Resistance 2 Beta Impressions
Resistance 2 is the follow up title to Insomniac games newest IP, Resistance: Fall of Man. Resistance was heralded as the Ps3’s best launch title and is still played to this day. With the sequel being released in just two weeks Insomniac has opened the beta for the multiplayer experience of Resistance 2(R2) to the public.
From what you can gather from the co op experience of R2 (more on that later) an alien race known as the Chimera have invaded the United States. The Co-Op experience has you as part of a “Specter Team” who is fighting the Chimera.
Resistance 2 is a First person Shooter (FPS), and plays like most FPS games do. Insomniac made some changes however from the control set up of the first game. The first game had you hold onto every weapon you found in the game, which worked well for single player, but made switching weapons in multiplayer a severe pain. This system has gone out the window with R2 adopting a more standard, two weapons only, weapon management system. The weapons of R2, however, are anything but standard. Sure some of them resemble basic gun types, pistols, shotguns, machine guns etc, but they are made unique and fresh with Insomniacs take on them. The bullseye Chimeran machine gun returns from the first game with a complete overhaul on its look. Aside from the looks it functions the same with the same tag system.
Some other standards return like the M5A2 Machine gun, L23 Fareye, and Rossmore shotgun. However there are more than a few new weapons like the Bellock, Wraith, Marksman, and V7 Splicer. Even though the beta only shows 10 different weapons, I have a sneaky suspicion that there are a few more waiting in the full game (The marksman is based off a Chimeran sniper rifle, not featured in the beta). Outside of weapons there are a few other gameplay tweaks, running is improved with more realistic view on how people would run. (You now sway and breath heavy instead of the old method of just increased speed) The Chimera can also run now.
The game also introduces a “Beserk” feature. Beserks are obtain when enough exp is gained. The Beserk you currently use is chosen alongside your weapon. The Human and Chimeran sides both have unique and shared Beserks. They range from the old Chimeran special from the original game, known as Chimeran Rage(allows you to see through walls), to orbs that shoot over your head and attack enemies. These Beserks can help save your life and that of your allies in battle.
Resistance 2 sports an experience system for its multiplayer, in both co op and competitive. (More on how experience works in their respective sections)
The Co op portion of the beta consists of a single map, Orik(restricted for the beta). There are a few different missions in Orik, depending on the maximum number of players in the game. This number can range from 2-8 and no matter the number, is extremely fun. When going into a co op game you choose a class. There are three classes available, known as Soldiers, Medics, and Special Ops. These three classes work together like classes in an MMO would. In terms of an MMO the soldier would be the tank, medic healer, and special ops dps. There are a few different ways of playing each class and it depends on preference what you want to play as. Now completing objectives and killing or damaging enemies will give you exp. Exp goes toward your level class and as you level up you gain access to new things. For example level 2 gives players an alternate weapon, while getting to 3 gives you a new Beserk. During the co cop missions “boss” enemies will drop Gray Tech. What this tech is and how it relates to the story is not elaborated on, but collecting it will allow you to purchase new armor at higher levels. The first piece would be Glove armor that will increase your reload speed.
Now the competitive side also contains levels, but this is disabled in the beta, which makes it difficult to judge how it would affect the game. However competitive is extremely fun, especially on the higher end of the player count. R2 is the first console game to sport 60 player matches, and though nay sayers will try to convince you that it is too many to have a fun game is, it is amazing fun. Even though there are 59 other players besides you, you would rarely notice. The maps aren’t overly huge, fighting still feels small and for the most part, you can enter a 40 player or 60 player game and wouldn’t know which is which.
At the beginning of matches you choose your weapon and Berserk and your into the fray. At any point in the game you can switch the weapon or berserk.This allows for strategy change based on the situation. For example i start out with my new favorite weapon, the marksman. Its a good mid range weapon but the Fareye and bullseye are better at long and short range respectfully. If i start spawning far away, i can roll out with the fareye to snipe, or vice versa with the bullseye.
The graphics of R2 are a vast improvement over the original. There is more detail, better lightning, better animation, the works. Insomniac has clearly used what they learned from working on Tools of Destruction towards R2. The audio is a mixed bag if old sounds and new. There are a lot of new sounds for the new weapons and larger enemies, with the older weapons and enemies sounding the same.
The Resistance 2 beta does a great job at showing how the final game will play, while holding back enough that we get excited for the release. The multiplayer, in both its forms play well, are fun and also engaging. I would have liked to see how exp affected competitive multiplayer, but that’s something we all find out on November 4th.