Bundles of Joy: Resistance

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.

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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.

Also out today is the Uncharted bundle.

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15 Comments

  1. I don’t know what it is exactly, but I really don’t get on that well with resistance. The first was quite good, but that was back at a time when there really wasn’t much else to play. The single player of the second was just boring, seen and done it all before countless times in other better Fps games. I hate the multiplayer, I seriously don’t enjoy playing as the chimera. I just don’t see what r3 is going to do to make it stand out from the million other Fps games out there.

    • Well, for one thing, there’s no more recharging health which will make a very nice change from the norm.

      I believe they’re also going back to R1’s big wheel of guns, letting you carry many more than 2 at the same time.

      So it’ll be interesting.

      • Still own both originals. Awesome games. Love em.

  2. Nice article. Resistance was my second game on the PS3 back in 2007, and is still one of the best games I have played. The story was great, the way it was set in the UK was even better, it had amazing visuals for the time, the enemies and weapons were so well designed……the list goes on. However, what really made it was of my favourite games was the online and local coop. Both were great fun, the rooftops map and Somerset maps with up to 60 players were havoc but so exciting! And being able to customise your player was also very cool. I remember entering a game with 60 players all with rocket launchers, simply the most fun I have ever had gaming. The second resistance, still great on the single player frontier but awful in the online aspect, i just think they went too sci-fi with all the shields and weaponry which really stood out from the environment, it just didnt feel right. However, the Chicago and San Francisco level in the SP were brilliant.

    • I agree 100% with every word. R:FOM was and still is an excellent game. Online with mates is fantastic fun.

    • Except it was a max of 40 players in MP. Resistance 2 had upto 60 players :p

  3. i’ve got resistance 2, and i really have to finish it one day, so i wouldn’t be as interested in this one as i would for the uncharted pack.
    but it’s a good deal for those who don’t have either game.

  4. I bought Resistance for the third time last week (€5) and i’ve also borrowed R2 from a mate, plan on giving them both another playthrough before the third one launches… well that’s the plan… just need to find the time.. :)

  5. Want a real challenge? Play superhuman co-op on R2! ;)

  6. I have such a soft spot for Fall of Man. I’ve played it through, on split-screen co-op, over ten times. I think on the tenth play through there’s a message at the end of the game saying something along the lines of “Congratulations! Insomniac could do with testers like you” simply because we’d hammered the game so much. :-)

    *happy sigh* Such awesome weapons. The Auger. The backlash grenades. An absolute joy to use.

  7. Im currently playing throught resistance 2 for the first time at the moment after picking it up for a fiver. First level was a bit slow but iv really enjoyed it since then and its a decent lenght as well. not completed it yet but dont think im far away.

    Its also quite solid as well, some off the battle with titans etc seem impossible at first glance and its enjoyable if frustrating having to work out a strategy to defeat them.

    Visuals wise its a mixed bag, worth remembering that the game was released in 2008 and in that regard they really impress at times. The level where you attack the bunkers looks really pretty and you certainly cant complain about the variety off the visuals either however some sections off levels can look quite bland.

    All in all resistance 2 is a great game and been good enough to make the decison for me to but resistance 3, especially since it has move support(just hope they visited gureilla games for advice on how to implement it)

  8. OMG, another bundle of games that i stopped playing and totally forgot about after the first game!!
    the first game was an excellent joy to play, both MP and SP… why did i stop playing some awesome game series!??
    i must be insane!!!!

  9. I think you had to play it first time to appreciate it. I bought it recently 2nd hand for £3 and think it is terrible compared to most other FPS. The handling is just off, motion is slow, enemy’s badly designed – they take bullet after bullet from you and shoot back while they are being hit (I hate that in gaming) – design flaws and the level design is so plain and simple.

    Reminds me of FEAR. When I first played a demo I thought it was brilliant – then 2 years later I bought it cheap and it just felt like a budget game with about 3 different colours throughout.

    I hope Resistance3 is an improvement.

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