This generation has been heavily populated with first-person shooters and while some copy the generic formula of the genre, others have looked to redefine it and offer experiences that no other first-person has done before it. Insomniac’s Resistance series may look like a carbon copy of every first-person shooter available on the market, but that it is far from the truth. What makes Resistance different from other alien inspired FPS is the large emphasis on the struggle of humanity as a whole and burden that the main character has to endure.
Mankind is on the brink of extinction as the world’s population continues to fall victim to the Chimera and become infected with the Chimera virus. Four years have passed since the conclusion of Resistance 2, the military is in shambles and mankind’s defense network is nowhere to be seen.
The Chimera is free to roam the planet and unleash their terror on the remaining human inhabitants as they terraform the planet in an attempt to freeze Earth into an icy shell of its former self. As the Chimera rampage the planet and a worm-hole opens in the skies, the battle to save mankind and Earth has reached a level of desperation as the world’s destiny is in the hands of Joseph Capelli, the man that killed Nathan Hale at the end of Resistance 2.
Since the conclusion of Resistance 2, Capelli has been dishonorably discharged and found refuge in Haven, Oklahoma. Living with his family in a state of constant vigilance and fear of a Chimera invasion, Capelli receives an intriguing offer from Dr. Malikov to go to New York City to seal the worm-hole and in the process save mankind. After initially refusing the offer to do so, Capelli decides to take Malikov up on it so he can give his son a chance to live in a world free of the Chimera and a normal life.
One thing Insomniac has done so well with the Resistance series over the years is convey a strong sense of atmosphere and tension. Resistance 3 intensifies this concept to new levels with a focus on Capelli’s humanity and his family – especially his son. While some may find the relationship between Capelli and his family to be cliché and forced, others will find it warming and touching as it gives a more personal approach to the game’s characters and gives the fight for humanity more meaning than just your typical ‘save the world’ story given in so many other titles.
Storyline aside, the game’s visuals and environments are eerie, creepy, and frightful. Traveling from Oklahoma to New York City, you find yourself in a wide-range of different states and locales and each greatly differs from the last. Entering the mines of Pittsburgh, the rivers of Mississippi, or metropolis of New York City, the environments are downright fearsome.
The terror is further intensified by the game’s haunting soundtrack. Hearing the distant roar of a Chimera as you navigate through a desolate town invokes an uneasy feeling as you hear faint sounds of movement in the darkness. Insomniac delivers plenty of diversity in the game’s settings and complete with massive boss battles, the game continues to feel new and fresh as you make way towards New York City.
While not as impressive as Killzone 3 or other shooters on the market, Resistance 3’s visuals are still impressive in their own way. The art style is lovely with its darker demeanor as it properly conveys the dire circumstances of mankind and the Earth’s state of need.
Unlike other FPS that feel to drag, Resistance 3’s pacing is well kept and mixes in intense action sequences with some slow moments to add to the emotion being conveyed either by a town’s residents or just dreary setting. Even when the game slows itself down on purpose, the feeling of desperation remains and the slow point just further compels you to push forward. Resistance 3’s campaign is challenging on ‘Hard’ mode and I’d recommend playing it on ‘Hard’ immediately to get the full wrath of the Chimera in battle.
Playing Resistance 3 in 3D really adds to the immersion as the game envelops you in the happenings occurring on screen. 3D may not be essential to one’s enjoyment of the game, but if you have chance to do so, Resistance 3 is quite a remarkable 3D feat. Creating a great sense of depth, exploring caves and dark towns look sharp in 3D and really increase the fear factor as you explore. Battling the game’s many bosses in 3D felt more intense than when playing in 2D due to the extra sense of actually being in the game that 3D delivers. Though the 3D isn’t really that pronounced, the extra depth is certainly welcome.
One standout feature of the Resistance franchise has always been the vast array of weapons. Whether they are military grade or Chimera technology, the weapons added an extra layer of fun to each title thanks to their unique abilities. Resistance 3 continues this trend but will now level up the more you use them, thus leading to more firing abilities like a scatter shot on a Magnum or incendiary shells for the shotgun. New weapons join the fray, but old favorites like the Auger or Bullseye are also present to lend a helping hand.
Multiplayer returns and plays an important role in Resistance 3. Though scaled back from the 60 player mark of Resistance 2, Resistance 3’s multiplayer still offers a healthy 16-player competitive mode and that figure is more than plentiful as the experience is now more personal with the smaller figure. Number of players aside, another change Insomniac has made to the multiplayer component of the series is the addition of an ‘Ability’ system. Similar to Call of Duty’s ‘Perk’ system, acquiring abilities provides more of an incentive to continue playing. Kill-streaks in Resistance 3 can give you access to shields and other fun skills.
All the modes you have come to expect in an online FPS are present: Team Deathmatch, Deathmatch, & Capture the Flag. The multiplayer of Resistance 3 is the most fleshed out of the series and if you loved the multiplayer of the previous two entries, then you’ll thoroughly enjoy Resistance 3’s. The new Call of Duty-ish ‘Ability’ system adds more to the multiplayer and really helps give it more personality. Even with these new additions, Resistance 3’s multiplayer won’t turn you into an online fan if you weren’t one before.
Resistance 3 is Insomniac’s crowning jewel of the Resistance franchise and their prize PS3 title. The campaign is one of the best and most intense first-person shooting single-player experiences released this generation. Atmospheric and memorable battles, emotional storyline, believable characters, and a robust multiplayer mode, Resistance 3 offers everything that a shooter fan could possibly want. Resistance 3 is one of the best shooters of 2011 on any system and a must-own for PS3 owners.
(Editor’s Note: A copy of Resistance 3 was provided by the publisher for review. The game’s campaign was completed on ‘Hard’ mode & several additional hours were spent in multiplayer. The game was completed on ‘Casual’ in 3D during a second playthrough. )