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coolbeans

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User Review : Resistance 3

Ups
  • Best Resistance campaign yet
  • Refined gameplay mechanics
  • Great audio design
Downs
  • Completely removes predecessor's best feature
  • Competitive online falls more in line with other shooters

Planting 3's Roots Closer to Fall of Man Makes This a Sequel You Can't Re....fuse.

After a little less than three years of lying in a dormant state, the Resistance series has come back in full force, in both the finale to the Resistance trilogy on PS3 and an upcoming game on the Playstation Vita. Resistance: Fall of Man was the first PS3 exclusive of having the shining honor of being commericially pushed by Sony for the PS3 system. With the oversaturation of the FPS market since Fall of Man's debut, the Resistance series-like every other FPS series-has a great need to overcome more obstacles in order to make it a commercial success. Overall value, longevity, original identity, and more are all important aspects as to how a shooter can stand out from the crowded Halo/COD market. Although Resistance 2 may have waved the white flag in order to fall in line with other military shooters, Resistance 3 has a geniune offering of classic and new age gameplay.

Upon entering the campaign, you're greeted with a prolouge that shows the last surviving humans now able to combat the Chimeran virus, thanks in part to Nathan Hale. Changing from supporting role in Resistance 2 to lead in Resistance 3, you play as Joseph Capelli. Taking place 4 years after the events of Resistance 2, Joe Capelli is now married, has a boy, and is initially unwavering in his stance to only fight when it's of the most dire need. Upon the arrival of Dr. Malikov and convincing by his wife, Susan, Joseph agrees to take the dangerous journey to New York City. Capelli and Malikov's mission is to destroy a wormhole {funny enough, Malikov coins that term in the Resistance lore} device, in order to save the human race.

What makes the campaign "head and shoulders" above the co-op and competitive MP options in R3 (Resistance 3) is the improved story. The cardboard cutout for most of Resistance 1+2 is replaced by a man that actually has emotional investments throughout his entire journey. A seemingly impossible task, that only the likes of the original Star Wars trilogy were able to maintain, is the sense of awe upon seeing something new from the enemy. In Resistance 3, the new somber tone added in with militaristic roots from it's predecessors pulls this situation into feeling more like you're facing extinction. Scattered radios, audio journals, text journals, and simple interactions with the enviroment all add to the feeling of humanity clawing to stay alive. Although you can be relieved to know this trilogy does have a complete ending (no "to be continued?" tricks at the end), you should also be excited to know that there's a handful of great twists and turns along the way. Although I can't call this a great story overall -in part to the ending that ends a bit too quickly, I can say that it does a great job of presenting the story and adding a deeper mood to the overall atmosphere.

With the recent outings of the Uncharted series and the Killzone series making it's first PS3 entry in 2009, competition has been fierce in regards to finding new ways to up the ante. Fall of Man may have been a best graphics nomination back in 2006, but it's successors haven't seen the same form of treatment. This may not be the next "Avatar of games", but I'm sure most fans will appreciate R3's graphics that fit closer to the mood of movies such as "The Road" or "Book of Eli". Even with the bleak tone in mind, it's sometimes a bit confusing to understand the transition in artstyles of certain bleak landscapes. Another quibble to be had is the stiff facial animations in both in-game and rendered cutscenes. Resistance 3 restricts itself from constantly filling up the screen with huge enemies to a more reserved look on the story to make those few moments have a bigger dramatic effect.

Behind the comback of the weapon wheel, the sound design is one of the biggest standouts to the overall game. By fully realizing Capelli's past, the orchestral sounds imbue a loose connection between desolation and war. This "rubber-banding" of tones really adds to how thorough the planning was for the campaign. The technical design around the weapons comes off as being polished as well, albeit expected. The new weapons vary from explosive to nauseating, which makes your arsenal feel exceptionally balanced. Overall, sound design ranging from voice acting to gruesome deaths are solid; furthermore, R3's capable of winning a few audio awards thanks in large part to the original soundtrack.

Resistance 3's gameplay falls back to its roots, while gathering enough new ideas to refrain detractors from saying "What Resistance 2 should have been". Returning the weapon wheel, changing the health bar to a health wheel (only automatically replenishes in MP), and a slower paced formula that demands shooting improvisation on the fly allow Resistance 3 to stand as something else entirely from the rest of the pack. Adding upon the great selection of weapons is the newly-integrated weapon level. The concept is simple: Through killing enemies with that weapon, each firearm begins to level up, unlocking different abliites. For example, a Level 2 Rossmore Shotgun fires incidniary rounds, as opposed to an unranked shotgun. Fans should be satisfied in knowing they'll be greeted by a game that offers depth and experimentation.

What had become a staple to the series has now been toned down in Resistance 3. Although there's not any boss fight close to the size of the Leviathan, R3's bosses were more of the usual expectation with stalkers, Chimeran gorillas, widowmakers, and a burrowing boss named Satan. As stated before, this actually makes the game feel more focused on its goal towards reaching a conclusion, rather than feeling the need to put X number of bosses in each location. The difficulty curve shifts dramatically up when hybrids and sub-bosses are thrown together. As great as the variety is, R3's AI normally fumbles when the numbers begin to dwindle. Rather than staying cautious, they become angry in the form of just rushing at your location just to be obliarated by a shotgun blast. Conflicting spawns throughout the levels also add up enough for it to be noticeable, although it doesn't break the experience. Resistance 3's design boils down to a few questionable tweaks seen throughout, but is ultimately greatly appreciated for it's variety, tightly-woven objectives, and sense of natural progression.

Adding onto a campaign that will take you around double-digit hours to complete, Resistance 3 boasts a variety of combat and non-combat extras that you can acquire through the means of credits. These extras include replenishable health, AI tweaks, and more. This encouragement for replayability, either with a friend online or splitscreen, make the game go a long way to ensure you'll have a blash with the campaign.

Although seeing the series avoid the reprehensible changes to certain facets of the gameplay, Resistance 3 is not free of any divisive changes. The online aspects of Resistance 3 are bottled down into two disheartening facts: Online Co-op is slashed to 2 players shooting their way through the single player campaign and competitive MP numbers have been cut down to 16 players maximum. This is certainly disappointing to see when considering the 8 player co-op that had an MMO structure could've been something to build upon, possibly making it home to more FPS fans than every other shooters' co-op option(s). To make matters worse, the cooperative campaign is plauged with technical hitches and an absence of any online matchamking at this time; however, it has been taken into account that a patch/title update can instantly eliminate some of these problems. Although this didn't affect the online category by any means, it should be noted that Resistance 3 is the first Sony-published title to include the 'PSN Online Pass' system. The pass printed on the back of the manual is a one-use code that allows your [main] PSN account to use R3's online options in the game.

Although the numbers may feel a bit shallow in comparison to the impressive 60 players of Resistance 2, Resistance 3 has a throughly developed competitive option. Falling more in line with Call of Duty, R3 features rechargeable health, loadouts, and killstreaks. Although limited initially, you're given a good variety of custom loadouts that have a suprising amount of depth that keeps to the Resistance theme. It offers five modes: Team Deathmatch, Chain Reaction, Deathmatch, Breach, and Capture the Flag. Before assuming it's enitrely a "run-of-the-mill" experience, credit must be given for the map design not found in the singleplayer. Although mirrored maps from the SP & MP have afflicted the Resistance series in the past, it's to a much lesser extent in R3. Overall, almost everything has been done before (argueably to a finer polish in other shooters), but it's certainly adds a new vibe that could become the main home for a few shooter fans.

Whereas Resistance 2 seemed to take one step forward and three steps back, Resistance 3 does a better job of pacing itself to regain those steps...until it trips on its own feet. Making a healthy number of gameplay comebacks and adding the likes of 3D and Move support do encourage replayability, but the cuts made to the online options harm it from reaching the great heights the campaign alludes you to believe it can surmount. Despite the fact that this game won't keep you too long, I can still recommend this to the vast majority of FPS fans simply because of the refined brand of gameplay you won't find from any other shooter franchise set to release this year.

coolbeans' *Certified FresH* badge

Score
8.0
Graphics
Although scripted, the destructability during some sections certainly surprised me. Only faults are sections of questionable artsyle and stiff facial animations.
9.0
Sound
To put it simply, I wouldn't be surprised if this wins a few awards in audio design.
8.5
Gameplay
The comeback of the weapon wheel allows you to employ different stratagems to each tense engagement. A few quibbles hold it back from being sublime in a genre full of military shooters.
7.5
Fun Factor
It's great to see Resistance finally have an emotional story that complements the solid backstory. Losing my favorite feature from Resistance 2 makes absolutely no sense, in my opinion.
6.0
Online
In the end, Resistance 3's multiplayer does work; however, the problem revolves around it losing features from previous entries and replacing them with something we've already seen before. Anticipate framerate drops in the competitive multiplayer.
Overall
7.7
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coolbeans2191d ago

Hope everyone enjoyed the review. Like that of rottentomatoes, I do give a few rated 7 games a *Certified fresH* badge depending on the situation. Heck, I'd personally recommend R3 to more people over MW2 (which I gave a 9.0 BUT just a *FresH* badge). If you have a questions, feel free to post in comments section or PM me.

yesmynameissumo2187d ago

Great review man. I just picked this up this weekend. Gonna start playing tonight. Was going to try to replay the first two, but I just can't wait any longer.

BattleAxe2187d ago (Edited 2187d ago )

Good review, although after beating the game and loving it, to playing the multiplayer and hating it, I wouldn't be able to give this game more than a 7/10 at most. While I agree that this is the best single player experience in the series, I didn't like the multiplayer. The micro stutter drove me crazy, and there was a ton of lag. Other than those things, the maps were boring, and it really doesn't feel like much is going on.

I loved Resistance 2's multiplayer. It had to be one of the funnest multiplayer experiences this generation, and the co-op was amazing too. Taking matchmaking out of Resistance 3's co-op was just a stupid move on Insomniac's part. I was so pissed off with how Insomniac destroyed the multiplayer portion of the game, that I've now officially given up on the Resistance series. If Insomniac can't solidify the series after 3 games, then its a waste of time. I've also given up on the Killzone series too, as none of them(including Killzone 1) have been much more than graphical tech demos.

As a huge Sony fan, this year has been brutal to say the least, because not only have Resistance 3 and Killzone 3 both sucked, but one of my favorite franchises of all time which goes by the name of SOCOM, had its latest installment released this year called SOCOM 4. and it was a complete disaster. Socom 4 didn't resemble anything close to a SOCOM game.

I find it funny how the media were scoring early PS3 exclusives like Resistance: FoM, Heavenly Sword and Uncharted: Drake's Fortune too low, and now Insomniac, Guerrilla Games are churning out pure crap and getting rewarded for it by the media. The only good thing that the media did this year was call Socom 4 what it really was, that being a steaming turd. With the exception of Uncharted, Infamous, God of War, LBP and Gran Turismo, the quality of Sony's exclusives are going downhill...................... .............................. . ...............and I'm not going to take it anymore! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

TheDivine2191d ago

Good reviews on r2 and r3. I loved the campaign in R3 even though it was shorter than r1 and r2 and the ending sucked lol. The story was told very well and the atmoshere was amazing. It did feel like the road, a very lonely journey and i liked that it felt like the world was struggling to survive. I didnt try the online because of the pass so i wont even comment on it. It definately needed some more extras imo, couldve used a hoard mode, theater, bots or something to add more replayability but its a great game and the co-op was really good. The extra unlocks after you beat it will make for a fun replay. Its well worth playing and the best in the series imo. You seem to be dissapointed they changed the co-op and multiplayer though, i enjoy campaign co-op more but it wouldve been nice to keep the 8 player also from sections like r2 it was super fun.

smashcrashbash2191d ago

I don't understand what does the pass have to do with you if you brought it new? Why does everyone keep saying that. It doesn't apply to you at all.

dinkeldinkse2191d ago

But it sounds like TheDivine rented it.

What I am 100 percent sure of is that I'll be renting this sometime soon.

coolbeans2191d ago

I clocked in about 10 hours on medium difficulty. There's enough replayability to go back through the campaign twice or thrice.

Miiikeyyy2190d ago

I finished it in 6 hours on difficult, but I'm replaying it on superhuman now

BattleAxe2187d ago

I beat the campaign in 7 1/2 hours on medium difficulty.

SLLCKGT2191d ago

Nice review. I personally love this game for mainly 2 reasons which are carried from R1: Weapon wheel and no health regeneration. I can no longer hide behind cover in any other FPS like a little girl and wait for my health to recover and expect the same adrenaline you feel when you're playing this game on hard mode let alone superhuman with 25% health remaining and deciding which of the 12 weapons is best to use to kill your way to the health pack. Seriously you can play COD on veteran mode all you want fact is your health regenerates. This is a great experience everyone should play this.

TheMrMadzen2191d ago (Edited 2191d ago )

10/10 in my book cause it's destroys all competition(FPS)
People who say, that it copied that, that and that needs to stop whining.
The multiplayer is really fun and balanced and the frame-rate issues have been fixed already. The kill-streaks may not be totally unique(some are), but what the hell can be totally unique now? Every idea has been taken. It could not have been made any different unless it had gone back to the roots, which would have been quite stupid(It does have a "bare bones" mode, where kill-streaks etc. are disabled)
Oh and it has the best fucking campaign ever!

coolbeans2191d ago (Edited 2191d ago )

Last time I played it (last weekend), I was running into framerate problems during every other match. In the end, I accounted the framerate similar to that of Gears 2: Problems may get ironed out, but the infrastructure will always remain flawed.

I'm not asking for online components to become "bare bones", just be different from the competition. R1 and R2 had 40 and 60 player max counts, respectively. That's still something hardly seen in console shooters today. I can agree that R3's competitive online is above mediocre (5.0) thanks to the nuances like unique killstreaks and perks that are Resistance-themed.

Take note that a *Certified FresH* badge holds almost as much weight as a 10/10. I'm really confident that the vast majority of FPS' + Resistance fans will enjoy Resistance 3.

cobblestone192184d ago

I accidentally disagreed with you. Resistance 3 is a damn good game. 9.5/10

SilentNegotiator2190d ago

Resistance 3's campaign was one of the best I've played in a while. A lot of it made me feel like I was playing the child of Half-life 1 and Resistance:FOM.

But it's a massive shame the way they slaughtered the multiplayer and turned it into Call of Resistance.

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