E3 2011: Resistance 3 Hands-On Preview – When Aliens Attack!
Written Tuesday, June 28, 2011 By Richard WalkerView author's profile
As far as PlayStation 3-exclusive IPs are concerned, Resistance is up there with Uncharted, God of War and inFamous and for us, there's something special about the series, as it was the very first game we played on the console on release day, if you're interested. That's the boring, pointless trivia/nostalgia out of the way... Now onto the preview. Insomniac's alternate historical tale that sees Earth being besieged by toothsome aliens, Resistance has evolved into an FPS that revels in massive action set pieces, lending a shock and awe edge to the Chimera invasion that has plagued mankind since they interrupted World War II in Resistance: Fall of Man.
Now, war between humankind is but a distant memory and the United States of America has fallen to the Chimera. This is clearly evident in the landscape and environments, which have been destroyed and terraformed to inhabit the alien invaders and suit their living requirements. This is an occupied Earth and you're among the last vestiges of mankind, fighting for what little is left of America. You play as Sentinel Joseph Capelli, who in our hands-on demo finds himself caught slap-bang in the middle of a well-coordinated Chimera assault that sees you fighting against difficult odds as you start off in an abandoned garage that opens onto a fenced area surrounded by hostile alien forces.
Playing with the Sharpshooter peripheral that perfectly houses the PlayStation Move wand and navigation controller, we're able to aim and shoot quickly and efficiently, but co-ordinating that with movement on the nav controller's stick proves to be a bit of a challenge at first. In fact it takes several failed attempts as we try to get to grips with the Sharpshooter, but once we gain mastery over its sensitive aiming and responsive movement – a sort of 'patting your head' and 'rubbing your tummy'-type thing – playing Resistance 3 with the peripheral is great fun. Purists will probably prefer to play the game with the traditional controller, but the Move set-up or Sharpshooter option is a great alternative, with the pump action reload and springy trigger providing some pretty gratifying feedback.
As we exit the relative safety of the garage and get stuck right into the action, there's Chimera sniping from the rooftops, climbing the wire fences surrounding the yard and descending from dropships. Suffice to say, we're right in the middle of a full-scale assault and the Chimera are quite possibly smarter, more resourceful and more resilient than ever, teaming up to flank Capelli, as we move between cover. Chimera projectiles fly everywhere and using the trusty Bullseye, we're able to tag and shoot homing bullets as always. Switching to the Auger using Resistance 3's new weapon wheel is a snap and its electronic scope is pretty useful for taking down those pesky snipers.
Resistance 3's weapons are still very much a strong point and the mainstay rifles have had a slight upgrade in terms of what they can do, like the Auger's new scope for instance. The Bullseye is as reliable as ever and as Resistance 3 now takes a leaf out of Insomniac's other franchise, Ratchet & Clank, weapons are now upgraded based on how often you use them. Sadly we didn't play for long enough to receive any weapon upgrades, but they'll keep your arsenal fresh with new functions and ammunition, such as the Bullseye receiving explosive rounds that won't damage your allies, but will blast your enemies to kingdom-come. There'll be a mix of old and new weaponry in Resistance 3, as well as cobbled together grenades and other ragtag creations, so you'll always have a go-to gun or explosive accessible via the new weapon wheel.
As we continue taking down the Chimera, shooting the prominent yellow life support packs on their backs or trying to put them down quickly with a headshot, we find ourselves massively outnumbered and resolve to retreat to a bombed-out building where there's Chimera at the top of a narrow stairwell inside. We take down the pair, killing the second one with a rifle butt, which you can perform by physically thrusting the Sharpshooter forward. Now we have a good vantage point looking out onto the yard below and proceed to use the Deadeye sniper rifle to pop a few more Chimera, as yet more dropships swoop in to deploy some reinforcements. We do our utmost to keep the Chimera attack at bay, but as they band together from all directions and race up the stairs, even a couple of grenades aren't enough to hold back the numbers.
As our weapon's clip is expended at the worst possible moment and a reload animation leaves us wide open, we fall under the duress of the Chimera's flanking manoeuvre and our demo is cruelly cut short. Nonetheless, we managed to spend a good, extended period of time with Resistance 3 and it's as strong an FPS as the series has always been. With a suitably gripping story and Insomniac nailing down the gunplay while offering Sharpshooter, Move and standard controller options to suit the way you want to play, Resistance 3 ought to be the best in the series yet. We loved Resistance 1 & 2 for their weapons, the smart Chimera enemies, their co-op and multiplayer modes, as well as the story, and we're in no doubt whatsoever that Insomniac will deliver once again with Resistance 3.
Resistance 3 will be invading PlayStation 3s all over Earth on September 6th, 2011 in North America and September 9th, 2011 in Europe.