Should You Resist This Game After All?
Resistance 3 is a conundrum. It has a mediocre storyline, but an incredible ending. A boring, faux-silent main character and even worse supporting characters, but fantastic “enemies”. It shines at the things the series has always been superb at, and tries to hide the things the series has always been terrible at. There is still a lot of fun to be had here, but it feels like for every step forward it takes, the game also takes a step backward.
The third installment now stars Joe Capelli, who killed Nathan Hale, the last protagonist, as he was turning into a Chimera. The story chronicles Joe’s journey to New York City to destroy a tower that controls the entire Chimeran army taking the planet. He’s joined by Dr. Malakov, a walking encyclopedia on the Chimera. That’s… really it. With the exception of the middle, where the plot makes a complete left-hand turn and turns into Manhunt for a while, there’s really nothing notable about the story. It’s hard to describe the story more than simply “Joe goes to New York and stops the Chimera.” Even Joe himself is completely forgettable, as for some unexplained reason he is half silent, and only speaks when it is absolutely necessary for the plot to continue. What ends up happening is a noticeable voice effect that sounds like “ The Return of Chef” episode of South Park, with characters often telling Joe what his emotions are and should be without him ever actually saying anything about it.
Where Resistance 3 does shine is in its presentation. The game really goes out of its way to make you feel like the world is being overrun, particularly in the diversity of the Chimera attacking you. The Chimera definitely are a formidable army this time around. There are so many different enemy types that it never feels like you’re fighting the same guys twice. In fact, the Chimera are probably one of the most sophisticated enemies in any modern first-person shooter today. In large groups they move cohesively, surrounding you and giving you no way out and in small groups or by themselves they push closer, but never charging you unless they have no other choice. They are, ironically, the closest to human opponents I’ve played against in recent memory.
The weapons have been refined and improved dramatically. Each weapon now upgrades Ratchet and Clank style the more you use it. It works just as well in this game as it did in that series, bringing with it the desire to upgrade each weapon to its maximum level. Most of the upgrades are fantastic, like the Bullseye Rifle’s ability to “tag” more enemies, meaning you have a lock-on no matter where you are. There’s nothing like being able to shoot a Chimera while pointed at another one, taking them both out in a matter of seconds. Other upgrades, however, don’t carry the same weight. For example, the sniper rifle’s first upgrade is one that puts a marker around the Chimera’s heads, which is absolutely useless to anyone that’s ever played an FPS before. Regardless of whether or not the upgrades are useful though, the compulsion to upgrade each gun is overwhelming, even sometimes to the point of using the wrong gun in the wrong situation just to level it up.
Resistance 3 also has co-op and multiplayer modes, but they feel like nothing more than things the game had to include to make it worth $60. Multiplayer has been drastically knocked down from Resistance 2, as the class-based system is gone now and replaced with a completely standard multiplayer affair. It’s quite disappointing as I personally really enjoyed the team-based objectives and class modification from the last game.
At the End of the World… The Final Verdict
How much you will like Resistance 3 depends on what you like as a gamer. The enemies are challenging and varied enough to keep you playing through it even when you don’t care about the storyline. And if you do see the campaign through to the end, you are rewarded with a rather fantastic climax. However, the storyline, co-op and multiplayer just seem like distractions to stop you from putting the game back on the shelf. It’s better than the second game, but not as good as the first. Like I said, Resistance 3 is a conundrum. It blends both amazing and completely forgettable into a product that is, sadly, just “good.”