Resistance 2 Review
Resistance 2 was the highly anticipated sequel to Sony’s launch title of Resistance: Fall of Man. Announced early on in 2008, it was boasted as being bigger, better, and badder with the addition of 8-Player Online Co-Op and 60-Player Deathmatches. Did it live up to the hype?
Taking place shortly after the events of Resistance 1, the effort to push back the Chimera didn’t go as planned and the Chimera are now overrunning the USA. Once again, Nathan Hale is tasked with leading the surge to wipe the Chimera off the map. We also learn that Nathan Hale has been experimented on/studied since Fall of Man due to his ‘Resistance’ to the Chimeran virus. We also learn that there was quite a bit of experimenting on other soldiers as well which all ties into the story later.
Overall, the story was decent, but was a letdown. The single-player mode felt a bit rushed to me and seemed more of “go here, do this” than really immersing you into the story. The single-player was also very short compared to the first Resistance, clocking in at around 10 hours. The story does do a good job of ending the game and making you anxious for the third entry to see how things turn out.
The gameplay is mostly identical to the first Resistance but with a few changes. The first is the weapon system. You now carry two weapons rather than ALL weapons. This makes weapon management MUCH easier and allows you to switch between weapons with ease. A majority of the old weapons are back along with some new ones such as the Bellock (a flame canister launcher), the Splicer (buzzsaw launcher), and one of my favorites, the Marksman (think M16 set to 3 round bursts). Some of the old weapons were redesigned as well. On to the second major change: The difficulty.
Normally, I play my FPS’s on Hard difficulty. After playing the first Resistance which was brutally difficult, I decided I’d start the sequel on Normal. Big mistake. Resistance 2 is MUCH easier than Resistance 1 for a number of reasons. First off, you reach checkpoints much more frequently, meaning you’ll be replaying parts less often. Secondly, your health is now similar to Call of Duty where once you take damage, if you hide, you regenerate your health fully. No more segmented health where you only regenerate a portion.
Resistance 2 also features more boss battles which was a welcome addition. The Chicago boss battle is easily the most fun/epic of them all. However, I felt that every boss was just way too easy in the game. None really had any “weak points” you had to find and no patterns to learn. It was just fire away until they drop. I was especially disappointed in the final boss battle also. It’s things like these that show Insomniac had a lot on its’ plate, and unfortunately the single-player mode suffered as a result.
The graphics are a huge improvement over the first Resistance. There are more colors to be seen along with much more detail. The Chimera were redesigned slightly with armor and everything looks much more polished. However, the graphics still look just a bit under par for the PS3. They’re not terrible by any means, but I’ve seen better.
The audio is mostly good in the game. All sound effects and music sound good, and the voice chat is extremely clear (more on online mode later). One notable difference this time around is that Hale now can talk. However, the voice-acting is a bit sub-par and quite honestly, I’d rather Hale was mute and the British chick returned to narrate.
Online is where Resistance 2 shines. The 8-Player Co-Op is absolutely incredible as well as addicting. It’s set up so that each player picks among 3 classes: Soldier, Spec Ops, Medic. The soldier should be on the front lines of the battlefield as he is equipped with a shield to protect teammates. The Spec Ops have little health but are crucial as they provide ammo to teammates (unfortunately many players online don’t understand this concept). The Medic siphons health off enemies to replace his own and shoots a heal beam to teammates low on health. The Medic can also revive downed players much quicker than the other classes. It requires teamwork to get through the many missions in the co-op campaign. It requires a good balance of classes to make it through the levels properly (I’ve found 2-3 soldiers, 2 medics, and 2-3 Spec Ops make for a good balance).
The Competitive game modes provide you with the usual Deathmatch and Team Deathmatch and add Core Control, where each team tries to capture cores, along with my favorite addition, Skirmish mode. In Skirmish mode (up to 60 players), there are two teams, each with multiple squads consisting of 5 players each. Each squad is tasked with objectives such as capturing beacons, defending them, taking out an enemy target, or protecting their own. What’s neat about this mode is that your squad can dominate a round, only to lose the match because your other squads were ripped apart. It takes each squad doing their part to win the round.
Trophies were also added to this iteration of Resistance. They are broken up between the single-player, co-op, and competitive modes. Single-Player ones range from obtaining 30 kills with each weapon to beating the game on Superhuman. Co-Op range from beating all the missions to maxing out a class. Competitive range from earning 1,000,000 XP to the hardest trophy in the game (the only one I don’t have), which is scoring 10,000 competitive kills.
Was Resistance 2 bigger, better, and badder? Hands-down it was! Despite a slightly disappointing single-player campaign, the online modes more than make up for it. The 8-Player Online Co-Op sets a new standard for online co-op and the 60-Player skirmish modes work extremely well, all with no lag whatsoever.
Resistance 2 is a game you should not pass up. I’ve put in tons of hours into this game and plan on putting in many more. I’m personally excited for Resistance 3 based on how the game ended and can’t wait to see what Insomniac has up their sleeves next.