Evolution of Resistance

Developed by Insomniac Games, Resistance 2 is on its way to be one of the biggest exclusives released on the PlayStation 3. Being the third title to release from Insomniac for the PS3, we’d like to take a look at the evolution of the game’s graphics since its beginning. The first photos compare images from the first build of Resistance known as Project I-8, and lead up to the first new screenshots of Resistance 2. Click the images to enlarge.

As you see in the images above the engine has progressed in providing higher quality textures, larger color palette, normal maps, and shading. Also lighting and shadows have been improved. You will notice that from I-8 to the final product they added such things as self-shadows, where non-static characters in the environment cast shadows on themselves and other objects. This is just one of the small yet notable graphical upgrades you will probably see improved on more in Resistance 2.

Also with technology constantly advancing, we probably see differed rendering and full screen anti aliasing when Resistance 2 releases.

Another graphical upgrade you will notice is the use of texture streaming. The first Resistance as you all know didn’t use the technology, so Insomniac had to make choices about where they spent their high-res textures. Then during the development of Ratchet and Clank Future: Tools of Destruction, Insomniac added the feature to their game engine.

"Starting with Ratchet and Clank Future: Tools of Destruction we are supporting texture streaming, which will make the worlds look even better, and will also consume even more space on disc," wrote Brian Hastings, Insomniac’s chief creative officer. "With streamed textures, streamed geometry and streamed audio, even with compression, you can quickly approach 1GB of data per level."

With the first Resistance hitting 17.5 GB in size, it will be amazing to see how large Insomniac will make Resistance 2.

Lastly we’d like to point out that Insomniac is going to great lengths to put as much action on the screen as possible. As you see above, not only will you be fighting dozens of Chimera soldiers but building size Goliaths as well.

In an interview with VideoGamer, Brian Hastings goes over the technology and procedures they used to fit all of the action into Ratchet and Clank Future at 60fps, which we can only assume will get better in Resistance 2.

"The tech and gameplay teams have moved tons of things over to the SPUs that used to run on the PPU. Collision and physics are entirely running on SPUs now, which allows us to put much more on the screen at once than we were able to with Resistance. Moving more and more code to the SPUs is an ongoing process and I think we’ll continue to see major benefits from this for several more years," said Hastings.

This is probably the reason why Insomniac is pushing multiplayer from 40 to 60-player matches, and two-player to eight-player co-op. They have spent enough time with the Cell architecture to understand how it works and how to optimize their games for it.

With Resistance 2 still far off from release, you can bet on seeing even more improvements over the course of the next few months. Until then, you can help out on the Insomniac forums by letting the developers know what you want to see in your Resistance sequel.