Posted by John on September 12, 2011

Review: Resistance 3 is a great game

There really haven’t been many great shooting video games released so far this year. We’re about to get flooded with some seemingly outstanding titles, but so far it’s been slim pickings for gamers looking to play a game that offers both great action and storytelling.

Resistance 3, released last week exclusively for the PlayStation 3, is the first shooting game to come close to greatness this year. The game is developed by Insomniac Games and published by Sony. It retails for $59.99.

The game picks the story up exactly where the second one left off. Nathan Hale, the hero of the first two games, is out of the picture but the war against the Chimera rages on.

In Resistance 3 you will play as Joe Capelli. There really isn’t anything special about him. He doesn’t have superpowers or any otherwise distinguishing abilities. He is, in fact, a shamed soldier sent back to life with the common folk.

Capelli is quickly thrown into the battle when the Chimera attack his town and he decides to risk everything for a chance to finally defeat the alien race that has inhabited earth.

This is where I think the Resistance 3 story is miles ahead of the previous games. Capelli is very simply a man on a mission with everything to lose. Insomniac does a brilliant job of telling a story of redemption and perseverance through the eyes of this flawed warrior. The developer mixes overwhelming battles and very personal moments to take you from Oklahoma to the climatic end in New York.

Capelli gets to NYC with the help of some pretty powerful weapons. All of the favorites are there, including the Rossmore shotgun, Auger, and the Magnum. One of the great things about the weapons is that you keep them as you go about unlocking them. Plus they’re automatically upgraded as you use them and the secondary fire will get you out of a few tight spots. Sci-Fi shooting games have a tendency to rely on lasers and other hokey weapons. R3 manages to walk the line between alien weaponry and good old fashion bullets.

The reason that the story plays out so nicely is because the game is almost perfectly paced. That’s important because shooters can feel rushed when developers focus a little too much on the chaos and not enough on developing a character.

We learn tons about Capelli because of the missions and situations that Insomniac puts him in. There is one environment late in the game that really slows the story down long enough to remember that Joe is making his way through a lawless and violent America but feels compelled to help when it can.

Resistance 3 offers a multiplayer environment that includes customizable classes, upgrades, profiles, and some very fast-paced modes. The cooperative campaign feature is awesome and adds hours of replay value to the game.

But that all gets overshadowed by an online mode that is still a little too laggy and that can leave you dumping bullets into an opponent in the hopes of getting a kill.

Those things can be patched or fixed, though. And most Sci-Fi shooters require a few more bullets to get a kill. What I found to be really frustrating was that it didn’t take very long for matches to turn into a battle of perks and secondary abilities.

There were many occasions where I got into firefights with multiple enemies who were running behind a shield or who were cloaked. This will only worsen as more players start to unlock these abilities. This might just again be a problem with Sci-Fi shooters. But it’s still a problem.

Overall

Resistance 3 is so much better than the previous franchise installment that it genuinely surprised me. The story is far more personal and filled with very human moments of triumph and sacrifice. The cut scenes are beautifully done and the action can be intense. This is one of the better single player games I’ve seen this year.

Just don’t expect the same greatness to carry over to the multiplayer mode. There are moments of fun to be had, for sure. But the lagging, hit detection, and endless players running around with shields just proved too much for me to take past reaching level 10 in rank. PS3 owners should still experience this game.

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