Resistance: The Fall of Man (PS3) Review

I was delighted to find myself able to finish and enjoy an FPS game on my PS3. After all, there are a few that since Sony published them, will never make it to my local mouse. With that in mind, I popped in Resistance, hoping I would enjoy it. After all, it featured one hell of a cool creature. Let's see how it did.

Story: Things have gone from bad to worse. At first, there were reports about Russia expairimenting with biological weapons. And then came the stories about small villages being wiped out overnight. Then cities, and finally, a blackout. We heard nothing more until the Chimera, and alien species on the warpath, spilled out and invaded Europe. The war was over in weeks and the continent began to these creatures. England thought they were safe due to the English Channel, but the Chimera proved overwise when they dug underneath it and invaded.

And this is the time and location Resistance takes place in. At the time, the US was preparing for the potential invasion they might face and to that end had made a deal to send reinforcements and weapons in return for something that England had they could use. However, only the top brass even knew about the Chimera, so when the deal went bust due to their ambushing the English soldiers involved, the US platoon was blindsided by what was waiting for them. Among them, there was a soldier by the name of Nathan Hale, and this is his story.

You will follow Nathan as he finds himself immediately and personally enwrapped in the war in England. This plot is VERY narrative central and is primarily told between levels via cutscenes and narrations told over stills. The narrator is a Captain in the events for the English army, but she tells the story like it's a debriefing. It is a descent war-story following Hale and it flows really well. But sadly, the delivery misses a lot of the personal touches that could have made a descent story into a memorable one.

Graphics: This game came out in 2006, so if you are coming in expecting graphics that compare to anything today, you are looking in the wrong place. But that said, the graphics have held up suprisingly well! Everything looks crisp, if simplistic by today's standard. The ennvironments all look fantastic, right down to some of the best snow-fall I have seen in any game, which is a good thing since later in the game uses cold environments rather heavily.

The enemies look fierce and creepy as they should, and move as you would expect a hyper-active enemy to. In short, they are the best they could be for the age of the game. However, the humans you fight along side have a few issues. We still haven't gotten expressions quite right beyond a few specific games in existance, but this game came out 5 years ago. There is no nice way to say it, the people in this game often have downs.

Sound: Sound held up about as well as the graphics did, though they are definately much less dated. Almost every gun in the game sounds great, from your machine gun to the alien Auger rifle (which will fire through walls for a whole new spin on a gunfight). But there are two specific guns I have to point out as not standing up.

First and formost is your shotgun. Simply put, it's not loud enough, and really as a result is not nearly as satisfying as it could be. To go with this is the alien sapper. Basically, it's a goo-ball shooting gun where the goo explodes. But it isnt so much like a firey ball as it is a ball of goo bursting into a smelly mess that happens to hurt things. It is easily one of the least satisfying weapons I have ever used in just about any FPS game.

To go further, the voices and creature sounds are all pretty good, but there is not a lot of vatiety, so we will not go any further there. Instead, let's focus on the music. There doesn't seem to be a lot, but Insomniac did a great job selecting music to match not just the mood of the level, but the mood of the very moment. From the creepy undertones when you go into the Chimera tunnels to the triumphant music to let you know you are about to kick some serious ass in some epic moments, the music was done exceptionally well throughout the game.

Gameplay: It was quite heartening to find myself not only playing, but enjoying an FPS game on a controller. After all, I will be the first to admit, I am a mouse jockey, and anything that less directly translates my motions into camera movement I expected to find intolerable. The Darkness had at least proved I could play this way and have fun, so I went into Resistance with higher expectations of enjoying my time.

And enjoy I did, once I got used to it. I found the analog sticks this time a bit more fluid and once I got used to them a lot better, but far from perfect. No analog stick will ever beat what I have gotten used to via my mouse. It is just not possible to beat the precision of a device based on pointing with one based on degree it's pushed away from the center. But if this is the standard, then it is more then adequate to have a good time.

That said, playing with sticks was hardly the only thing I found myself having to get used to. The button layout was completely different then anything I expected thanks to the Darkness, leaving me early on to switch weapons rather then shoot or throw grenades rather then reload. Still, once the new layout was absorbed, they all had great reaction and the gameplay was smooth and intense, reflecting well on the war the game takes place in.

Vehicles, which I expected to really dislike due to other games I had played in the past, were also a joy to play with for the most part, controlling pretty much as you would instinctively expect, though I have a feeling this would have been a lot more fun with another player. After all, the jeep alone featured a place for a driver, a passenger, and a gunner. I cant imagine what the tank or stalker (a Chimeran vehicle) would have offered. Sadly, this is also the downfall of the vehicles... those are the only 3 you will ever play in.

Bugs: While I didn't find many bugs in this game, I DID manage to get myself stuck in a tunnel I knew wasn't where I was supposed to go, but thought if I could duck into I might find a secret intelligence or something in. Almost had to quit to get out of it.

Overall: If you enjoy war-shooters, Resistance is a fine example you should give a try. If you enjoy sci-fi shooters, you should probably give this a try as well. It is solid, lets you feel like you are a soldier on a battle field with many others also out there, yet the toys and enemies you will use are nothing like the COD and COD clones you see everywhere these days. Definately worth your time to give this a shot... unless you really REALLY can not stand FPS with analog sticks. If so, this is still a console FPS, so you just wont like it.

Acquired through: Gamestop

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