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Resistance 2 Eyes-on

The lights dimmed, the door closed behind us and Insomniac’s Ted Price stepped up beside the incredibly large HDTV before us. The logo for Resistance 2 popped up and I knew the moment was finally here. Price started explaining what they’ve been doing lately and discussing the choices they’ve made. He started off by showing us the opening movie of the game, which was essentially an amalgam of the end of Resistance: Fall of Man and the start of Resistance 2 in order to create a continuous story between the two games.

One of the first things I took note of during this sequence was the fact that the dynamic lighting was vastly superior to the original. I know that this is an entirely new game, but the new lighting effects actually felt like this was not only a new rendition of the title but a new franchise altogether. The opening sequence doesn’t give much away, but it gives you a starting point. Insomniac Games has been using the Innersense Mo-cap technology in order to view scenes as they happen. This new technology (also used in Beowulf) helped make the experience that much better.

Resistance 2 is told through the eyes of Nathan Hale this time around without the need of a narrator. The story is predominately focused on his perspective and as a result I felt this improved the narrative, resulting in a greater attachment to Hale’s character. The Chicago Leviathan level that we’ve come to witness over the past few week’s is approximately halfway through the game itself. Indeed, one thing Insomniac is trying to do is create an expansive FPS experience that isn’t neglected to traversing through various generic hallways.

Price then went on to joke about how he almost died several times on-stage during the Sony Press Conference on Tuesday. He also explained how the true test behind the Leviathan was to make him believable and to make him be able to interact with the environment. They also worked really hard on trying to make the beast look great from far away and up close and personal. When you see Price run up the steps of that Chicago building, he’s doing this because in the finalized version, the structure will be going up in flames.

While trying to show us a quiet moment of the Chicago level, the Leviathan creeps up out of nowhere and throws Price across the level into the node he was targeting. We’re then shown the start of the Chicago level and the water dynamics that are featured within the title. The ‘Water 1.0” has full refraction, full wakes, full reflection and all still objects will create wakes as well. The city itself has been under Chimeran control for the past two years, so it isn’t in the best shape possible.

We were then shown how the light scattering made the details that much more refined and how the added color made it a much more believable experience. Your A.I. teammates don’t just stare at walls either; they actually contribute and take down the Chimera effectively. This was also the point in time where we got to finally see the “High Explosive Magnum” which is a new one-shot weapon. This gun displayed how you can blow your enemies into tiny bits and create body chunks going flying. The high explosive Magnum also has the ability to detonate its ammo supply. By this, you can eliminate a Chimera with a single round, and while he’s down and out on the ground, you’ll be able to detonate that bullet and dispatch any nearby enemies for the price of a single shot. This will not only save on ammo but creates some strategic elements as well.

For those of you wondering if that San Francisco teaser video displaying 100s of Chimeran warships was recorded in-game, then yes, it was. The entire skyline is dynamically moving in order to create a more authentic design. Though some portions of this level were not completed, the look and feel that San Francisco gave me was chilling. Price mentioned this level was still undergoing tweaks, but I thought it still looked amazing.

The Hybrids have evolved and start to use tactics you previously used against them, against you. Another new weapon is the Marksmen, which is a sniper rifle with the ability to shoot three shots one after the other. The secondary fire for the Marksmen is like an electrified smart bomb, and though it is still in the rough phases of development, it looks like it will be a great addition to the weaponry selection. This is where the eyes-on the actual game ended and the community aspects were explained.

Insomniac Games takes fan feedback seriously and feels it helps create a much better product for consumers in general. This time around the official MyResistance website will include MySpace like profiles for players that display badges, RSS Feeds, etc. Everything seems to revolve around the idea of customization and the ability to set up your page as you see fit. In particular, one of the things they seemed to stick to was the fact that updates would be more regular and quicker in terms of stats.

Resistance 2 has shown such a vast improvement over its predecessor that I was completely blown away. Insomniac has truly put a lot of attention and work into making their third generation title something special and it definitely shined through during this closed-door session.

Resistance 2 is due out exclusively on PlayStation 3 later this year.