Resistance 2 (PlayStation 3) review
"For a while now, I’ve had an itch. One to do unbridled, unprecedented violence in a first-person shooter. Yet, any I found disappointed me. Condemned was choppy, Jericho was bland and Unreal Tournament was redundant. If I was to be sated, I needed something different. I wanted an all-out war, in a game that didn’t force upon me the same re-hashed formulas consistent of first-person shooters. "
For a while now, I’ve had an itch. One to do unbridled, unprecedented violence in a first-person shooter. Yet, any I found disappointed me. Condemned was choppy, Jericho was bland and Unreal Tournament was redundant. If I was to be sated, I needed something different. I wanted an all-out war, in a game that didn’t force upon me the same re-hashed formulas consistent of first-person shooters.
I wanted a fight. A damn good one.
One I finally found in Resistance 2.
Seen through the eyes of Lt. Nathan Hale, this character was my first indication that Resistance was not a typical FPS. Hale is a bad ass, yes. He’s quiet and seemingly one-sided on the battlefield, like most main characters tend to be. However, he brings an unmatched intensity. Hale is a take charge, take no prisoners war machine that seems almost unstoppable. Nothing stands in his way. Any Chimera who manage to avoid his hail of gunfire have their six-eyed faces smashed by the butt of his gun.
But he draws away from the prototypical role with his compassion towards his team members. He is the first one to aid them even if it means taking a bullet, taking the front lines or disregarding an order from his superiors. Other lives come before his own, and as the game progressed Hale was placed in several situations that could very well end him, but he pressed on. Determined--even if it ends him--to finish the mission he set out on and save those around him.
I found myself driving through campaign mode in a matter of days, all because I had to know: Would this hero return home to a parade held in his honor or would his next of kin receive a flag?
The further in I got, different aspects of the game became just as intriguing as the story. Visually, Resistance 2 is awe-inspiring. The definition is brilliant, the scenery flawless and characters rendered in incredible detail, but where Resistance really stands out is in sheer magnitude. It was towards the end of the first chapter where I initially experienced it--stepping out from a cramped, dark tunnel into the blaring daylight to stare across the London Bridge. From edge to edge, limitless sky, darkened with thousands of attacking ships--some gigantic, looming eerily over England’s heart, others only tiny defined specks. The invasion had begun, and it was a scene that has to be experienced to truly be appreciated. The game has a multitude of them. Whether it's staring up at the mammoth skyscrapers of Chicago, or down an endless frozen pit in the isolated Antarctic.
Such visual splendor adds to the already phenomenal boss battles. Nearly every level ends with a clash against one of the Chimera’s distinct creatures, either massive in size or massive in power and each incredibly unique. One occurred on a floating helipad, bobbled about by an undersea Kraken slinging at you every one of its slimy gray tentacles. Later, I found myself battling “The Swarm”, a simple orange cloud filled with flickering black bugs. At first, I wasn’t intimidated, but after watching them engulf a helpless doctor, devour him and spit his body back out in pieces, I ran. Then it followed, and I discovered my gun--any gun--had no affect on it.
I ran faster.
And yet the Swarm continued, chasing me down until I finally found a way to kill it. A very specific method that went beyond simply blasting away. It took me a while to put it together, but it demonstrated another reason why Resistance isn't your typical FPS. It's not always run-and-gun, kill or be killed. It involves you. Makes you think--makes you earn your survival.
Then, there was Leviathan. A creature so massive it towered over skyscrapers, its footsteps rattled the earth and it crushed buildings with one massive hand. And I was no better off, stuck in that very same grip struggling for my life and fighting to avoid being forced down the monster's waiting maw. Every time I gained ground, the creature would simply shrug me off and toss me around the city effortlessly, much like a human would an ant. Not even the infamous colossus from God Of War II was this big.
Luckily, Resistance 2 supplied the firepower to combat such things. The usual weapons found in most FPS--pistols, machine guns, sniper rifles--are present in Resistance. Pleasantly, though, most have been spun. Take for example the Magnum. It still fires incredibly powerful rounds that drop most enemies, but if any manage to survive, one click of the secondary fire button will explode the ammo that’s already embedded in a Chimera’s sternum.
The secondary-fire is also useful with the “Bullseye”, a seemingly typical Plasma Rifle. However, the secondary will launch a tracking beacon onto the target. Once planted any plasma charges fired will hone onto the tracking device, whether you’re aimed at it or not.
But by far the coolest weapon was the “Auger”, a semi-automatic rifle with a built in scope capable of locating enemies, even behind solid objects and representing them as a yellow silhouette. A wall, a box, or even a steel girder won't garner them any protection. Once it’s fired the Auger’s ammo burns through to reach its target.
Those aspects were what kept me blurry-eyed and sleepless most nights, effortlessly pumping hours into campaign mode. Online mode is why I’ll hang onto this game long after my second play through. Common competitive games are present: Death Match, Team Death Match, capture the flag--though in Resistance it’s capture the “Core”--and skirmishes. And while they’re fun, the real joy in online came from Resistance one-sided cooperative mode. Instead of fighting each other, you stand your ground against the A.I. of the game. Eight players can join, be it you and seven friends or strangers from all corners of the earth. From the start menu you’re given the option to choose one of three occupations: The soldier, who typically finds himself on the front line drilling rounds into any enemy he can lock his sights on. The medic, who heals and revives other party members all while providing cover fire, or the Special Ops, handing out ammo and leading the team. The replay value is highest here, both in taking on any of the three roles and using them in the seemingly countless co-op missions provided. So long as I had a good team behind me, I could spend hours--days--online rupturing Chimera’s heads or healing allies.
I don’t have one negative thing to say about Resistance 2. Not a nit-pick, not a squabble, not even a tainted blurb. With its captivating story, its sheer beauty, original weapons and unique outlook Resistance 2 is, without doubt, the best First-person shooter I’ve played in a long time, maybe even the best game. I don’t typically “tell” any reader to do things. I say my peace and let you make your own opinion. Not today. I’m telling you. Buy it, rent it, borrow it, sit in your local video game store and usurp the courtesy Playstation 3 until they throw you out. And even then go kicking and screaming. This game is worth it, any of it. This game is a war--brilliant and flawless.
So stand up. Join the Resistance.
Featured community review by True (November 10, 2008)
A bio for this contributor is currently unavailable, but check back soon to see if that changes. If you are the author of this review, you can update your bio from the Settings page.
If you enjoyed this Resistance 2 review, you're encouraged to discuss it with the author and with other members of the site's community. If you don't already have an HonestGamers account, you can sign up for one in a snap. Thank you for reading!