Resistance 3 Preview

Resistance 3 Preview

With Nathan Hale out of the picture, the Chimera on clean-up duty, and a medical breakthrough that may be too little too late, Humanity must band together if they want to have any chance at continued survival. Resistance 3 is set to chronicle the darkest and most hopeless hours of humanity since the invasion.

Things seemed to be going all fine and well for humanity through the first two games, what with Nathan Hale behind the wheel and all. Unfortunately, the radical turn of events at the end of the Resistance 2 gave the Chimera the obvious edge. No longer is the invading alien race on an all out offensive assault. Rather, they have flipped into clean-up duty, sweeping the world for pockets of human survivors and eradicating them on the spot. The mood on Earth has never been more sullen as the Chimera near total occupation of the planet.

The one thing that Resistance 3 is going to beat you across the face with is atmosphere. An entire planet is nearing extinction with only a handful of survivors left to ward off the aliens, so obviously things are going to be tense. However, tense isn’t the only emotion bursting at the seams. Resistance 3 wants you to experience a complete and utter sense of hopelessness as you trudge through the game.

*Begin spoilers* (highlight in order to read)

If you are unfamiliar with the story of the Resistance series, it is actually quite basic. In an alternate history around the middle of the 20th century, World War II never happened due to an alien invasion. Rather than turning on each other, Humanity banded together to ward off the impending invasion. One such soldier who stepped up to the plate was Nathan Hale. As the protagonist for the first two games, Hale single handedly led humanity on multiple offensive assaults that were successful in waylaying the Chimera… for awhile.

Hale was successful in infiltrating the Chimeran conversion centers where humans, were being used as test subjects and converted to Chimera, and ultimately destroyed most of them. However, he was constantly fighting the very infection that could turn him to the other side. Ultimately, humanity loses its best hope when Hale, who sees has almost entirely succumb to the virus, is killed by Joseph Capelli at the end of Resistance 2.

*End spoilers*

For his seemingly flagrant disregard for humanity’s safety, Capelli is dishonorably discharged from service and has since taken up residence in Haven, Oklahoma alongside other survivors. He has given up fighting and only wishes to protect his wife and son from the Chimera death squads that are roaming the planet. He is surviving well enough, but when Dr. Malikov appears in Haven with what could potentially deal a death blow to the Chimera, Capelli takes his fight back on the road and heads for New York City.

As you trudge across the county towards NYC, you are going to encounter pockets of survivors who you feel more than obligated to lend a helping hand to. After all, you never know if they may have something that could get you to your destination more quickly.

There is so much about the story that requires knowledge of the previous games, so if you haven’t played either of those, I would highly recommend doing so first. The whole series has been building to the climax that is Resistance 3 and surely the storytelling in this game is going to be top-notch and really emphasize just how dire the situation on Earth truly is.

The environments you encounter are not going to be your typical all out battlefield wars with hundreds of soldiers facing off against an insurmountable number of Chimera. Rather, this time around the game almost plays out like a first-person survival horror game thanks in part to the dark, tense atmospheres. Remember, you are out to avoid the Chimera this time, not bring an all-out assault their way.

However, what really matters is how those scenes play out gameplay-wise.

 A Bit of New Mixed With the Old

Resistance 3 isn’t going to stray too far from the proven formula of its predecessors; it is a first person shooter after all. How much can really change from title to title? What Resistance 3 is doing though, is improving upon the elements of its predecessors while at the same time attempting to avoid changes to anything that isn’t broken.

It has been confirmed that the weapon wheel is going to be making a comeback, allowing players to carry an entire weapons cache and cycle between them at any given time. However, what is new is the inclusion of upgradeable weapons. As you use your weapons and defeat enemies with them they will begin to level up and provide you with new abilities and powers.

Resistance was the first shooter series to really introduce crazy weapons into a series FPS and Resistance 3 is going to continue that tradition. The team has said they drew a lot of inspiration for new weapons from one of their long-standing flagship franchises, Ratchet & Clank. Known for absolutely zany weapons, Ratchet & Clank seems like an obvious choice for weapon inspiration and that alone is what sets Resistance apart from other military shooters. The team is really working toward setting themselves apart and truly creating a unique experience. Hence the crazy weapons with insane upgrades.

We have seen upgradeable weapons in a shooter before, but that usually revolved around adding attachments or customizing the ammo type. Resistance 3 is out to revolutionize the weapon upgrade system in a shooter by actually enticing players to use more than just their favorite weapon. I’ll admit, I was a fan of the carbine throughout the first two games and really avoided using anything else, but the new upgrade system, similar to that of the latest Ratchet & Clank game, is poised to change my mind.

Each weapon will be fully upgradeable and come with some very apparent advantages and disadvantages for you to discover. This will hopefully stave off any desire to stick to one gun, but also entice you enough to upgrade them all enough to fully experience each.

Weapons, Guns, and Munitions Galore

Now, you don’t have to rely solely on upgrading your weapons in order to have any fun. The team has created a whole slew of new weapons more than deserving of their place in an Insomniac game.

One of the guns displayed so far is the Mutator. This gun is actually half human technology couple with Chimeran technology and will certainly provide a good deal of entertainment. The primary fire actually causes the enemies to begin spewing forth leagues of gas and vomit before ultimately breaking out in festering boils and exploding. These explosions can actually cause other enemies to break out in these same boils and create quite the spectacular chain reaction.

The Deadeye, a Chimeran sniper rifle, is a spin off of the human Fareye and the primary fire is about as basic as it gets. You fire a bullet into someone’s head and they die. However, the true fun comes in with the secondary fire. Once activated, there is a brief windup before the reticule collapses and causes whatever is in its path to explode into a shower of liquidy goodness and guts.

The Atomizer, a gun used by the Ravagers, can be best classified as a mini-gun style of weapon. One of the only weapons in the game that you cannot scope in with, the Atomizer has about a 12 foot range and fires out an electrical current that auto locks onto anything within range. Those unfortunate enough to be within range will experience instant vaporization. The secondary fire places an electricity-firing turret out in the distance which sucks enemies in before spinning them around in a rinse cycle of doom.

However, not all the weapons are entirely new. Making a triumphant return is the Bullseye, but with a few upgrades. Probably the most significant upgrade is going to be the inclusion of an electronic, HUD-style iron sight that appears when you scope in with the weapon. You will still have the ability to fire tracer bullets, but this time you can target your shots to more than one enemy and follow them with a very visible line.

If you find the Bullseye to be a bit too different for your tastes, rest easy knowing that the beloved Carbine will back for another round of alien killing.

The Ranks are Expanding

As far as enemies go, you can expect to encounter some of your favorite Chimera from past titles as well as a whole slew of new baddies. However, more interesting is the inclusion of an upgraded enemy AI system. The developers are shooting toward making each and every enemy encounter feel unique and different without losing the sense of grandeur. In order to give enemies a broader sense of purpose on the battlefield, they have implemented something called the Job Board which allows the enemy AI to assign various tasks to each other such as forming defensive squads and reacting to your position with intelligence.

The purpose behind the Job Board was to eliminate the possibility of the player entering situations where enemies would act stupid and randomly attack en mass, creating a massive difficulty spike.

One of the newest enemies to join the Chimeran ranks are the Grims. These slow-moving creatures are a bit of a cross hybrid; halfway between human and full Chimera. As such, they are severely malnourished and hence, move quite a bit slower. Think of them as the Resistance equivalent of zombies. The Grims will more than likely be the one enemy that you encounter in hoards, but they are not as smart as a full-fledged hybrid. You will be able to easily dispatch of them, but do not write them off entirely as they can be a formidable force.

The hybrids have actually grown stronger due to the fact that Earth is becoming more and more representative of their home world. You may notice that the Hybrids have an apparent lack of armor and clothing in Resistance 3. In the previous games they wore loads of armor to help keep them colder, but now that Earth is becoming cooler, they no longer need that protection.

One of the most intriguing and talked about additions to the Chimeran ranks has to be the Long Legs. The concept was to create a jumping Chimera that has the ability to leap and hover in the air briefly before continuing its attack. These enemies will often be seen well off in the distance, jumping from building to building, creating tension as you approach them.

Despite the focus on tense atmosphere and survival horror, Resistance 3 is still going to overwhelm you with some heavy hitters. The Brawler is a bit of an homage to the Titans from previous Resistance titles. However, they are far more agile and much more aggressive than their predecessors. The Brawlers rely solely on melee and hover dangerously close to immortality save for the very few weak spots available in their armor.

 Trimming the Fat

As far as online play goes, Resistance 3 is actually making the move to ditch some of the more beloved features from Resistance 2. No longer will the online play feature 8 player co-op missions. Rather, they have listened to the cries of FPS gamers the world over and implemented co-op campaign, both online and off. It just seems unfortunate that such a great feature had to be sacrificed in order to provide gamers with something that should always be a standard addition to an FPS game.

That is not the only noticeable removal from the game’s online repertoire. Resistance 1 boasted a cool 40 players at once while Resistance 2 came in and put that to shame with a whopping 60 players, but Resistance 3 is coming in at a measly 16 players.

That isn’t necessarily a bad thing though. Lower player counts mean more of a focus on creating an engaging and immersive experience. Seeing how other military-style online shooters are evolving surely must have had an impact on this decision. The team has implemented a deep and customizable progression system that allows each character to evolve with various load-outs and multiple abilities.

It’s hard to avoid comparison to Call of Duty when it comes to online shooters, but being compared to one of the best in the industry is not necessarily a bad thing either. Online multiplayer will features perks and abilities such as an ammo beacon that replenishes any teammate’s ammo that is within its radius and a radar beacon that enhances the radar of anyone within range. For a more tactical approach, a new feature called Doppleganger has been included. When activated, Doppleganger emits a simulated image of your own character just a bit to the left and in front of your own character, meant to befuddle the enemy and draw their fire while you move in for the kill.

Finally, if you are a fanatical Resistance online fan, then you may want to consider buying this game new as it is going to be the first game to implement Sony’s new PSN Pass in order to access the online portion of the game. In an attempt to boost new sales and stave off the impending wait for a used copy, Sony is going to start requiring gamers to enter a PSN Pass code before online access will be granted. Once that code is used, it’s done and cannot be shared with anyone else. If you do happen to buy the game used and want to play online, you will have to purchase that option for an undisclosed amount. However, some developers have already stated that it may be as steep as $10.

All in All

Resistance 3 is facing off against some behemoths this fall, but it could be the tide-me-over game that kicks off the incredible season of gaming that is coming our way this fall. Exposing gamers to the tense, bleak, hopeless environment that Earth has become, Resistance 3 promises to engage you through intricately told stories, tense battles, and dramatic cut scenes.

Resistance 3 is set to release September 7th, 2011.

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