come down and overrun the planet), the story is a departure from most in this particular genre.  Typical stories leave you with a sense of how things will play out in the end, whereas the Resistance series tends to only leave you knowing one thing – humanity is screwed.  There isn’t any particular feeling of being superhuman or a great leader to rally behind.  Instead, you’re just a regular guy who may play a larger role in things, but you have no idea whether it will actually turn the tide against your foe, or if it’s just one more blockade that they’ll have to overcome towards your eventual extinction.  In short, Resistance 3 keeps you guessing as to how everything will play out in the end, and that is a story you can really sink your teeth into.

Multiplayer has a fair showing in Resistance 3, containing a robust selection of gametypes.  For the traditionalist, you have the typical Deatchmatch and CTF types.  The strategist has War Games if you like objective maps; or the Chain Reaction game type which is essentially a domination play style; or Breach, which is another objective game type to either defend or destroy a team’s reactor.  For those of us who like a simple game with a level playing field of furious takedowns, you have the Classic Hardcore game type.  Finally, for the Jack of All Trades, you can pick “Anything” which will throw you into a random game type.

Resistance 3 features a reward system similar to that of the Call of Duty franchise.  During a match, you’ll be awarded for your kill-streaks (or in this game, Berserks) with enhancements such as the ability to temporarily cloak, equipping an Auger (a rifle that allows you to see and shoot through walls), combat armor and more.  You also gain experience points for your performance in a match.  These experience points raise your rank and unlock additional loadouts with the ability to customize your own to your liking.

Also available to you are Support Utilities, Tactical Utilities, Personal Attributes, and Combat Attributes.  Support Utilities are generally deployable equipment that benefits your entire group.  The ammo beacon is one such utility that, when deployed, gives anyone standing in the immediate area unlimited ammo for a limited amount of time.  Tactical Utilities, on the other hand, are items that are designed to give you an edge over the enemy.  Thermal vision, which gives you the ability to see through walls, would be one such example.  Personal Attributes are effects that benefit you directly, such as giving you additional ammunition or making you more resistant to taking damage.  Finally, Combat Attributes benefit you by changing your combat abilities.  Allowing yourself to start with two weapons instead of one or distorting an enemy’s radar when you are close would be examples of these.

If you’re unsure of how the Support and Tactical Utilities work from the description, training videos are available at the loadout menus that provide a visual example of how things work.  While this isn’t a feature that you’ll use beyond getting to know the game, it’snice to have something like this available so you can do your homework ahead of time instead of blindly experimenting with random combinations.

While Resistance 3’s multiplayer offers a veritable buffet of matchmaking delicacies to feast upon, it’s not without its faults.  It could benefit greatly from a player balancing system to put players with similar rankings into matchmaking sets.  Since the leveling system essentially starts you out with a basic weapon set (a Carbine and Shrapnel grenade), it’s exceptionally difficult for a player to really make any headway in the regular matchmaking gametypes as oftentimes they will find themselves against higher level (and better equipped) opponents.  This can cause some frustration to build when you’re starting out, as you don’t really start unlocking a lot of things until you get enough experience to get past level 6.

Resistance 3 doesn’t really bring anything new to the table in terms of refinement or innovation in the First Person Shooter genre; However it does take those elements that are popular in other modern FPS games and adapt them to the Resistance universe commendably.  Aside from the odd clipping issues (people have been tossed magically through walls in an instance or two in multiplayer) and a need for a ranking system to balance matchmaking between different levels of player skill, Resistance 3 delivers an enjoyable gaming experience.  For the campaign lover, a well written and captivating story awaits you.  For the multiplayer gamer, a laundry list of tools and customizations are set before you to cry havoc and unleash the…uh…Leapers…of war.

This game receives a 4.5/5.0.

Our Rating
out of 5.0

About This Post

September 14, 2011 - 8:30 am