PSP Review: Resistance Retribution

The humans are over, what do you expect we do about it? Retribution.

Set in the weeks after Resistance: Fall of Man, Resistance: Retribution follows the story of former British Marine James Grayson. After a personal tragedy – he is forced to kill his own brother inside a Chimeran conversion center – Grayson goes on a vendetta to destroy every conversion center he can find. As the story unfolds in Resistance Retribution, Grayson eventually learns that his efforts have been futile… in Western Europe the Chimera have evolved a new method of converting humans to aliens. The European resistance – the Maquis – enlist Grayson’s help, and he joins Cartwright and Parker in Operation Overstrike. The war to retake the European continent has begun.
The first Resistance was my very first PS3 game and I loved it from start to finish, I also really enjoyed its sequel and think it was ultimately under-rated by most, me included. It seems that Resistance has become its own franchise, which is great as it really deserves to be one. The series lands on the PSP and ditches first-person for a third-person shooter, it’s an interesting choice but does it work?

Damn right it does. It’s perhaps one of the most impressive PSP games that I’ve ever come across, it paces itself well and is easy to handle. The team seemed to take the system limitations into account such as the lack of a second analog stick and turned the 4 main buttons of the handheld into making you strafe and aim. Aiming is more or less automatic and the shoulder button fires you weapon, everything else like cover is context sensitive. It’s easy to get to grips with, I was skeptical that the game just couldn’t work without a second analog stick. But the good thing about being a reviewer is that I enjoy being proved wrong from time to time, and that’s exactly what has happened with Retribution.
The story of Resistance: Retribution is superb, perhaps even better than Nathan Hale’s tale. Perhaps because Grayson has a typical British personality, sure he is a stereotype but he has a good enough reason to hate the Chimera more than most. It’s also great to hook up your PSP to your PS3 if you have Resistance 2 because Grayson will become infected with the virus and have faster healing health and look different in cutscenes, even characters notice the change and the script itself changes…apart from FMV scenes where Grayson is the same. But it’s a nice incentive for those who have Resistance 2 and are considering picking up the handheld game.

What’s good about Retribution is that it’s simple to pick up and play for short bursts. It’s not particularly difficult, but there is plenty of action to be found and is great when you are on the go. The standard weapons from both games return while a few new ones turn up, I’ll let you discover these gems for yourself…I’ll just say that they are impressive and damn powerful. There is local and online multiplayer modes included, they are pretty standard modes like CTF and Deathmatch, but they are a nice addition nonetheless.
The game looks stunning. It uses great lightning effects and colourful textures to cover up any weaknesses visually, it’s damn impressive. It’s the small things that make a big difference and Retribution has it in spades. Voice-acting is also a triumph and almost on par with the console versions. The score matches the game perfectly and it’s a game that will make you want to put headphones on just to enjoy the soundtrack.

The Verdict

Resistance: Retribution is without a doubt, the best PSP game of 2009 so far. It has a lengthy campaign that rivals most console games, stays true to its roots despite the view change and has a deep story that will grips players to the end. I’ve never been the biggest fan of Sony’s handheld, but with more games like this…I’m starting to take a shine to it.