Insomniac's deadly take on alternate history continues with Resistance 3, an imaginative first-person shooter in which weapons take center stage, offering a plethora of methods and strategies to repel the alien invasion of 1950s America. In actuality, however, the oppressive extraterrestrial inhabitants have nearly conquered the Earth, slowly transforming it into a frozen rock in space. Enter Joseph Capelli, an ex-military special agent who wants nothing but to provide a habitable home for his sick, only child, even if that entails traversing the inhospitable wasteland of the United States in an effort to take down the alien's base of operations: a sky-piercing tower located in the center of New York City.
- The narrative is a bit more personal, but the alien threat is still very real -
Resistance 3 breaks the military mold of the series in regards to both story and gameplay, offering a more personal and focused experience that separates it from most first-person shooters. That doesn't mean there aren't plenty of mutant threats to dispatch in a variety of head-bursting, appendage-dismembering ways. Killing is the name of the game, and Resistance 3's upgradeable arsenal of both inventive and tactical weapons incites gratuitous gore at exhilarating levels. Ammunition conservation, weapon strengths, enemy weaknesses, and weapon combination strategies are as prevalent and required to survive as ever with the return of the weapon wheel, allowing any previously acquired weapon to be selected with ease.
Unfortunately, many strategies will be useless during the campaign's often-frantic firefights that pit the player in the middle of swarming enemy infantries. Trench warfare and indoor conflicts have been largely overshadowed by more open battlefields, but overall there is enough variety in level design beyond a cosmetic level. Still, the meat of the combat, disemboweling the opposition in any way possible equipped with a powerful arsenal to start a personal war, is a visceral and satisfying experience that makes up some of the best the genre has to offer. Resistance 3's campaign is simply a blast to play, especially with a buddy, with varied level designs and memorable firefights, and although the online multiplayer component loses the player count of its predecessor, the online matchmaking and smaller maps allow for a more focused and rewarding experience with high replayability due to leveling incentives and special abilities.
Although Resistance 2 ditched muted color palettes in favor of saturated visuals, Resistance 3 returns to the monochromatic style of the original with oppressing locales that lack vibrancy but are packed with detail. Every environment, from fields of wheat, to abandoned gas stations, even to Times Square, is packed both with 1950s-inspired design and imaginative alien technology, successfully blending the two to create a haunting juxtaposition that illustrates the game's larger narrative themes of hopelessness and the feebleness of man. The attention to detail is magnified considering some levels are large and off nonlinear level progression, allowing resistance fighters to explore and soak up the artistically impressive visuals. Unfortunately, technical blemishes mar the artistic design with flickering shadows, stiff character rigs, and textures with inappropriate use of incandescence that become quite noticeable in dark areas like buildings and caves.
- The game shines in single-player, not in competitive multiplayer -
The shrill shrieks of aliens, bombastic bullet sprays, and the satisfying sound like that of a grapefruit being smashed by a sledgehammer whenever a headshot is inflicted are all recorded and mixed with impact and power in mind, offering strategic sound cues that are beneficial to survival. Sound effects and voice over audio tracks tend not to sync with the animated actions during intense firefights and several of the voice cast misses the mark, but overall Resistance 3's sound design is audio delight. The moody orchestral soundtrack incites fear and adrenaline while reinforcing the action and the environment.
Overall, Resistance 3's strategic core gunplay and killer weapons overshadow the unusual lack of polish and restricted multiplayer.
GameDynamo's Score for Resistance 3 (PS3)
He's always enjoyed the artistic craft of video games and received a Bachelor in Fine Arts for Animation. He also creates his own games!
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