"Dotting beds of marram grass are bullet-riddled sandbags and barbwire thickets, but look closer at the sandy, havoc-stricken dunes comprising the European countryside. A seesaw extends out in the overgrown brush, the limp corpse of a fellow soldier keeping it suspended ominously in the air. Another officer hangs drooped over a rusted swing set, gently rocking with the breeze. Across the eerily silent expanse stands a cold, steel slide, yet another sullen reminder of carefree times not so lon..."
Dotting beds of marram grass are bullet-riddled sandbags and barbwire thickets, but look closer at the sandy, havoc-stricken dunes comprising the European countryside. A seesaw extends out in the overgrown brush, the limp corpse of a fellow soldier keeping it suspended ominously in the air. Another officer hangs drooped over a rusted swing set, gently rocking with the breeze. Across the eerily silent expanse stands a cold, steel slide, yet another sullen reminder of carefree times not so long ago. A playground is now a battleground, the startling contrast of what was and what is gut-wrenchingly unavoidable standing in the midst of this brutal sprawl.
In a genre where post-apocalyptic worlds are a dime a dozen, Resistance: Fall of Man feels all too real.
Resistance does not break all first-person shooter stereotypes; beehive alien bases and their ever-repeating honeycomb corridors are a mainstay even this monster cannot shake. Yet where it does break away from the traditional mold is truly memorable. Haunting, World War II reminiscent battlegrounds are teeming with the living dead and the hideous alien race that turned them that way, some of them towering, mandible-gnashing terrors over twice your size. Roving arachnids proportional to small houses decimate scenic London circa 1950, not heeding but rather turning their onslaught your direction after suffering a pair rocket launcher blasts. Military bunkers are now dangerous winding passages where even craftier players can be bottlenecked and butchered should they proceed without tact.
These are dangerous grounds, as beautiful as they are deadly. Low-lying fog casts a threatening haze over distraught districts overrun with the Chimera opposition. Explosions burst spewing soot and debris as grenades detonate, blood viciously splattering against brittle rock walls. Smoldering art deco structures still retain signs of elegance despite being partially dilapidated due to prior raids. Much of Resistance’s allure is that its world needs to be seen to be believed, and you’ll plod through the adversity for that reason alone.
Conquering alien aggressors is made all the more thrilling with the innovative arsenal placed before protagonist Nathan Hale (though the tired storyline surrounding him is not one of the game’s strong suits). The L23 Fareye is a unique sniper rifle that can slow down time, allowing for dramatic and gruesome headshots that can turn the tide on a flanking squadron. The XR-005 Hailstorm lives up to its billing as well, unleashing gushing torrents of bright green fire that can mow down any amount of charging challengers. Versatile and incredibly fun to wield, perhaps the only complaint is the scarcity of ammunition for some of this weaponry, which is at times impossible to ration given the sheer number of surprise incursions delivered.
Not a step of intensity is lost in the transition to multiplayer, where thirty to forty man death matches are regularly available online, with zero noticeable lag and an easy to maneuver interface. Furthermore, though certain maps can feel too expansive at times if only twenty or so people are battling it out, the painstaking detail put into shrinking the best of the main mission down to the heated and varied environments you’ll be randomly dropped into more than compensates for a few lulls in the fray.
Combining Call of Duty settings with Doom-style surprises, Resistance: Fall of Man has undoubtedly carved itself a niche where ingenuity has long been waning; this is a title far more groundbreaking than Halo ever was, regardless of whether it can boast of as many back-of-the-box bells and whistles. Its main adventure is a heart-thumping, breathtaking, challenging journey spanning the European continent, while the same system facilitating it affably lends itself to multi-man online encounters where badges and honors can be garnished and flaunted. Given precedent and current trends, most first person shooters are rendered obsolete within the year they’re released; Resistance was given its name for good reason, packing a jaw-breaking punch unlikely to travel down that path.
Community review by drella (September 11, 2007)
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