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Sean Pettibone

Review

Resistance 3 Screen shotResistance 3 (Playstation 3)

This PS3 exclusive series has delivered two solidly entertaining previous installments, now Insomniac Games has finished the trilogy in the form of Resistance 3. The new game takes up where the last ended, and features a new main character who isnít that much different than the first. This time, you begin in the center of the US and try and fight your way to New York City to defeat the Chimera once and for all. R3 doesnít diverge too far from the established formula, but adds some cool new weapons and some epic boss battles to keep players interested. Itís a fairly solid shooter, but is that enough to make it stand out from the pack? Look inside and find out

Taking place directly after the events of Resistance 2, the latest installment focuses on a new hero who takes the place of Nathan Hale, who sacrificed himself at the end of the last game. Resistance 3 sheds the urban locales of the first two games initially and begins in the Midwest with a small town facing off against the evil space invaders from the first two titles. They havenít changed much in appearance or attack forms, but they seem a little more aggressive this time around. In addition to the standard waves of attackers, there are some new ones who fly around and some massive boss creatures as well. The storyline is typically apocalyptic and sees the Chimera upping the ante with massive Earth terraforming devices and huge stalkers that wipe out anything in their path. All this means that the Chimera are apparently ready for the final stage of attack against the remnants of humanity. This isnít too far from what is expected and the attackers havenít really gained much in the way of subtlety. Once it becomes apparent that anything in their way is about to be wiped out, the mission becomes one of evacuation, and then the real journey through the country begins. Stopping in St. Louis and other locations, your eventual goal is to defeat a huge tower in the center of New York, which may end the Chimera invasion once and for all. You canít really change the course of the narrative during the single-player mode, which means this is typical play through once action that doesnít offer much variation, except in terms of difficulty settings. Even then, the change in skill needed isnít very steep, so you might as well enjoy the cinematic approach and play on the gameís medium setting. As far as FPS mechanics go, Resistance 3 doesnít stray very far from the previous games since its controls donít challenge and FPS conventions. In that way, the game is very traditional, but there are a few twists in the formula to keep things interesting.

While most FPS titles offer limited resources in the weapons and ammo they give you, Resistance 3 gives players a huge arsenal to battle back against the Chimera. This helps to set the game apart from the other titles on the market. These weapons include the standard array of shotguns, rifles and grenades. Some of these are more powerful than others. Whatís cool about the gameís system is that it allows you to switch between many different weapons using a guide wheel, so you arenít limited in your attacks. Each weapon has both a standard fire and secondary mode. You can use them against the Chimera as you wish, but some have specific abilities and some are more effective at close range while others require a longer distance. One of the most impressive guns in Resistance 3 is a device which includes an auto-target feature. When you target a specific invader, it allows you to trace an opponentís movements and train your fire on them directly, which is quite helpful in taking down some of the more aggressive enemies. Using these gadgets at just the right moment is the key to survival and knowing where ammo dumps lie also increases your odds. The chimera are relentless and attack you in huge waves, so youíll not only need skill in terms of shot accuracy, but also plenty of endurance. If you feel overwhelmed at points, you can duck behind an object such as a car or a crate which can give you some shelter, but be careful since some of the chimera have weapons that can shoot straight through your cover.. Another divergence from most recent FPS titles, you donít automatically regenerate health and need to find health packs in order to boost your energy, which makes the game more challenging, and occasionally frustrating. However, the real fun comes when you pick it up and use it against them. Add in a cool vision mode that lets you see and subsequently shoot through solid objects and you have quite an effective weapon. Another weapon called the Bullseye lets you set up shields that offer temporary protection against attacking foes. This is fairly cool but, be warned, the AI is much smarter this time and the Chimera will easily flank you, leaving you vulnerable to attacks. The gameís selection and firing is excellent, and those who played the previous Resistance titles will feel right at home this time around.

In terms of story and gameplay, Resistance 3ís overall pacing is a bit uneven, certain points in the game create a dramatic cinematic effect, where you feel like youíre in the center of an epic battle for your very survival. Other sections feel claustrophobic and trimmed in, which makes for an inconsistent experience. While there are some dramatic boss sequences, there are many sections that feel like a slog, where your mission basically consists of grinding through seemingly endless waves of look-alike enemies. Notching up victories during battles earns you a few upgrades and abilities here and there, but the gameís linear approach means you never get the chance to go back and try the new skills out on easier sections. Shooting waves of invaders can become tedious after awhile, but the game introduces new enemies, such as drones and mutated Chimera to keep your interest level high. Youíll also find scattered audio diaries, much as in Bioshock, that help you understand the back story of the invasion and the humansí response to it better. These add some depth to the storyline, but not that much. Most of the game involves shooting at foes on the ground, though there are some sections where you can snipe at opponents and a few interesting sequences where youíre on a moving object that help to break up the standard mission structure. You canít really see the big picture all the time, but the game definitely opens up after a pretty dull midsection. The intensity definitely ratchets up as you play through the game, and this increasing level of challenge reaches it apex as you get closer to New York. Resistance 3 has a fairly decent look about it, with a realistic-looking desolated landscape ravaged by the ongoing war and over-run by many smaller bugs and creatures.

From an aesthetic point of view, Resistance 3 offers an interesting approach, with its blend of 1950ís era landscapes and alien technology, it really helps to make you feel like the odds are long and the deck is stacked against you. Its visuals look fairly good and thereís a good consistency to its environments. The game moves at a good frame rate throughout, with nicely detailed animations and designs of the Chimera and their brethren. The sound effects are effective in bringing the intensity of the invasion to life, but the gameís voice-acting leaves something to be desired. The characters feel a little bit under-developed, which makes it hard to indentify with them. The plot is fairly simple as well, but is still engaging. The gameís production values are in line with previous installments. In addition to the standard FPS game, there are also several multiplayer modes included and the game also supports the Move motion controller, but these features are merely sideshows that distract from the main experience. If youíre tired of these types of games, Resistance 3 will do little to change your mind, but if you enjoy FPS titles, itís a slick and enjoyable title that delivers solid shooting action with an engaging plot and some interesting weapons choices that keep things interesting.

- Michael Palisano

Grade: B

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