I didn’t actually know this until the release of this game but it appears a lot of people really hated Resistance 2. Tons and tons of people seem to share the sentiment that this one has to be better than the second one. I’m not sure where all the hate came from or if perhaps it was always there, but it makes me feel I should say up front that I quite enjoyed the second game. Whether that means you have to take my opinion of this third game with a grain of salt, I’m not sure, but you have at the very least been warned.
Resistance 3 impressed me almost immediately with the revelation that the big Chimera war the humans are fighting, yea we lost that. Not only have we lost, we got fucking walloped. I believe they throw out there that 90% of the population is just gone. That’s a hell of a way to start the game. Resistance 3 had my interest straight away.
For such a large-scale concept however, the game is surprisingly intimate. You take the role of Joseph Capelli and follow him on his journey to get to New York and do some plot stuff. You don’t roll with a bunch of army dudes, it’s just you. You’re accompanied on a handful of missions but most of the time your companion is an old man who never fires a gun. I felt this level of intimacy both helped and hindered the overall experience. On the positive side you really do grow attached to Joseph as you primarily only spend time with his character. You care about him, you care about the mission, and you genuinely care whether or not he gets to see his wife and son again. On the flipside, this feels like such a small piece of the overall story. The world is done, we’re fucked, it’s over. There’s a whole lot to be done with that and we only get a small part of it told here. You do see hints of the bigger picture in the various letters and audio logs hidden throughout the game so if you do some searching it’s definitely worth the time to hunt them down. And of course this franchise is not wrapping up I assume any time soon, so I’m sure we’ll get to see more of this universe. However for this game specifically, I think the world post-human defeat could have used some flashing out.
The Resistance 3 campaign is a bit of a slow burn. You kick things off in the underground town where Joseph, his family and a number of others are just barely surviving, You meet the characters and even just by looking around you get a great sense of just how bad things have gotten. Naturally shit goes real bad before too long and while the first few chapters consist of some relatively standard firefights (and some well done sequences where you are actively trying to avoid confrontation), before too long you’ll be fighting creatures 10 times, or often several hundred times, your size.
The main element of Resistance 2 that has stuck with me is the boss fights. The specifics are hazy, but I definitely remember numerous large-scale boss fights throughout the campaign. That is sadly lacking here. There is a sequence on a boat where you are fleeing from a Goliath (not surprisingly, a huge son of a bitch) that is pretty incredible to actually watch take place, but this one doesn’t technically count as a boss fight since you don’t, in fact, fight it. The sequence will play out the same way every time. Either way, I would still point to this as the most memorable chapter of the campaign, which is a shame that is it so early on.
There is something of a twist just past the mid-point in the game where you find yourself fighting a very different kind of enemy. This seems to be the point in the campaign where you are either completely on board, or the game has lost you entirely. I myself quite enjoyed it. It was a turning point I honestly didn’t see coming and switched up the game in some interesting ways. I’m not going to reveal what I’m talking about, but you’ll know exactly what I’m referring to as soon as it occurs.
I know I’ve done a lot of bitching and it sounds like I am really down on this game. Despite my issues, I did have a lot of fun playing it and I can point to one primary reason why – the weapons. Resistance 3 offers a wide selection of weapons, each one unique and fun to use. You want to freeze your enemy and then shatter them? Done. Or perhaps you would prefer to use the Mutator to make the enemies sport massive growths and start vomiting everywhere? No worries that is covered here as well. The weapons themselves are already crazy but each one also comes with a secondary fire mode that is even more insane.
Each of the weapons is also upgradeable, but the only way to get these upgrades is to actually use the weapon you are looking to level up. This, for me at least, provided incentive to actually switch up the weapon I was using instead of going with my usual FPS patterns of sticking with one or two primary guns. This keeps the experience fresh as you are always seeking out new and creative ways to take the Chimera down.
The campaign is your average campaign length, clocking in around 7-8 hours if you play on normal difficulty. There is technically a new game plus mode since your weapon upgrades carry through with you for another play through, which does provide more motivation than usual for me to tackle the hardest difficulty but I generally feel that experiencing the campaign the one time was probably enough. I may do some additional trophy hunting (all of which are single player focused, not a multi player trophy to be found) but for the most part, I saw the ending, and I am now ok.
You do get some solid multi-player to back it all up though. I’m not going to say it revolutionizes multi-player by any means. There’s deathmatch, team deathmatch, the capture the flag style match, objective based matches, everything you would expect to be here is indeed here. You also get COD style level progression, which despite being the norm these days, is still as addictive as ever.
Although the multi-player may be familiar, when you take those weapons and unleash them against other human players, it’s just as fun, if not more fun, than using them against the AI. I’m not the biggest multiplayer guy, but I have already played a good deal of matches and I can see myself sticking with it for a little while longer. More accurately, about 4 more days and then GOW3 comes out.
Resistance 3 is a very solid title. The campaign is a fast-paced affair that perhaps could have used some bigger, more memorable moments, and a bit more of an indication of what is going outside the world of Joseph Capelli. However weapons that are immensely fun to use and a late game change-up keeps things interesting. You back that up with some fun multi-player and this game is a pretty easy recommendation.