November 4, 2008
Resistance: Fall of Man was the top launch title for the Playstation 3, and one of the most worthwhile on the system to date. Resistance 2, the highly-anticipated sequel, had a lot to live up to as it attempted to push the series forward while retaining the elements that made the first game such a success, but it is safe to say that developer Insomniac was able to deliver as promised.
For those who are not familiar with the series, you play as Nathan Hale, a U.S. soldier who had been sent to Britain to fight against the Chimeran threat. After successfully repelling their attacks overseas in the first Resistance, you find yourself back in the United States, against a larger and much more coordinated Chimeran attack force. Hale, the lone U.S. soldier still alive from the British campaign, was infected with the Chimeran virus in the first game, and the second game centers around Hale’s need to finish the mission he started before the virus is able to overtake his entire body and transform him completely. He will attempt this mission alongside the Sentinels, a unit of soldiers that, like Hale, are also infected with the Chimeran virus.
As excellent as the original Resistance was, there were issues that needed to be ironed out and improved upon in a sequel, and Insomniac did a solid job of identifying these problems and making them disappear. First of all, the health/medpack system was scrapped in favor of a cover system, with 100 percent health regeneration rather than up to 50 percent. This worked to speed up the pace of the firefights and allow you to do more than just hide behind walls and occasionally shoot, as you would not need to worry about running out of medpacks to boost your health back to full.
Second, the lower-level Chimera are no longer sinkholes for your bullets that took an inordinate amount of time and shots to kill. Instead, the game keeps the difficulty up by casually throwing enemies at you-sometimes in large numbers-that you would have faced in rare or special situations in the original. They back those enemies up with groups of Chimeran grunts, which are as stated easier to kill, but in larger numbers than before.
There are also new foes for you to face, the most memorable of which are the Chameleon Chimera. These are invisible and fast Chimera that you have to listen for as they come at you-you will hear their rumbling, and maybe a growl as they launch themselves at you, and a shotgun blast from an attentive player will be all that is necessary to dispatch them. For those who do not listen close enough though, expect to be torn asunder.
Thankfully, the AI for soldiers on your team has improved from the first game, and there will be times where they save you, and you them. Unlike the first game, where it often felt like large-scale battles were essentially you with the other soldiers there for show, they assist you in taking down enemies, including the aforementioned Chameleons. Of course, the Chimeran AI is also noteworthy, and there will be times where they flank you or sneak up behind you for the kill.
The weapons have been revamped, with some of the weaponry from the first game improved-the Bullseye, for instance, lives up to its name more here than it did previously, and the Auger now shows you the shape of the enemy units behind walls rather than simply reddening your reticule. Insomniac has also included new firepower, such as the Marksman, an accurate rifle with a scope and a short, three-round burst of fire. Think of it like a low-powered sniper rifle that you can take on a run-and-gun mission.