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Resistance 2 Review

November 7, 2008

Resistance 2 is the sequel to the highly successful Playstation 3 launch title, Resistance: Fall of Man. The game is developed by Insomniac Games, the team behind the original Spyro: The Dragon series on the Playstation, as well as the long running Ratchet & Clank series.  Insomniac made numerous & ambitious changes to the game since the original, however it worked out great for them.

Story

Insomniac chose to make the story focus is more centered around the character, Nathan Hale, who was the main character in the original game, than the more omnipotent view players had in the original one. One thing Insomniac didn’t change is that similar to the first game, there are some story problems. I’m not saying the story is bad by any means, however it is not told in the most compelling way. Rather than a compelling story that drives the game, Resistance 2 has a compelling Lore. This may be hard to understand, but rather than wanting to see what happens with Nathan Hale & his comrades, the series as a whole is more about the mysterious and interesting facts found within the universe.

Now Resistance: Fall of Man had a narrator who tied all the events of the story together, creating a feeling of a much larger conflict, while Resistance 2 does the opposite. With the more Hale centric story the game looses its massive feel, which is ironic as the gameplay is now more massive than ever.

Gameplay

Resistance 2 takes the word massive and runs wild with it, whether it be a massive amount of enemies to fight or the massive bosses found within in the game. No matter which point of the game your at, things are never small in scale. The single player campaign features bosses that you will fight throughout the levels, and some will make you feel like an ant. To fight these massive creatures & machines you have an impressive arsenal at your disposal. The campaign features a hefty amount of weapons from the standard M252 human carbine to the chimeran augar & bullseye. No matter what weapons you choose you’ll be using them until the ammo runs dry.

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The game now sports a more standard two weapon holding system, rather than the “Entire arsenal in you back pocket” approach the first game took. This makes the players pick and choose the weapons they want to use at any given time. However Insomniac made it pretty easy to have the right weapon at the right time. When sniping is needed a Marksman or L23 Fareye is usually close by for the player to use.  This allows player to not worry too much about saving a specific weapon for when they might or might not need it.

The game has a decent playtime for the single player campaign clocking in at around ten hours, for eight chapters & a prologue. This is only a tad longer than your standard First Person Shooter, which typically lasts around 6-8 hours.  Even though it only lasts a few more hours than the average FPS, the pace of the game is extraordinary fast, which makes experience feel shorter than it actually is. The action never lets up, and in the rare occasions it does, it’s never for long.

Co-operative Play

Resistance 2 has the most comprehensive and well done co-op of any game I’ve played thus far. Aside from the the fact that up to eight players can play in this mode, there dozens of different levels to complete that are unique outside of the single player storyline. The fact that Insomniac offered co-op levels different than levels found in the single player player campaign is a step forward in games.  Why is it a step forward? Well it is because most games just let players play with one friend to redo the campaign again.

The co-op play in Resistance 2 resembles closely a RPG. Both the Co-operative & Competitive multiplayer aspects of the game have a leveling system, however it is the co-op system that shines. There are three different classes to play as, a Soldier, a Medic, & a Special Op. Each class has unique roles within the team, for example the Special Ops is the damage dealer & resupplies the ammo for the group, while the Soldier acts as the damage absorber, or tank, with their shield. As the classes level up they gain new abilities & equipment.  Reaching certain levels will automatically unlock beserks & extra weapons for the class. such as new equipment to use, new weapons and beserks. Beserks are abilities used in both co-op & competitive play that players can activate to gain special abilities.  For example Special Ops can turn invisable, or Medics can create a Ring of Life to heal people.  These beserks can only be activated when enough experience is gained.

When players level up they can also gain new equipment.  Equipment can only be obtained when the level requirement is met, & a certain amount of Gray Tech is aquired.  Gray Tech is alien technology (Different than the Chimera) that both the humans & Chimera are fighting over.  Gray Tech is found throughout the co-op missions and as I said, are used to upgrade equpment.  Equipment will upgrade main weapons & the natural abiltiies of each class.  For example Special Ops will gain upgrades for their Marksman, as well as the ability to give out more ammunition.  These upgrades make higher level versions of the classes more valuable than their lower level counterparts.
A key part of co-op is the ability to switch classes at any point in time, the only requirement is to die first. Once you die you switch to the new class which allows for necessary changes depending on the situation. This also allows teams to change their strategy once a person in the group leaves and their class is missing. It will take a long time to complete the co-op missions as they are not especially easy and sometimes they may even see impossible.

Competitive Play

Pushing the envelope for console multiplayer, Resistance 2 uses a new high standard of 60 players in a single match. This new amount allows for large scale matches that span across entire maps. To complement this large number are a few game modes, ranging from the standard DeathMatch, Team DeathMatch, Core Control (Capture the Flag), and the not so standard Skirmish mode.

Skirmish mode is really the bread & butter of the resistance 2 multiplayer as it is the most unique mode of the game. Two teams are broken up into squads (which is done in any match regardless of the mode) with each squad given a rival squad on the other side. These rivals will be given objectives to combat each other all over the map. For example one squad will be given the task to take control of a beacon, while its rival squad will be tasked with defending that same beacon. There are a variety of tasks that are always changing in real time keeping the action fast and fresh.

Leveling up in competitive mode gives the player access to new skins and additions to customize the player avatar. All of the levels are achieved by gaining experience points by killing enemies and completing objectives. The single player, co op and competitive aspects all add to an overall rank. This rank is similar to the system used from the original game however it does nothing for the game.

Trophies

Sonys Trophy system has replaced Insomniacs long running skill point system. However its not a complete trade off. Rather than achieving certain behind the scenes goodies by gaining X amount of trophies, most are locked until you beat the game once. The remaining number have to do with the silver trophies in the game.  While the Trophies aren’t as numerous and wacked out as the previous skill point system, it is still a rewarding system to get players to do things they might not normally do.
Graphics/Audio

Resistance 2 sports impressive lighting and backdrops. Set pieces like watching the Chimera fleet fly over a city at dusk or looking upon the fleet while on one of the ships are impressive pieces of art. Take the time to slow down and observe the game and there will be a lot to admire. That said there are some rare visual bugs here and there, for example there is a glitch that sometimes have enemy limbs float in midair. These bugs are nothing too series, it is just there sometimes.

The audio in the game is well done as always in Insomniac style. The audio from the voice acting, to the music, and sound effects are all top notch. The dialogue isn’t too great, but also not too bad, so the there is nothing really to complain about.

Conclusion

Resistance 2 is one of those games that takes a series to the next level. Insomniac made it a point to improve just about everything in the game and it shows in the quality of the title. There are few hindrance like the story and the occasional visual glitch, however these problems prove minor in the light of how well done everything else is.

Amazing

Amazing

Editor's Choice

Editor's Choice

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