Saturday, July 11

Resistance 2 (or, I wish I knew more people with PS3s)

Thankfully, while wading through the cesspool of boredom that was Lost Odyssey, I found a very cheap copy of Resistance 2.

Resistance 2 is in many ways your standard FPS; you play a sci-fi soldier, the aliens want to take over the earth, kill all of them. Sounds pretty familiar I'm sure. I'm going to hit the high points though.

First, the story stays apace of the subject matter. It's an action game, so the plot is just complex enough to propel you to the next junction, no further. This is fine, actually; look how well this idea worked in the latest Star Trek movie. There's no need to make things complicated; you good, aliens bad, go. However the story also remains true to itself. While there will inevitably be a Resistance 3, I can only hope that the events of this game are kept as cannon. By this I mean; Resistance 2 is not about how you StMFD, and there is now dancing in the streets. Do you save the day? Yes. Does it feel like you've just put off the inevitable? Yes.

What's also cool is that there is apparently a parallel story that is played as a co-op campaign. That just seems awesome and I can't wait to try it, I just wish I knew more people to play it with.

One of the critiques of the first Resistance game was that it didn't really shake up the FPS genre. I'd have to say that this is still true in the sequel. My response is simple: Who cares?

A good game, executed well is what I'm asking for. They deliver it. The missions were challenging, but not unfair. The parts I had to repeat I learned from and did better the next time. The crazy firefight sequences felt right (chaotic, hazardous, fun only because they weren't real) the creepy parts of the game made me edgy, and I was entertained. I had at least two "Ho-ly shit!" moments when I first saw what I was supposed to fight against, and very frequently felt just like I was in a well oiled action movie.

You don't have to reinvent the wheel if what you have rolls so smoothly.

Now that said, I have two issues. First, there were times when I was lost and didn't know where I was supposed to go next. It didn't happen often, but when it did happen the game lost a lot of momentum. There are even sequences where they put a tag on the screen that you're supposed to move towards, and I found this to be extremely helpful. At the same time what this demonstrates is some glitches in design. If I get lost in what is basically a shooter on rails, something is amiss.

Second, there were two moments in the game which depended on AI controlled characters to get to a certain point before the player could go any further, and the AI was being all daffy about it. This basically strands the player (or at least it stranded me) until I died. Fortunately, the checkpoint save system means that it's rare that a player will have to go too far in order to regain what she or he lost by dying. It wasn't the end of the world, but it was a mild pain in the butt.

Those minor complaints aside, I found Resistance 2 to be a hell of a lot of fun, and am looking forward to playing the co-op campaign. I hope there's some cool people to play it with.

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