PS3 Review: Resistance 2

November 28, 2008 by  

Nathan Hale returns in this great follow-up

Resistance: Fall of Man was a PS3 launch title which although good, didn’t exactly set the world on fire the way that we all hoped. Insomniac is taking another stab with the sequel which lacks a subtitle but gains some great improvements.

The Resistance story continues to unravel with protagonist Sergeant Nathan Hale. Having destroyed the London command centre of the invading alien Chimera, Hale returns to the United States where he becomes part of a special programme known as the Sentinels – a secret weapon against the Chimera assault that the US government knows is imminent. When the Chimera launch a full-scale aerial assault on both coasts, Hale and the Sentinels find themselves in the forefront of the counter-attack.

The core gameplay of Resistance 2 remains the same although the controls do feel more refined, plus the game has the missing feature that the first still doesn’t have…rumble support. It’s so refreshing to finally have it in an FPS of this quality. Enemies remain mostly the same too, although there are some lovely new ones that will annoy the hell out of you.

The first are robot drones which shoot powerful lasers at you, they explode after only one shot but can cause a lot of damage. Luckily, the health meter has been changed for Resistance 2 to a fully regenerated one. There are also the chameleon enemies who leap out of nowhere to attack you, one hit and its game over. It’s a little unfair but there are steps to preventing it, such as having a shotgun at hand to blast them to hell with. Resistance 2 also introduces enemies in the water who can also kill you instantly if you come into contact with them; it’s all about timing your run across the water…since you can’t kill them.

Then there are the huge bosses that make anything in rival games look small-time. Although they usually have a large weakness, they are simply epic in scale. The campaign itself is pretty long at 10 hours, it’s good with some very memorable moments. I only wish that Nathan Hale had more charisma around him instead a complete lack of it.

Don’t think you can tackle the campaign just in solo though; you can try it with upto 8 players who take different roles like in an MMORPG. One will heal while another will take damage, it’s different and it definitely makes an impressive mode. Everything you do in single player, co-op or multiplayer nets you XP which can gain you new items like in the more recent Call of Duty games. Multiplayer supports upto 60 players, which is another example of how big this game is in terms of scale when compared to other FPS games.

There are some new weapons that will bring many a smile to most. Most of them have secondary functions and some of the originals return for fans. It’s an impressive arsenal to say the least. Enemies tend to be tough by numbers instead of their brains, although they do know how to use cover well. They also attack you and ignore your teammates if playing solo, which doesn’t make much sense.

Levels are nice and varied, though the game looks around the same as the first game in terms of visuals. Having said that, the explosions are simply amazing as are the backgrounds…coming out of the hospital base at the beginning to see the city under attack from a huge ship just blew me away, it looks stunning. Character models are well detailed and animated, cutscenes now feel more dramatic with a new focus angle too…all making a spectacular looking game that shows just what the PS3 can do. There’s also next to no slowdown in framerate, both online and offline…which is very impressive. The audio quality is also high with some superb sound effects and quite good voice-acting. The soundtrack creates the overall mood very well, although it’s not the most memorable score.

The Verdict

Resistance 2 ticks all the right boxes. It improves upon Fall of Man tenfold with a better campaign, mad co-operative play options and a great multiplayer. It may be linear and not the most original FPS on the market, but it’s certainly one of the better ones.

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