Looking back in hindsight, the initial batch of PlayStation 3 titles were far from special. The hyped Resistance, Sony’s answer to the Xbox’s all conquering Halo, stuttered and essentially failed to recapture the system selling magic that Bungie’s epic titles have consistently possessed.
But the sales figures were obviously chunky enough to initiate a sequel. Unlike the original, which took in all the glorious sights of Manchester and Grimsby, the tale of Nathan Hale now moves on to the United States. And the vicious Chimera are still on the front foot.
The change in focus certainly helps with the visual aspect. The original, while pleasing on the eye, was heavily criticised thanks to its constant use of various shades of brown and grey to show the planet Earth under perilous assault. This time the hectic action takes place in a variety of settings, from underground bases, through to epic vistas, all looking absolutely sumptuous in full high definition.
The story too is heavily tightened. The tale of the human race battling bravely against all odds remains, with the domination of the Chimera all the more obvious if you happen to take a glance at the battles happening way off in the distance. Your character, Nathan Hale, is as bog standardly average looking as ever, and as intriguing as the story can be if you happen to keep an eye out for the numerous scatterings of info left about each level, you can’t help but struggle to truly get into “his fight”. It’s not that he’s a dislikeable hero, and there are certainly enough twists to help Resistance 2 raise above the average FPS in terms of story. He’s just far too bland and unremarkable to be remembered in the same manner as the likes of Duke Nukem or Master Chief.
As for the single player campaign itself, it’s certainly longer than most story-driven titles have managed in recent memory. It’ll take you roughly 12 hours to progress through the storyline in its entirety. However, though things don’t initially feel any more difficult than any other FPS, deaths are certainly a regular occurrence. And although that is somewhat combated by tightly packed checkpoints never dropping you too far back in the action, it only goes a way to prevent you from truly heading through the game at the kind of frantic pace any FPS needs to be truly memorable.
The health system has changed, with the separate four bars of rechargeable health discarded in exchange for a method seen in most modern FPS titles. Take a few hits and the screen will drain of colour, apart from a red mist encircling your viewpoint. Simply duck behind cover and this red blur will dissipate, and back into the action you can head.
A new batch of enemies have been added, though the most seen pairing simply aren’t to the kind of high standard we could have hoped for. The Furies, water dwelling shark like creatures will automatically devour you if you stay in the water for too great a time, making anything more than a swift dip total suicide. And the award for absolute annoyance has to go for the camouflaged enemies that can kill with a single blow.
The weaponry again remains to be a solid mix of human made rifles and handguns – special mention must go to the incredibly powerful and fun packed Magnum – and futuristic Chimeran efforts. The Bullseye, which allows you to target an enemy, with all following bullets heading in their direction no matter where you aim is still the main weapon of choice for regular use.
For online gamers, up to a huge eight of you can play through various challenges co-operatively. For those of you with numerous friends, this is a major plus, particularly when you add in bonuses and unlockables when you earn experience. For the more competitive up to 60 players can compete in the usual batch of online modes, with some fantastically well designed maps.
As far as frantic FPS action goes, Resistance 2 certainly offers more than most. The few set pieces are generally epic, and there are constantly numerous bullets flying across the screen as humanity tries to strike back against the Chimeran threat.
But, the frequent deaths, the dull main character, and some new irritating enemies hold this one back from being a true classic. A shame.