Things do not look good for humanity in alternate-history 1950s America. Despite your heroic efforts as Nathan Hale in Resistance: Fall of Man and Resistance 2, the vicious Chimeran hordes have overrun the nation, and Resistance 3's campaign once again paints a stirring picture of an all-but-complete invasion. Developer Insomniac Games has proven its ability to deliver invigorating and challenging action, and it does so again here in an exciting campaign that boasts one of the most diverse and deadly arsenals around. You can play the whole affair cooperatively with another player online or off, which is a welcome addition, though it's a shame that the fantastic class-based co-op from Resistance 2 does not make a return. Fortunately, the competitive multiplayer doles out intense firefights and intriguing rewards aplenty, and it's fun to combine your unique arsenal with potent abilities to wreak havoc on your fellow humans. Resistance 3's strengths far outweigh its shortcomings, making it another great entry in this sci-fi shooter franchise.
6332590NoneThe Joe Capelli hat trick: bullets that follow enemies, bullets that go through walls, and bullets that detonate remotely.
If you finished the Resistance 2 campaign, then you're bound to remember a guy named Joseph Capelli. After getting dishonorably discharged from the military, Joe gets married, has a kid, and settles down in a lengthy network of tunnels underneath a bombed-out suburban neighborhood. Our protagonist's home is one of a few hidden communities that you encounter throughout the campaign, and they are all thoughtful and evocative glimpses of how humans might cling together in the midst of a catastrophe. Joe isn't what you'd call a strong leading man, but throughout the campaign, you meet some interesting characters who add some welcome flavor to Joe's bland personality. Supporting characters also comment on your battlefield prowess in a way that enhances the context (Joe was an actual soldier, they are civilians) and makes you feel like a force to be reckoned with. The environments add a lot of character as well. From Joe's dusty Oklahoma outpost and the foggy Mississippi River to an infested mountain village, each location is richly detailed and artfully rendered, creating an engrossing sense of place and mood.
Though everywhere you go is visually interesting, there are some abrupt leaps and odd detours that can make the campaign feel disjointed at times. Still, it moves along at a good clip. Small skirmishes build up to large firefights, which lead to some big boss encounters that draw on the franchise's knack for using a large sense of scale to create dramatic encounters. Enemies often explode in bloody chunks or lose limbs when killed, and taking down towering foes is very satisfying, though Resistance 3 doesn't go as big as its predecessor. You can complete the campaign in as few as six hours, and unfortunately, the pace falters toward the end, leaving you with a conclusion that is less climactic than you might expect. Though the ending isn't very satisfying, playing the entire campaign is, thanks largely to Resistance 3's tightly tuned action.
Your enemies are aggressive, numerous, and varied, so you must read the battlefield and maneuver smartly. Popping out from cover and shooting might be effective in a small-scale battle, but enemies that leap behind you, rapidly swarm you, or shoot right through your cover force you to adapt your tactics or die. You face a lot of foes, and ammunition isn't exactly plentiful, so you need to leverage your entire arsenal to survive. Fortunately, the guns of Resistance 3 are some of the best in the business. Tried-and-true favorites like the bullseye, auger, and magnum return early on, but as you progress, you get some new treats that can freeze, electrocute, and even mutate your enemies. Each weapon has a secondary fire that can be as simple as a grenade launcher or as sinister as a swirling electric vortex of death. Furthermore, every gun levels up as you use it, making it deadlier and sometimes granting auxiliary bonuses, like incendiary ammunition or a better scope. There is no limit to how many weapons you can carry with you, and Resistance 3 forces you to put them all to work. It's not uncommon to exhaust your ammunition for multiple weapons during an intense firefight, so you either have to make do with a less-than-optimal firearm or scavenge the battlefield under enemy fire in hopes of finding an ammo cache.
Shoot faster! SHOOT FASTER!!
To deal with these diverse enemies, you must stretch your arsenal to the limits, and this creates an engaging sense of improvisation. This feeling is augmented by the fact that your health does not regenerate automatically. Health pickups are fairly plentiful, but there are still many times when the Chimera are bearing down on you and you are low on health, ammo, or both. The tension this creates makes blasting your way through the campaign all the more thrilling, though if you're taking a friend along for the ride, you should consider upping the difficulty level. Whether online or split-screen, having another gun by your side makes things a bit easier and creates some slack in the otherwise taut action. There is no cooperative matchmaking, however, so you have to find your own companion, and alas, the addictive eight-player cooperative mode from Resistance 2 is nowhere to be found. Campaign co-op is a welcome addition, however, especially when the campaign is as thrilling as it is here.