I generally hate first person shooters. The first (and last) one I played for an extended period of time (and did like) was the original Turok for the N64. That was some time ago. So it took me a long time to pick up Resistance: Fall of Man. I only did so because I’d played through all the other games on PS3 that were in my personal queue.
When I first started the game, I sucked. I couldn’t hit a damned thing. I was getting mowed down by the frightening Predator-like enemies. My own men were getting blasted to shit. I almost put it down forever. I’m glad I stuck with it. Once you understand and master a few simple gameplay mechanics, Resistance is one hell of a tense, action-packed, thrilling festival of massive firepower.
First things first: learn to duck and hide behind things. Learn to use your long-range sights to target enemies from afar. Learn to throw grenades; don’t stockpile them, you’ll get more. Learn to not give a shit about your fellow soldiers; they have only one purpose in this game — to temporarily distract the enemies and serve as cannon fodder while you mow the baddies down. None of them will survive whether you do well or poorly. Welcome to Resistance.
Since everyone and their mother knows what Resistance is about by now, I’ll keep it short. Your enemies, the Chimera, are either a science experiment gone horribly wrong, beings from deep in the earth, or aliens, it’s never explained. However, they are harvesting humans and turning them into hybridized soldiers. Think love children of a Borg/Predator/Alien/Earwigs-from-Wrath-of-Khan orgy.
Their infestation began in Russia in the 1930s. They spread and infected all of Europe, Asia, and Britain. Few humans survived. The US essentially quarantined itself and stayed out of the conflict.
That is, until now. You play as Nathan Hale, a soldier on the frontlines of the US invasion of Britain. You also soon find out you are the only known human who appears to be immune to being infected by one of the little Chimera roaches that crawl down your throat and turn you into a catatonic host.
The Americans have arrived just in time to help the British after millions of them have been killed (not to mention the citizens of Russia, Europe, and elsewhere). Essentially, you arrive when there is precious little to save. Oh well, so much for the old adage that timing is everything.
You are immediately thrown into a grim, apocalyptic Britain that has been devastated by war. Blown out buildings, burning automobile skeletons, ruptured roadways. Your mission: infiltrate various Chimera headquarters, kill them, and blow the crap out of their communications network and infrastructure. It’s harrowing and fun as hell.
The designers nailed the game controls. Even after all these years, I still find the PlayStation controllers a bit daunting at times; especially with games that fully implement all the buttons. Somehow, Resistance did employ the full controls, but made it intuitive and user-friendly. Kudos Insomniac!
Guns? Plenty of them: your trusty machine gun, the Chimera’s trusty machine gun, a rocket launcher (kaboom!), a sniper rifle (head shots have never been more graceful!), an augur (shoots through walls), to name a few. Grenades? Hell yeah! Frag grenades, shrapnel-like grenades (Hedgehogs), and the mother of them all, the air-fuel grenade. Wall of fire, anyone?
Enemies? Yeah, they have all those guns too. And they know how to use them. The AI is pretty intelligent here and that makes the game much more interesting. You’ll not only fight hordes of humanoid enemies, but face off in armored combat against the Chimera’s armored vehicles, including their massive Godzilla-sized “Goliaths.”
Vehicles? Oh yes. Need a tank? You got one airlifted in some places. Joyride in a machine gun-equipped Jeep? Check. Like that Chimera four-legged armored vehicle that looks like an armored AT-AT Scout from Return of the Jedi (you know, the ones the Ewoks destroyed). Take it for a test drive.
Storyline? Pretty compelling. If you save Britain, humankind might just be able to go on the offensive against the Chimera (hence Resistance 2). It’s narrated by a hot-sounding British female soldier who is telling your story, always a plus for me. You never talk, just kill. No complaints.
Resistance has just the right amount of difficulty, it won’t leave you Devil May Crying in difficulty, but it’s no cakewalk either. And it doesn’t ever lose its focus. It’s about advancing through the enemy territory and blowing them to smithereens, up close and personal, or with a bit more long-range strategy (grenades, sniper).
I’m positively giddy about the prospects for Resistance 2. If the first installment took place only in Britain, imagine the possibilities they can create with all of Europe, Eurasia, and Russia for backdrops. Heck, I’d be happy if Resistance 2 only led so far as Western Europe and they had in mind a trilogy, with Resistance 3 having us head into the heart of Russia to finish off the Chimera.
Resistance was the first game that “nailed” the PS3 platform and its capabilities. It’s over a year after its release and some newer games (the lame-ass Haze and Iron Man, for instance, which I demoed) don’t even come close.
I almost never replay games and last night I found myself blasting through two of the missions again. You know what? I totally blew the shit out of those motherfucking Chimerans. Boo Yah!