In Resistance 3, Insomniac return to the world of the freedom fighter, playing on their strengths to produce an excellent First Person Shooter (FPS). The players take the role of Joseph (Joe) Capelli, the man who shot dead Nathan Hale at the end of the second instalment.
Joe has been dishonourably discharged and now, four years later, resides in the town of Haven, populated by survivors trying to find some basic form of humanity under Chimeran rule. Always strong on plot, Resistance 3 fails to disappoint as the bleak reality of the human element is laid bare before the player. The tensions built by circumstance giving a true reason to resist, as home and family become the main driving force of the plot.
This is helped by some strong characterisation throughout, good voice acting and a selection of retrievable documents, audio tapes and radio broadcasts which emphasise the grim reality of mankind’s last stand. Although not going quite so far, Insomniac have picked from Cormack McCarthy’s The Road as well as other apocalyptic texts and films to provide a stronger influence and a feeling of hopelessness.
This expands into the exceptional music and quite beautiful imagery the player is presented with. There are sepia tones everywhere, linking to the slowly dying planet, which change to ice and snow later in the game, simply adding to the feeling of desolation. In the areas of humanity, you are free to wander through, Insomniac have done some excellent work in creating a partially interactive environment and some interesting points of dialogue.
The high point to Resistance 3 is the weaponry, drawing even more heavily on Ratchet and Clank’s ideas than before, with a classy little tribute to them placed close to the end. Fresh and instant favourite is the Atomiser which has one of the most glorious secondary modes for a long time, something so understated in the preview documents provided with each weapon that it brings a grin each time it is used. Also worthy of note is the Auger, a gun that shoots through walls and does more damage the more surfaces it shoots through, the tweaks here finally balancing it well.
Abandoning the current FPS standards for a more entertaining combat experience we see a weapons wheel introduced, so all weapons are available if you have picked them up. A return to health packs is a welcome change too, causing a change in the ways you approach things, as you target the enemies with the health and make dashes to retrieve the valuable medicine.
Boss fights are smaller and more claustrophobic. You no longer find the “correct” weapon to fight them with just before the encounter and this, as well as a variety of good level designs and trophies galore, gives a healthy replay value to the single player game.
There are some bad points too. Move control is sluggish. The balancing of teams in multi-player matchmaking could be better handled (two versus eight simply isn’t balanced) and those of lower levels can simply feel swamped by the advantages afforded to the more dedicated players. The maps are solid but nothing special too. The biggest loss is the multiplayer co-operative levels of Resistance 2, something that some fans will find hard to forgive.
On the balance of things this game is a vast improvement on the previous titles. It provides more attractive game play, strong story elements, good set pieces and an adequate multiplayer experience. Insomniac should also be commended by their ending too, as it is a true ending to a trilogy although, if rumours from the studio are true, not the ending of the Chimera threat. How they develop from here will be interesting and worthy of a look.