Warning: May contain Resistance 3 spoilers.
One of the joys of spending nearly forty hours flying to and from Hawaii is that you have plenty of time to read so, in a TSA world first, I present two reviews, the first written 30,000 feet above the Pacific, the second 30,000 ft above the Atlantic. As we ascend to our cruising level with Honolulu behind us and 5,000 miles of Pacific before mainland USA, lets take a look at ‘Resistance: Hole In The Sky’.
I say ‘may’ contain spoilers as I have played very little of the Resistance 3 campaign so far and, as the book serves as a prequel to that title, it is somewhat of a shock to discover that Nathan Hale has a number of lines.
There’s no indication in the book whether this bodiless version of Hale is a figment of Joseph’s imagination or some Chimera weirdness that will result in Hale returning during the course of the game via a Bones/Spock mind meld. Whatever the eventual outcome, this is not the Nathan Hale we know. He’s bitter, spiteful and downright nasty. After being executed by his best pal he may have some reason to be a little peeved, but the massive shift in character from hero to grumpy ghost is hard to swallow.
With Ghost-Hale aboard, the book explores the tale of Capelli who has been discharged from the army after the incident (apparently the Army frowns on blowing out your best friend’s brains) and spends his time as a runner, delivering packages across the wasteland previously known as the United States of America. The ruined landscape is as much a character as Joseph and writer William C. Dietz has done a wonderful job describing the destroyed cities and desolate countryside.
The plot zips along at a fair pace but does seem to take its cues from computer games – Go to point A, collect item B, go to point C, protect donkey D – and drops in numerous battles with both Chimera and humans. New characters include Nathan Hale’s sister and Doctor Malikov, one of the main characters in Resistance 3, makes a few brief appearances.
All your favourite Chimera appear during the course of the tale and many weapons from the series are used, I was particularly impressed when the Alt-fire modes of weapons were accurately described.
Overall ‘Resistance: Hole In The Sky’ is one of the better tie in novels as it nicely fills in the missing months between Resistance 2 and 3, this should be an essential purchase for fans.
With the Pacific behind me and twelve hour stop over in Chicago (where it’s a stupid 102 degrees), it’s time for the final ten hour trip across the Atlantic in the company of the tie in novel for Rage, cunningly entitled ‘Rage’.
Now, I’ve played a good few hours of Rage so was rather disappointed to find the tie-in novel recounts this portion of the game, step for step. Admittedly, it does flesh out the plot considerably but as I knew what was going to happen it was a real struggle trying to finish the book. The author Matthew J. Costello also wrote the script for the game and it appears that the novel is just an expanded version of that text.[drop2]The first few chapters deal with the world before the 2029 Apophis meteorite impact and follow Nicolas Raine, a soldier who is chosen by his superiors to be cryogenically frozen in an ‘Ark’, the aim being to restart the human race a hundred years in the future. Why Raine was chosen is never clear, the book states that the residents of the Arks have been chosen for the skills the can contribute post-meteor. Raine appears to be a generic jar-head and only the injection of ‘nanotrites’ give him an edge when he eventually wakes up.
Story aside, I found the novel rather hard to read as Costello has a rather abrupt style of writing and there are an awful lot of short sentences.
It’s quite annoying.
You should try reading a whole book.
It gets very tedious.
And quite tiring.
If every sentence.
If I go any further in to the plot I will spoil the game, conversely if you play the game and then read the book, there are very few surprises. This makes the Rage tie-in novel a bit of a gooseberry, you really should not read it before playing the game and I can only recommend it to die-hard Rage fans. It’s not a bad novel by any means, it’s just totally pointless if you’re planning on playing the game.
That concludes the world first “double ocean game tie-in novel” review, if you have enjoyed reading this then please make a comment and maybe Peter will pay for me to follow up these reviews with another world first, Modern Warfare 3 at the South Pole and Battlefield 3 at the North.