Did you ever wonder what it would be like if they turned the movie version of The Road into a video game? It might be a little like Resistance 3. Except with way more aliens. Taking place some time after Resistance 2 (it’s hard to tell how much, since I never played the first two games) the world of this game is pretty bleak. Before WWII could start, a strange infection spread from a meteor, infecting people and turning them into alien monsters called chimera. So, when the aliens invaded with their futuristic technology, they simply could not be beaten. There’s numbers kept growing while humanity died off. Now the aliens are freezing the planet so that more of them can move in via wormhole. The few people that are left have a cure for the chimera virus, but there are so few of them. And the world is dying.
Pretty bleak, eh? Sure, it’s not The Road but that’s pretty dour for a video game, if you ask me. Maybe more like The Walking Dead or The Mist. And it gets worse. You play as Joseph Capelli, the guy who apparently mercy killed the hero from the first two games. As a result, he was dishonorably discharged and is hated the world over. He carved out a little life in a small town with his wife and child, but even that is taken away when a scientist comes to town, with the chimera in hot pursuit. Joseph’s family is forced to flee and Joseph has to leave them to accompany the scientist to New York, a certainly futile pursuit at stopping the chimera invasion. Along the way they’ll have to avoid massive chimera and bands of humans, because, as we all know about apocalyptic futures, the real enemy is always man.
A lot of Resistance 3 feels like it was designed in 2005. Joseph is very talkative in cinematics, clearly an opinionated dude. But during gameplay, he’s totally silent. Which is weird because people are always talking to him. They even ask questions, and Joseph doesn’t say a word. This problem is compounded in coop, when Joseph has a constant companion named John who no one ever acknowledges. What did John do that the whole world would give him the cold shoulder? Look Insomniac, you have a good story with quality characters. Don’t turn them off during gameplay! That’s supposed to be the best part!
Combat is a bit of a throwback too. The game uses health packs instead of regenerating health, which frankly felt weird for the first few minutes of combat, then stopped being a concern. Unlike most modern games, the guns are also perfectly fine when fired from the hip, which, once again, I’m fine with. It really helps that the game has a great variety of weapons and encourages you to use all of them. You get a bunch of guns, all of which you can hold at the same time, which level up by usage. So, for example, if you use that shotgun enough, its bullets turn into incendiary rounds. This gets really crazy with the alien guns, weapons that suck enemies into black holes and or cause them to puff up and explode. Insomniac has always had a knack for designing great weapons, and that’s probably the best part of this game.
Resistance 3‘s multiplayer suite is a step down from what Resistance 2 offered. Gone are the RPG-inspired 8 player coop missions that were, as far as I could tell, the best part of the last game. Instead there’s a very standard collection of modes that I’m sure you can already guess. The game also supports Move and 3D, which you probably guessed, since it was the game they used to market the PlayStation TV.
Resistance 3 looks great and has a story that’s pretty compelling, by first person shooter standards or otherwise. The impressive gun variety and pseudo-throwback gameplay really help it to stand out in a world of infinite Call of Duty clones. You have to admit, in a year where it seems that every single game has “3” in the title, it’s nice that this game is fairly self-contained as well. I might not have played the first two games in the series, but that didn’t stop me from having a great time with Resistance 3.