Take the fight to the Chimera in Resistance 3
A launch title for the Sony PS3, Resistance: Fall of Man was to be the first shooter on the platform, its selling points were its setting (an alternative version of the mid-20th century where Aliens were the bad guys, not Hitler), a fairly large weapon set which featured some unique alien hardware, local split-screen co-op and the promise of a truly next-gen shooter. Its sequel, Resistance 2 improved on it and threw in some large-scale set pieces, including the famous ‘Leviathan' battle. Neither of these games was terribly impressive, but the Resistance series remains the best selling platform-exclusive first-person shooter on the PS3. Developers Insomniac Games have chosen not to alter the proven gameplay formula for Resistance 3 and, as a result, the game doesn't aim to vastly improve on its predecessor. It's just strange that it manages to do so on more than one occasion.
Nathan Hale is no longer the protagonist of the series, with the player now being put in the shoes of Joseph Capelli, Hale's executioner. With the Chimera virus skipping across the Atlantic and effectively reducing Earth's population to a tenth of what is was before the invasion, human survivors now live in hiding, holed up in bomb shelters and underground outposts. Capelli's story isn't much different, his journey beginning in Haven, Oklahoma. The Chimera seem to have taken a special interest in mysterious Russian scientist Fyodor Malikov, the man responsible in part for Nathan Hale's immunity to the Chimera virus. Malikov is in hiding along with other survivors in Haven when the Chimera attack. The scientist subsequently reveals to Capelli that he has found a way to stop the Chimera once and for all, urging our protagonist to escort him to New York. Resistance 3 is the story of Capelli's journey to New York through various parts of America, his longing for his wife and son (from whom he is separated) and killing a whole lot of aliens... and humans. Fortunately for us, the story can be quite gripping, thanks to some nicely rendered cutscenes, and it feels more personal than the previous games. Capelli's character seems to possess a level of depth that Hale's lacked and while both of them are selfless to a fault, Capelli's constant questioning of the cause that he's fighting for, his willingness to abandon it in favour of a search for his family again makes him seem human — even after achieving the godlike feat of mowing down a hundred Chimera with a tiny revolver just two minutes prior. It's a pity that the wonderful set-up of the first act is let down by poor pacing, occasionally tiresome shooting and annoying difficulty spikes.
Resistance 3 abandons the all-too-common regenerating health system, opting instead for more traditional health packs, which are plentifully scattered around the levels. However, the same cannot be said about ammo. While certain types of ammo can be found everywhere, the game's more exotic weapons will end up hardly used for want of ammunition. Speaking of weapons, there's a lot here for the gunophile — and each weapon comes with a secondary fire, giving you near endless possibilities in terms of creative ways to take down enemies. It's also unfortunate that the PS3 dualshock controller is hardly adequate for the precision aiming required to operate some of the game's guns (particularly at long range with enemies leaping from building to building). But the guns themselves are great and the weapon upgrade system (get more kills with one gun and it evolves into something deadlier) is a neat addition.
While Resistance 3 plays like a fairly generic linear shooter that is unevenly paced with crazy difficulty spikes and a less-than-adequate control system, the vastly improved narrative, dark tone of the story, immersive first act and impressive weapon-set make it a game that is worth playing. Resistance 3 is now available for the Sony Playstation 3.