PS3, please

Resistance 2 deserves a shot
By MADDY MYERS  |  December 12, 2008
3.0 3.0 Stars

VIDEO: The trailer for Resistance 2

Resistance 2 | For the PlayStation 3 | Rated M for mature | Developed by Insomniac Games | Published by Sony Computer Entertainment
In the current console wars, fans of shooters have gravitated toward the Xbox 360 — which means that Sony's Resistance, a PS3 shooter, is getting lost in the shuffle. Although the first installment pales — it's good, but not good enough — when compared with the first Gears of War, its Microsoft rival, their respective sequels, which were released in the same week last month, are neck and neck.

The plot is typical: alien beings called Chimera have infested and destroyed our Earth, with humanity being trampled like so much garbage — and you, Nathan Hale, are the one man who can stop them. Infected by their virus, you acquire their speed and healing abilities, but the Chimera hive mind is slowly gaining control of your subconscious. In what little time you have left before turning into a Chimera yourself, you fight for humanity's salvation. Hale is a simple soldier with excellent abilities; he moves up ranks until he's achieved recognition and fame. It's a cross between Gears and Halo. Not to mention that most of the Chimera could pass for cousins of the Locusts in Gears.

Resistance 2 has dropped the extensive weapon wheels of the first game. Just as in Gears, you can now only carry a couple of weapons at a time. Fans of the original will lament the change, but having two weapons as opposed to an arsenal ups the realism — and the fear. The boss battles in Resistance 2 have done well to take advantage of the PS3's beautiful graphic capabilities. Sure, there are some excessive cut-scenes where the designers are just showing off — but if you're willing to sit back and watch, you'll find there's plenty to admire.

Resistance 2's one major flaw is its lack of a co-op option, a huge disappointment until I realized how comprehensive the on-line multi-player is. You can play as one of three character types: spec ops, medic, or soldier. Spec ops provide ammunition, medics heal, and soldiers use their shields and powerhouse weapons as protective tanks. In the heat of battle, this ally system grows a bit frenzied, but it works out once you get the hang of it. The more you play, the more you level up, and the better the weapons and armor you can get. You can play competitively and not co-operatively if you wish, but fighting alongside friends against Chimeran hordes fits the tone of the game far better than fighting against your fellow humans.

Even though two mind-blowing, kick-ass shooters got released in the same week and would please the exact same audience, there isn't much reason to compare Gears of War 2 and Resistance 2. Determining which game is "better" is difficult — and not an answerable question by most, since so few will have the means to play both games all the way through. It's certainly cheaper to stick to just one. But know this: you ignore Resistance 2 at your own peril. I'm not too much of a 360 fangirl to admit it.

Editor's Note: Resistance 2 allows players to use the co-op option when players are using the multi-player online mode, but not when they are in campaign mode.

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