It seems odd that the developer of the lovable Ratchet and Clank series would create the first must have PS3 FPS. But here we are, and there sits Resistance: Fall of Man, the only must have title in the PS3 launch library.
Resistance is set in some sort of alternate reality where World War II is interrupted by a rapidly advancing alien horde called the Chimera. The Chimera cover Western Europe swiftly in an attempt to infect the entire human population with a virus that turns humans into alien slaves. Yet there is one man, an American soldier by the name of Nathan Hale, who seems impervious to the Chimera’s attempts at conversion. The insect creatures that infect the humans attack Hale’s squad early on, yet he is the only one to survive. He awakens with his fallen squad mates surrounding him, and sets out on a mission to find out how to stop the Chimera from taking over the countryside.
Resistance’s controls are the same as most other first-person shooters out there today. Aside from the grenade button (which happens to be the O Button) and a weapon selection system similar to Gears of War, not much is different. The one big exception to the control scheme is the Sixaxis motion sensing ability. When a certain breed of Chimera attacks Hale, you must violently shake the controller to break free. While this effect is not used often, it is still a nice highlight of how the controller can be used to draw the user further into gameplay. The health system also has some nice subtle changes from the norm. Unlike most other games today, resistance does not allow you to fully recharge your health by ducking under cover. Instead, your health bar has been divided into four sectors. When one sector has been fully depleted, the next sector will begin to diminish. However, each individual health sector can be refilled by ducking for cover. The sectioned off health meter takes a bit more thought and caution to manage than the usual method.
The biggest draw of Resistance is not the story or the Sixaxis control, but the enemy AI. The Chimera are a smart group of alien fiends. They usually attack in big groups, and they attack with a variety of tactics. More often than not, groups of Chimera will attempt to flank you, and they use cover to their advantage quite well. Some types of Chimera will attempt to bum rush you, others will fall back and attack from a distance, and they always make use of turret guns. This wide variety of tactics will keep you on your toes for sure.
Another huge draw for Resistance is the large multiplayer matches. Up to 40 players can compete online in a wide variety of match types. From deathmatch and capture the flag, to meltdown (similar to Conquest in Battlefield 2) and conversion (a deathmatch hybrid), Resistance has it all. Multiplayer games can be set up in any way you desire. Want snipers only? No problem. Want unlimited ammo? You can have that too. While the variety of options and the ability to change every ounce of your online experience is nice, the option for unlimited ammo just seems silly. The ability to give 40 players unlimited grenades and grenade launchers is extremely hectic. Luckily the online arenas are large enough that you probably won’t have to worry about pesky spawn campers. So, while the unlimited ammo thing seems a bit dumb, the game does a decent job of balancing it out so it does not ruin the experience for newbies.
Given that this is the first iteration of PS3 games, we were not exactly sure what to expect from Resistance in the graphics department. With the Xbox 360 beginning to churn out some stellar looking games (i.e. Gears of War, Mass Effect, etc) it was interesting to see how Resistance stacked up. Even though the PS3 is one year behind, Resistance holds up fairly well against some of the 360’s best looking games. The lighting is good, the character models are great, and the guns look stellar. However, the real visual treats are the cut scenes. The cut scenes use the in-game engine, and really showcase the PS3’s potential. The expressions on the face of the main character and the look in his eyes speak volumes about the character. The only real downside to the graphics is the environments, which can be a little bland at times, and the color scheme is really muted and flat. Also, when you get too close to some doors and objects, the graphics can get a little muddy.
The only other big downfall for Resistance is the sound. While it is not bad by any means, it just is not memorable. The guns sound good, and the explosions are nice, but the sounds will not stick with you. The musical score is the same way. The music is good, and it picks up in the appropriate places, but once you shut of your PS3 you won’t remember what it sounds like. Even the menacing sounds of the Chimera are not memorable. The only truly memorable audio is the voice acting, but occupies a very small portion of the game. In fact, the only real bit of voice acting you get is from the female British narrator, but at least it’s memorable.
If you are one of the few people out there that actually bought a PS3 to play (not just to sell on Ebay), you should probably pick up Resistance. While the game really does not do a whole lot to innovate, it is a very solid FPS with an interesting story and an immense online aspect. Even with its flaws, Resistance is arguably the best PS3 launch title.