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Gaming: Resistance and the Best Shooters This Gen

Wikipedia fact: "The game previously featured a prototype weapon called the Tapper, which would shoot tubes and create a blood fountain, but this weapon was ultimately cut from the final product."

Wikipedia fact: "The game previously featured a prototype weapon called the Tapper, which would shoot tubes and create a blood fountain, but this weapon was ultimately cut from the final product."

This was mostly prompted by reading about Insomniac’s belief that Resistance 2 was a failure in the eyes of fans.  Resistance 2 generally seemed to split everyone into two camps, with people either thinking that it:

A) Was stripped of all the uniqueness of R:FoM, making it a much more generic and macho, CoD-style game, losing lots of its identity and ruining the character of Nathan Hale, or:

B) Discarded or improved most of what didn’t work in R:FoM and really tightened up into a proper AAA shooter with a great sense of the scale of the human-chimera conflict.

I personally fall closer to B than I do to A. Regardless of the weakness of the story and the changes to Hale’s character, the actual structure and combat of Resistance 2’s campaign was really good, with some great set-pieces. There were a few things lost in the translation, but most I was happy to see the back of (like the health system).

It got me thinking about where I’d rate the two games when compared with every other shooter I’ve played this gen, both third- and first-person, and focusing purely on the solo and co-op modes. I firstly just went through my achievement and trophy lists and listed every shooter in there, each time deciding where I’d position it against the others already in the list, coming up with this:

  • Halo 3: ODST
  • Halo 3
  • Bioshock
  • Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune
  • Gears of War
  • Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
  • Left 4 Dead
  • Gears of War 2
  • Killzone 2
  • Resistance 2
  • Rainbow Six: Vegas
  • Rainbow Six: Vegas 2
  • The Darkness
  • Kane & Lynch: Dead Men
  • Stranglehold
  • Far Cry 2
  • Resistance: Fall of Man
  • Unreal Tournament 3
  • Army of Two
  • Call of Juarez

That looks worse for the Resistance games than it really is though, because I wouldn’t really say there are huge differences between each game in the list.  Grouping them into similar levels of fondness, it would be more like this:

  1. Excellent – Halo 3: ODST, Halo 3, Bioshock, Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune
  2. Really Great – Gears of War, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
  3. Great – Left 4 Dead, Gears of War 2, Killzone 2
  4. GoodResistance 2, Rainbow Six: Vegas, Rainbow Six: Vegas 2, The Darkness,
  5. Okay – Kane & Lynch: Dead Men, Stranglehold, Far Cry 2
  6. FlawedResistance: Fall of Man, Unreal Tournament 3, Army of Two
  7. Poor – Call of Juarez

That seems about right to me. In my opinion Fall of Man (which I played in 2009, long after release and after playing almost every other game in the list) was okay but very rough around the edges, with lots of things that I didn’t really like, while Resistance 2 was a good game but not a spectacular one. That puts the series on the level of being something that I’m happy to see continue, even if I’m not particularly excited at the thought of a sequel. The kind of non-essential game that I’d buy during a slow period, I guess.

Wikipedia fact: "While no formal announcement has been made, a promotional billboard for Resistance 3 was spotted on a location set for Battle: Los Angeles, an upcoming film by Columbia Pictures (a subsidiary of Sony) to be released in early 2011."

Wikipedia fact: "While no formal announcement has been made, a promotional billboard for Resistance 3 was spotted on a location set for Battle: Los Angeles, an upcoming film by Columbia Pictures (a subsidiary of Sony) to be released in early 2011."

I think it is promising that Insomniac do realise there was a fan backlash to some of what they changed, because that suggests Resistance 3 could find a decent balance between the two, somehow fusing the personality of the first one with the mechanics/scale of the second. With ODST going more traditional by bringing back the health bar (and it was mainly Halo’s fault that games dropped them), Insomniac might even revert back to a health system, although I’d rather they went either with a pure recharge or pure health system instead of FoM’s hybrid, which I felt had all the disadvantages of both systems without the strengths of either.

Out of all the big shooter sequels Resistance 3 is probably the one that will be most interesting to follow in previews, because there really are several directions it could go in, not just in the gameplay but in the story/setting and even whoever you end up playing as.  Pretty much every other shooter in the list above is fairly set in how the sequels will play out, but Insomniac have demonstrated that they are both able and willing to make big changes if they feel the game demands it, even if they don’t always get it quite right.

Image Sources: Eurogamer

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  1. April 6, 2010 at 22:39

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