Resistance 3 Review

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Resistance: Fall of Man introduced players to an alternate history where an alien species known as the Chimera have invaded Earth and are taking over Europe. It was a launch title for the PlayStation 3 and in my opinion it’s one of the best first-person shooters for the system. Resistance 2 continues the story and primarily focuses on the Chimera invasion of the United States. I think it’s a good shooter but I also think the developers made a lot of unnecessary changes to the formula. From what I understand, the developers actually listened to the backlash and aimed to rectify the problems in Resistance 3. Developed by Insomniac Games and published by Sony Computer Entertainment, Resistance 3 was released for PlayStation 3 in September, 2011. I remember when the game came out because it seemed like nobody was talking about it and I was surprised because I always figured it was a popular enough series that each release would warrant significant attention. Resistance 3 quickly came and went and it’s interesting to see people discussing it now because I’ve read many comments that suggest it’s underrated and the best in the series. Regardless, apparently it sold poorly and was considered a commercial failure. Furthermore, Insomniac has confirmed they will not be making any more Resistance games.

Resistance 3 is a shift in tone and atmosphere from its predecessors. No longer centered on the military aspects, the plot follows Joseph Capelli, a former Sentinel who was dishonorably discharged for his role in Nathan Hale’s death and unlike Hale, Joe is a more defined character. After the events of the previous game, the humans managed to develop a cure for the Chimera virus and now the Chimera plan to permanently freeze the planet, rendering it uninhabitable for humanity. Joe and his family live in a community with other survivors in Oklahoma and after the town is destroyed by the Chimera, Joe travels to New York to try and close the wormhole which is accelerating the terraforming process of freezing Earth.

One change that’s noticeable right off the bat is the world design. Resistance 3 showcases a more post-apocalyptic world and even if you don’t follow the story, it’s pretty clear the Chimera have the upper hand. The world is filled with destroyed buildings and structures, dead bodies, and scattered humans trying to survive. In fact, some humans are actually hostile and make up some of the enemies in the game.

Joe’s health does not regenerate although you can purchase a cheat to enable that functionality. Health is typically acquired from health packs. On the Normal difficulty, the campaign can be challenging at times but I can’t say the challenge is on the same levels as that of the previous games. Enemies are still dangerous but they don’t seem as aggressive. As you progress through the campaign, you earn credits which can be spent in the in-game shop to unlock cheats, art, videos, skins, and titles.

The online servers were shut down some time ago so I did not get to try the multiplayer component but the game does come with a cooperative mode which I also didn’t get to try and the single player campaign does have some replay value. I beat it on Normal which unlocked the Superhuman difficulty and I played through a portion of it on Superhuman with some cheats enabled and I feel the cheats are what really adds to the replay value. You can enable cheats to grant you all the weapons and health regeneration, Fall of Man style, but not all cheats make the game easier. You can enable a cheat that allows enemies to use secondary fire modes and another will make it so random enemies will carry specific weapons that they wouldn’t normally carry. Enabling these cheats on Superhuman increases the challenge significantly.

Much like Resistance 2, Resistance 3 feels more like a modern shooter than the first game did and that’s evident from the very first mission or chapter. Yes, once again, I’m going to talk about the first mission and the only reason I’m going to talk about it is because, in my opinion, the first game has one of the best first missions in a first-person shooter and it’s interesting to see how things have changed over the years. The first game opens by throwing you into a war zone but doesn’t really mess with the pacing to show you the ropes. Resistance 2 took the more modern approach and held your hand a lot more during its first mission and as a result, I didn’t find it very exciting. Resistance 3 does start by holding your hand but only for a short period before throwing you into some exciting action and that’s a good thing.

As a big fan of the first game, I was disappointed with the direction the developers took for Resistance 2 but I’m happy to say they rectified the two big issues I had with that game. First is that you can carry and switch between all of the weapons again. Second is that not every environment feels aggressively linear. For most encounters, I had plenty of room to maneuver and that combined with access to all the weapons allowed for more experimentation. The game will funnel you where you need to go, some encounters do feel staged, and most boss encounters feel scripted. One in particular is just a series of button prompts. I don’t even know if I would consider it a boss battle but it is a terrible fight.

It should be noted that Resistance 3 does support PlayStation Move. Many weapons from the previous games return but some did not make the cut. However, Resistance 3 introduces some very cool new weapons like the Mutator which fires biological projectiles and can release a toxic cloud, both of which will result in a violent death for those infected. You can freeze enemies with the Cryogun and disintegrate them with the Atomizer. Some returning weapons have seen some changes. For example, the shotgun can now fire concussion grenades and the Marksman can deploy turrets. Every weapon does feel useful and the gunplay does feel satisfying. Most firearms have a nice kick to them when fired and enemies will bleed when shot and they can be blown to pieces.

As you use weapons, they gain experience and eventually level up or upgrade. The carbine can be upgraded with a bayonet and launch additional grenades. The shotgun can be upgraded to fire combustion rounds, letting you easily set enemies on fire. And the Bullseye can be upgraded to fire exploding rounds and up to three tags. Each weapon has its own unique upgrades the system is clearly the game’s way of encouraging you to use all the weapons and some upgrades are very beneficial, especially on the higher difficulties.

Resistance 3 does a good job at conveying a grim and hostile post-apocalyptic world. You’ll come across enemies patrolling around and sometimes they arrive by dropship. Chimeran enemies are sometimes accompanied by Shield Drones which protect them and every so often you’ll have to fend off Shock Drones. Unfortunately, Resistance 3 likes to throw a lot of Grims at you, one of the worst enemies from Resistance 2 in my opinion. There are several areas in the game that are infested with these things. They still rush you but they don’t seem as aggressive as they did previously but now they can throw shit. As you progress, Grims will eventually be accompanied by Leeches which are Grims that explode.

I think my biggest issue with Resistance 3 is that it doesn’t raise the bar. It all feels very familiar and the action slows down a little too often in my opinion. Peaks and valleys are important but the campaign really shines when you get into big firefights and are juggling all the weapons at your disposal. Many encounters feel small in scale and while some definitely stand out, I can’t say any exceeded the exciting levels of some of the battles of the previous games. There are some cool firefights in the beginning where you help defend a town from a Chimera attack and another later on when you meet up with a group of survivors and help them ambush a Chimeran dropship. There’s also a rather cool sequence where hostile humans and Chimera are battling it out around a prison. Encounters like these are some of the most memorable in the game. But others in between feel very scripted or by-the-numbers. On the plus side, I can’t say any encounters dragged on or felt tedious.

The campaign will take you to various locations across the US including areas in Oklahoma, Missouri, New York City, and Pennsylvania. You’ll engage enemies on the streets, in tunnels and a mine, various buildings, and a prison. Some areas do feel more linear than others but most of more exciting encounters take place in open environments so there’s plenty of room to move around and try different approaches. There are some branching paths here and there and exploration will typically lead you to ammo, health, and journal entries which act as a form of collectible.

Resistance 3 is by far the best looking game in the main trilogy and it does support 3D televisions. The weapon models are detailed, the character and enemy models look good, the texture work is solid, and the visual effects are great. From bombed out buildings to the cold and snowy New York areas, all that’s left on the path you travel are the remains of civilization and each area you visit does looks and feel different. The soundtrack contains a lot of dramatic and moody tunes that fit the dark and hostile tone of the dreary and grim world on display in Resistance 3. The sound effects are great but the audio does have some sync problems. When the action gets hectic, the sounds of gunfire and explosions are often out-of-sync. They’re delayed so for example you might hear a gunshot several seconds after firing the weapon. It can become annoying. On the technical side, the frame rate did noticeably dip during the more action-packed sequences but other than that, no major issues.

I had fun with Resistance 3 but I think I went into it expecting too much. I think I expected an experience like Fall of Man and that’s not what this is. However, I do think it’s better than Resistance 2. Resistance 3 is a more intimate experience and brings back some of the better aspects of Fall of Man. You can experiment with all kinds of cool weapons, the gunplay is satisfying, and, overall, the gameplay is fun. Resistance has been an interesting series to play through. Playing them back-to-back, I got to really see how things changed in terms of game design. What I love about Fall of Man is its extremely action-packed nature and straightforward run and gun gameplay. Resistance 2 felt like it was trying to fit in with the popular kids by just emulating what they do and the result was a less enjoyable experience. Resistance 3 remedies the issues introduced in Resistance 2 but I don’t think it captures everything that made the first game so great, let alone build upon it. It’s not a bad game but I do feel it is a bit underwhelming.

I would recommend Resistance 3 because it’s fun. I don’t think its the best in the main trilogy but it is a solid shooter. It’s a shame the series has died off because despite some issues, I think it was unique and could hold its own. I like the premise, the enemies are cool, and these games give you an awesome array of firepower. As of this review, the last Resistance game to release was Burning Skies for the Vita but I think Resistance 3 makes for a decent send-off and is definitely worth checking out if you’re a fan of the series.

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