Resistance: Fall of Man

I just finished playing this game shortly after beating ‘The Last of Us’… I know, I was late to the party.  I was pretty tired of playing Halo and Call of Duty, to the point where I even thought I was sick of the FPS genre.  Still, the Resistance Trilogy was available for only $30, so I figured, “Why the hell not?”  I’m glad I went against the inner voice that told me I probably wouldn’t enjoy these games very much, because Resistance is probably the most fun I’ve had in a FPS in quite some time.

At first, it doesn’t seem like a very big deal – Yeah, you’re a dude during the era of WWII blasting aliens.  ‘Aliens’… why do we always have to be going against aliens?  A legitimate question I had going in, but the gameplay here had me forget about that in no time.

One of the things I loved about Call of Duty 2, before that franchise went belly up with excess instead of realism, was that you had to really think on your feet.  You couldn’t just run into an area blazing with everything in your inventory and expect to get out alive.  No, you had to be smart and tactical, and you had to replay the same areas over and over again until you figured out a method that worked to your advantage.  In this respect, the game was almost a puzzle that relied on speed and reflexes just as much as your intellect.  It was an incredibly frustrating experience at times, but boy, was it rewarding.  Well, Resistance surprisingly brings back the feel of the old Call of Duty games… just running through each area means certain doom, meaning you have to think on your feet and use some hardcore tactics if you hope to move along… and yet, you’re not fighting in the typical WWII environment.  Oh, sure, the outfits and buildings are all there, but the plot actually depicts an alternate timeline where world events at the time are disrupted by a larger, otherworldly threat.  This may seem like a boring mish-mash of clichéd experiences we’ve played time and time again, but MAN, the formula works like no other.

One of the great things about the game is the variety of weapons you’ll use along the way.  You’ll use some traditional ‘human’ fare, but get a hefty dose of alien technology to dwindle the opposition as well.  What really makes this mash-up work however, are the fun secondary modes that each item has.  For example, a standard alien plasma rifle comes equipped with a certain amount of homing devices… just tag an enemy with one, and then unleash all you have… all of your ammo will automatically find their way to the enemy no matter where you aim.  How cool is that?  Every piece of weaponry you come across has something fun like this in store for you to exploit when the chips are down, and some of the items you get to lob at your enemies are pretty creative, too.

Another thing that really surprised me was just how challenging the game was.  At first, it was an absolute cake walk… but things got tougher and tougher as time went on, and by the end of the game, things were pretty brutal.  You know, games that don’t offer a lot of challenge can be really fun to play, but it’s the challenge that usually keeps me glued to the edge of my seat, since I become more determined by the minute to move forward.  The game is brutal, but never quite unfair.  By the end of the game, you actually have to use a variety of different weapons in unison to defend yourself against certain foes appropriately.  The FPS genre is sorely lacking such gameplay… mostly, you just have to pick up whatever you find and go with it.  In this game however, you need to be smarter with what you’re using.  There’s really nothing worse than a FPS that offers a ton of variety, yet no reason to use most of it.  I loved the recent Naughty Dog effort ‘The Last of Us’, but there are weapons I NEVER had to use.

Graphically, the game wasn’t all that impression.  Granted, this was (I believe) a PS3 launch title, but it was still behind what the competition was offering.  Lighting wasn’t great, black levels were always murky… that’s all well and good for artistic choice, since they wanted the game to look a bit muted and faded like an old WWII film reel or something, but taking away the visual contrast robs the game from its much needed atmosphere.

All in all, I think Resistance is the most fun I’ve had with a FPS game in a long, long time, and I just can’t wait to play the rest, even though I understand they’ve ‘mainstreamed’ the gameplay a bit more in those.

All that really needs to be said is that the game is fun AND challenging, and actually feels like you’re legitimately in the heat of battle/war.  If you haven’t played this game as of yet, I highly recommend doing so before the next-gen rolls around and you forget about it.


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