Monday, January 8, 2007
Good: Variety of weapons, online play, co-op
Bad: Not terribly original
Say what you will about the obvious ugliness of the Playstation 3 launch, but it could be argued that there's a slightly better line-up this time around. Sure, it was filled with multiplatform titles that actually looked worse than their respective 360 versions, but at least the PS3 features one solid exclusive in Resistance: Fall of Man.
There is no revolutionary new feature or gameplay innovation in Resistance, it's simply a very well-made and polished first-person shooter. The standard campaign lasts a decent amount of time, and can be played through with a friend in co-op play (which greatly improves the experience).
Set in a alternate-universe post-WWII environment, mankind has been taken over by a frightening alien race known as the Chimera. There really isn't anything in the narrative that will glue you to your television, but it does a decent job of getting you from level to level.
Your health regenerates, but only in quarter segments. Once you lose an entire segment of health, it's impossible to recharge it without the use of a pickup. Because of this, it's important to get into the habit of seeking cover whenever a segment is low.
Gameplay primarily consists of running from point to point, blasting anything that's not human. Vehicular segments pop up from time to time, but they're few and far between. There really isn't any attempt to do introduce anything new to the genre, as the focus is squarely on constant action.
It's all standard FPS fare, but Resistance introduces its fair share of interesting weapons. One of my favorites is the Bullseye, which shoots out a tag that draws in future bullets. Tag a Chimera directly, and you can safely hide around a corner and still connect with your shots. Other weapons shoot explosive bubbles, hovering turrets, and rounds that pass through walls. Thanks to the Ratchet & Clank series, Insomniac obviously has experience with creating unique weapons. These skills are immediately apparent when playing through Resistance, and it's a better game because of it.
Other titles may have had problems getting online play ready in time for the launch, but Resistance soars during multiplayer. Up to 40 players can compete online, and I never noticed even the slightest indication of lag in over 100 matches. Depending on the game type and settings, you'll assume control of either the humans or the Chimera. They're very similar, but the Chimera can enter "rage mode" which allows you to see through walls and run faster. On the other side of that coin, the humans have access to a basic radar that will show enemy locations.
The PS3 may not feature the well-received Achievement point system, but Resistance does a good job of rewarding the player. Gaining XP through online play will rank you up and present you with new uniforms and accessories. It's nice to be in the middle of a fast-paced match and immediately recognize a player's skill level just by glancing at their clothes.
For all the talk we've heard (from Sony) regarding the massive power of the system, Resistance doesn't really do anything that the 360 couldn't. Everything looks sharp in hi-def, and the framerate stays solid, but most gamers are going to expect more out of a $600 system. All of the weapons and explosions sound great in 5.1 surround, but it doesn't quite achieve that hectic level of immersion seen in games like Call of Duty.
If it weren't for this game, the PS3 launch would have been much more of a debacle than it already was. Because of Resistance, however, purchasers of the system have access to a launch title that is better than Halo in virtually every aspect.
First Play: 9.0
Replay Value: 9.0