Launch titles aren’t always remembered for their finer qualities, more a way of ensuring new adopters to a console have something to play rather than something to cherish. But the PlayStation 3 had a couple of big hitters – MotorStorm was (and still is) rather brilliant and Insomniac’s Resistance, a first person shooter with a real sense of character from a studio normally known for cute platformers like Spyro The Dragon, still looks and plays great today.[drop2]Perhaps it’s the feeling of locality that really struck home – darting around the UK is always appealing, whether it’s behind the wheel of a Renault 5 in a rally game or – as in this case – behind the iron sights of all manner of devastating weaponry and there wasn’t anything that impressed as much as the assault on Manchester, the sheer number of enemies and the massive scale of the mission unrivalled since.
But Resistance wasn’t about shock and awe, it was about humanity, and it worked because of that. Hale was a clever choice for a number of reasons, and his journey across Britain (and ultimately, into America for the sequel) was a story well worth investing in. Insomniac’s omnipresent notion that the human race was rapidly being taken over was very forgotten on the wider scale but the developers also managed to keep things focused and central on the player – you were crucial to the plot, but could you really save everyone?
Is the double pack still worth picking up today? Absolutely. Like the Uncharted duo, the two Resistance games are still utterly playable and despite the first being released way back in 2006 it’s hardly bad looking and the few stand-out battles that impressed at the PS3’s launch still do so now. Sure, the Call of Duty titles have ramped up the wow factor but there’s something gritty and down to earth about Resistance, and the co-op mode is still great fun with a friend even if the once amazing multiplayer has quietened down considerably.
But besides, like I said with Resistance 3, you’re playing this for the guns. Because they’re so smartly designed they’re distinct enough to be useful throughout the games, rather than the player abandoning the lesser powered ones along the way like we’re conditioned to do from years of me-too shooters. The Bullseye is such a clever, creative gun that it almost feels like it should be in the hands of Ratchet rather than Hale, its lock-on tags making light work of anything that thinks moving is defense enough.
Resistance 2 ups the ante considerably, but changed enough of the core mechanics to warrant some upset for fans. I feel this was all overblown – the second game’s an obvious follow-on, tweaking the weapons, pushing the visuals harder and moving across the pond presented entirely new environments that I thought fitted nicely. The limitation of two guns at a time and regenerating health, Halo-style, didn’t really work though, and prevented some of the key experimentation that the first (and third) in the series was so good at.
But they’re both great games, and totally deserved of your time. With mates, they’re even better, and so if you’ve not yet tried the Resistance series and want to get up to speed before the next one is released, today’s as good a day as any.