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Resistance: Retribution Review

May 21, 2009

I loved Resistance: Fall of Man. Played it three times through. Resistance 2 was really good, but really lacked in the story department as well as the campaign mode as a whole. Well after playing Retribution, I can honestly say the story is better than Resistance 2 and right there with Fall of Man. Even more strange is that I think I like the main character more than Nathan Hale. But enough about this and on to why every PSP owner should purchase Resistance: Retribution.

Story

Retribution takes place after the events of Fall of Man. You play as James Grayson, a British soldier who was going to be executed for ‘war crimes’. You’ll uncover more about this as you go so I won’t ruin anything for you. You’ll end up helping to rid the rest of Europe of the spreading Chimera invasion. Making an appearance are  both Cartwright from Fall of Man, as well as the narrator from Resistance Fall of Man, Rachel Parker, who narrates Retribution as well.

The narration was something I missed in R2 and was glad to see back in Retribution. It really helps to explain everything that is going on in the story and ties loose ends together.

James Grayson is a blast to play the game as. He hates the British because they turned their backs on him and sentenced him for execution and he hates the French, and you’ll see many instances of this within the game. He’s brash, he speaks his mind, acts first and thinks later. He has all of the elements of a main character that help you relate to the character that I wish Nathan Hale had. Because of how great this main character is, it makes the game that much more enjoyable to play.

All of the Chimera you loved and hated from Resistance will be here including the armored Chimera. You’ll also encounter new Chimera, your good friends the Leapers, Titans and other boss battles as well.

Gameplay

Retribution utilizes a great control scheme to get you through the game. The game utilizes a 3rd person view, using the analog stick to move and using the face buttons to aim up/down/left/right. The R shoulder button is used to fire with L being used as secondary fire. You then use the D-Pad Up to Zoom, Down as an action button, Left to reload, and Right to switch weapons. All of this works out well for the most part, with the only real drawback being the fact that there’s no room left for a grenade button, meaning you will have to select it like you would your other weapons.

A sticky cover system is used in this game and it works very well. Simply move up to a wall or barrier and Grayson will stick against it. Simply press the fire button to pop-out and shoot, release it to go back to cover. An auto-lock-on system is also used in the game. My first thought was going to be “will this make the game too easy?” and fortunately it does not. The thing is, the lock on targets the enemies’ chest area, the most resilient part. You won’t score headshots this way. However, you can opt to press Up with your weapons to enter manual aim mode which makes it tougher to hit the enemy but allows for precise aiming. Some enemies will even require you manually aim for headshots in order to take them out. In addition, enemies have no problems running up next to you to shoot around your cover, and they will take cover themselves, which helps balance out the cover system.

And it wouldn’t be Resistance without a vast array of weapons. Most of the weapons resemble those from R2 but with some changes. The Bullseye is replaced by the Razor (which I now prefer) with the secondary fire now allowing you to charge up to a full clip of 45 energy rounds, and then fire it as a razor blade that ricochets off of walls to take out nearby enemies. The Carbine is back, along with the Fareye, and the shotgun. A slight variation of the Wraith is featured here as well. Oh, and let’s not forget the LAARK.

Where's a LAARK when I need one?!

Graphics/Audio

The graphics are very good in the cutscenes of Retribution. Graphics can vary throughout the game however, with some areas looking great, and others just looking average. Overall though, the game is good to look at.

The voice acting is near perfect in this game. I couldn’t ask for me. Again, I’m a huge Grayson fan after playing this game and he really delivers in the voice-acting category. It’s great watching him explain why he just punched a French Soldier 3 times. The narration is great, and all supporting characters really deliver on their voice-acting.

The sound effects are hit or miss, but I suspect it’s the PSP’s speaker moreso than the game. I haven’t tried it with headphones so I can’t say for sure, but certain effects just don’t sound good, primarily the shotgun blast. It sounds like a pea shooter and really takes away from the raw power of the gun. There’s not a ton of music in the game, but the little there is good and usually conveys a sense of impending doom.

Multiplayer

If the single-player campaign isn’t enough for you, the game features online Multiplayer. I’ll admit, I wasn’t expecting much from the online play but again, Retribution delivers and proved me wrong. There are varying game modes such as deathmatch, team death match, capture the flag and more. There are medals for weapon in which you can receive a bronze, silver, or gold based on the # of kills you get with each weapon. You also increase rank as you gain points which allows you to unlock features such as in-game taunts. For example, nothing was more degrading than when I got gunned down and my killer stood over me and played air guitar to the sound of a guitar riff. I’ll admit I laughed though.

Throughout the online, you can run up to teammates who have been gunned down, and if you reach them quick enough, you can press the action button to revive them. This is worthwhile as it will give you 2 bonus points, as well as get your teammate back into action quicker. The levels also feature explosive barrels so that if you can free-aim well, you can take out enemies with environmental damage.

At the end of the round the rankings appear along with honorable mentions such as “Most valuable player” and “Least valuable Player”. There is also a lobby for text chat for the game, a friends list to add players you liked, and the ability to view other players profiles. Again, the multiplayer experience was so much more fleshed out than I thought it would be.

Get to Cover!!! Oh wait...there is no cover.

Get to Cover!!! Oh wait...there is no cover.

Extras

Retribution also features Intel that is hidden throughout the game, most of which offers a lot of insight into the Cloven, something that lacked in previous Resistance titles.

Skill points can also be found in Retribution for performing certain actions throughout the game. By finding skill points you can unlock bonus content within Retribution.

Retribution also features Remote Play benefits where you can connect your PSP to your PS3 and Resistance 2. This allows you to do two things: 1) Play Retribution using a PS3 controller and 2) Giving Grayson advanced abilities such as health-regeneration.

Play Beyond

Play Beyond

Conclusion

If you can’t already tell, Resistance: Retribution comes highly recommended by me.  For a handheld game, Retribution is more fleshed out than a lot of console releases. The game solidly delivers in every category of the game and I find it hard to really knock the game in any area. In fact, reread my review…I don’t think I posted a single negative with the game.

With this said, Retribution was a sleeper hit for me and rivaled the stories of past Resistance titles. I definitely got my money’s worth out of this game and wholeheartedly believe every single PSP owner that is remotely interested in the Resistance franchise should go out and purchase this game.

Why are you still reading this? Go out and get your butt to your local retailer to get Retribution right now!

Amazing

Amazing

Editor's Choice

Editor's Choice

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