Monday, September 12, 2011

resistance: fall of man


DEVELOPER: Insomniac Games
ESRB RATING: M for Mature
Progress: Finished

I don't really want to over-use the term "Gamedae Favorite" but this is a recent addition to the alumni. It has been a long while since a first-person shooter (FPS) has held my attention as sharply as Resistance: Fall of Man has. I've passed up purchasing Resistance until now because it wasn't a co-op game but also because I didn't own a PS3 when it was first released in 2006. With all the hype surrounding the newly released Resistance 3, I got excited and picked up the Resistance (parts 1 & 2) PS Dual Pack. (Side note: Big fan of the dual pack idea--keep'em coming Sony). Seven days later I have trudged through the war-torn European landscape of Britain, defeated the ravenous Chimera, and damn, if it wasn't an awesome game.

The scene is the 1940's, about the time when WW2 would have started, however in Resistance: The Fall of Man that scenario plays out just a little different. Hitler never rose to power; alternatively the world has been invaded by a ruthless alien race called the Chimera. Their goals and methods allude the allied forces, all we know is that they are exterminating the human race at a rapid pace. Only a few strong willed soldiers stand in their way. That's where our protagonist, Nathan Hale, comes in. An American soldier sent in to find out what is going on "across the pond" and becomes swept up in the human resistance against the Chimera and the key to bringing them down.

The campaign takes Nathan traveling across different locations in Britain. The graphics look like nostalgic old photographs only foreign and eventually entirely alien. The rubble of buildings and 40's style military gear (that you will recognize) keeps the game grounded into the time period of the 40's. The characters like Hale and the supporting cast are interesting and believable. Although don't count on the NPC soldiers helping you out too much. The animation is top notch (I would expect nothing less from the creators of Ratchet & Clank) and has aged very well since 2006.

I sometimes find FPS's disorienting. With Resistance, the controls feel very stable and grounded into the game's environment. Rarely, did I find myself walking into walls or aiming in the wrong direction. That said the campaign is completely linear, which I didn't mind, with the occasional NPC instructing you where to go. Without spoiling too much, I'll also mention that there are some vehicle levels as well. Playing the game brought back fond memories of early shooter games like Perfect Dark and Turok. Both of which, I'm willing to bet, were influences on the developers.

This is FPS game mechanics at their best. The fine controls feature a very smooth radial weapon selection that you can easily navigate while keeping the game paused. It also allows you to eventually carry up to eight firearms. FPS staples such as lining up your shot, running and gunning and throwing grenades all work very well. Most weapons allow you to zoom in while aiming for further accuracy even offering a secondary discharge such as tracking bullets or an energy shield. Insomniac games must pride themselves on weapon creation because there wasn't one gun I didn't want to use and they just get bigger and stronger as you accumulate them. Start off with your military issue rifle and later acquiring Chimera tech like the Bullseye and Auger (which lets you shoot through walls).

Overall, I wouldn't consider Resistance: Fall of Man to be a very difficult game. It would be a good recommendation to someone interested in FPS but scared off by some of the harder more intense offers on the market. There is a multiplayer element which has your standard "deathmatch" and "capture the flag" type games. Obvoiusly, I wasn't playing in the heyday of this game, but there are still plenty of people online shooting each other. Particularly interesting, the multiplayer? No, not really but it works just fine. The true hero here is the campaign and the amazing new world Insomniac Games has created. The story is a glimpse into the lives of these military characters and the war from their point of view, if your into getting a lot of answers from your story Resistance may disappoint you. Intrigued by the alternate reality, I felt the need to rise up for humanity and that feeling carried me through to the end of the game.

Long live the Resistance

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