Out of all the games available for the PS3 at launch, it wasn’t very difficult to figure out which one was the star of the show. With an interesting story, immersive gameplay and mind-bending weapon choices, Resistance: Fall of Man clearly stands out from the crowd for the foreseeable future on the PS3.
You start the game as an American soldier named Nathan Hale. The Chimera, a race of unknown origin whom were first found in Siberia, conquered Russia during the mid 1930’s in the lead up to World War II. At the time, it wasn’t apparent what exactly had happened. Russia was silent; nothing about the country was known to the outside world. As such, the world was oblivious to the threat of the Chimera — until they launched a serious Resistance: Fall of Man Review 1assault on Europe, at least. They targetted the continent’s weak points and left the British Isles isolated. After a few years the Chimera make their way to the British Isles by tunneling under the English channel. Though the British government had prepared for such an invasion, the Chimera were too numerous and it isn’t long before the people and government are forced into hiding.
The Americans, in their (historically accurate) mentality of isolation, have set up an exchange with the now in hiding British government: they give America their "secret weapon", (anymore detail here would constitute a spoiler), in exchange for American support via vehicles and logistics. You are part of the assault team which lands in a rendezvous gone terribly wrong, and leave the only survivor.
Throughout the game, the characters and story continue to grow on you, providing impetus to continue with your genocide of anything Chimera.
Insomniac is well known for their quirky and unique games, including Ratchet & Clank and Spyro the Dragon. This vein of creativity and variety shines through in this addition to the First Person Shooter genre. The weapons in this game really make it enjoyable. Sniping in this game is far more satisfying than in any other First Person Shooter I have ever played, due to their unique implementation of the "focus" ability. You simply hold down the secondary fire button, and you focus your shot for a short period of time, turning the screen slightly monochromatic, and slowing down time to allow you to better judge your shot. Hailstorm is another unique addition. It fires subsonic bullets, allowing them to ricochet off hard surfaces instead of penetrating them. The Auger, which tunnels through solid objects and increases in power the more solid matter it passes through, is a weapon that will make you swear like a sailor when you run into a Chimera fielding this gun.
You will never get very far in this game if you don’t learn to wield the unique variety of grenades which the game has. There are many points in the game in which a grenade tossed properly will save you over half your health.
Another fun addition to the game is the achievements built into the single-player experience. In each level there are a few achievements which will award you with varying amount of skill points. Once you accumulate enough Resistance: Fall of Man skill points, you can get rewards which will help you through the game. These achievements are simply titled "Skill Points", and unlike XBox 360 games, you will not be able to share achievements online across the Playstation Network. Getting them does directly help you however, and let’s be honest, who isn’t entertained by trying to kill three Chimera with one grenade, or taking on a boss with nothing but the default rifle?
The game also has a great co-op mode, however, disappointingly, you may only play co-op on split screen; there is no online co-op option.
Online multiplayer play in Resistance offers something that is truly stunning for the infancy of the Playstation Network though. The map designs are excellent, there is a ranking system built in to the game, similar to Battlefield 2, and your customization options when creating a game are excellent. You can scale maps for numbers of player, limit who can join, or choose your game type.
Speaking of game types, that’s another huge win for Resistance. While online play includes the standard Deathmatch type of games, you also get to enjoy Breach (where you destroy the opposing base), Capture The Flag, Conversion (kind of like a "king of the hill"), Team Deathmatch and Meltdown (think Battlefield 2 base control). And if you’ve run out of fun fooling around with the game types you can always play with more (up to 40) or less (as few as 16) players, change up the weapon choice, or even join a clan with support of up to 200 players.
The game is challenging to be sure, but not unbreakable for new gamers. I myself admire the XBox 360 controller for First Person Shooters, however, the PS3 controller genuinely surprised me with its ease of use in the game. The L and R buttons are dramatically more helpful and useful, and this game shows that in a commanding way. With ease you can do things such as shake of Chimera who have grabbed a hold of you by intuitively shaking the controller, or bring up the multiplayer rankings menu by tilting your controller to the right.
The game has a fairly gentle learning curve if you utilize the difficulty settings properly. Anyone should be able to complete easy without too much trouble, and hard will challenge you to make every bullet and side-step count. Don’t expect constant action though. This game thrives on setting an eerie mood fit for the story line, and part of that is that there will be times where there are no enemies anywhere nearby. The first time I played through this kept me very tense — I was expecting to by ambushed by gigantic aliens around every blind corner, and there were several times I just plain didn’t want to venture inside a building because it felt creepy. The single player mode could have been slightly longer, however if you attempt to "complete" the game by picking up all of the hidden pieces of intelligence (which will reveal aspects of the story you otherwise couldn’t gather) you will easily spend over 20 hours on this game in single player mode alone. The vehicles in the game are fun to use, but nearly invulnerable. The only time I ever died inside a vehicle was when I was using one of the enemies vehicles. Fortunately, the vehicles in this game are not freely available, and very little of the game is spent commanding anything motorized.
Overall, the game is excellent for a first generation game, and stellar for a launch title. This is not a game I would go out and buy a PS3 just to play, however, anyone who does have a PS3 should seriously consider this as a future purchase. The game is rated M for Mature, and due to the excellent job that Insomniac did on the ambiance and animations, they aren’t kidding. No one prone to nightmares should pick up this game unless you are with others and the lights are turned on. Additionally, the British soldiers have somewhat dirty mouths. Go figure. All in all, this is one of the only games available at launch that I can look at and say, "Alright, I’ll buy that while it’s still $60 USD."