Tuesday, July 11, 2000

Resistance 2 Reviews 9.0

Resistance 2 comes as somewhat of a disappointment to me. I absolutely loved the first Resistance game for the PS3 and it was truly the first "must have" title for the system.

Unfortunately many of the things that endeared me to the first game have been modified or dropped completely in R2. The excellent narration between levels featured in the first game is now completely gone and sorely missed. The story suffers because of it. Now instead of getting a quick update of the fight against the Chimera the game relies on in-game voice acting to move the story. It simply doesn't work for me. The objectives are never quite clear enough, the motivation isn't quite there. I felt like every level was simplified to "kill the guys who don't look like us". Very disappointing considering the first game had such an excellent story.

Another disappointment to me is the graphics. While R2 does add more colors to the originals palette the game is by no means stunning. Graphical glitches are prevalent in everything from evident polygon seams to areas completely missing textures. The environment textures themselves vary from pixilated to blurry. This all stands in stark contrast to in-game bosses which are stunning. The graphical detail from level to level is also uneven. The very first level looks terrible while the next level, situated in a redwood forest, looks great. I can't help but feel that the game could've used another 6 months in development to improve the graphics.

Also cut are the fun vehicle sequences from R1. That's right you won't get a crack to pilot any vehicle of any type at any point in the game. Co-operative offline campaign has also been cut and replaced with random levels that feature no story to speak of. Very disappointing.

Another change to R2 is the weapons themselves. The first game featured a large variety of weapons that were added to the player's inventory permanently. Now, not only has the amount of weapons offered dwindled; but you can only carry 2 weapons at one time. I can understand certain players citing more realism as the reason for the change but it simply doesn't make sense - Resistance isn't about realism.

Changes too have been made to the health system. In the first game the player had a traditional health bar that provided the pertinent information. That has now been removed in favor of a damage system represented by a red screen. The more damage your character takes the more red the outer ring of your screen will become. I don't have a problem with the new system as much as I have a problem with the one-hit instant kills that have been added to the game. Certain enemies retain the capability of stopping you dead in your tracks. Unfortunately this is abused by the developer and you'll find yourself randomly dying at the hands of enemies in what can only be described as trial and error. It's very frustrating to be killed unexpectedly because you're unclear where to go or what to do or by invisible enemies.

One change to the game that I liked is the inclusion of a cast of characters that Nathan actually fights alongside. The first Resistance game was essentially a one man show. While in R2 you have no direct control of your squad-mates they are there and fight along with you. The AI for these characters is moderately capable.

The online portion of the game has clearly received more attention in R2. You now have a slew of options including cooperative and competitive online modes. A big selling point touted by the developer is the ability to fight in 60-player online battles. My experience thus far has been mixed. The massive battles I've played in are unorganized and chaotic. I confess that thus far I'm not a fan. The game attempts to encourage small squad based objectives but it hasn't had the desired effect. In online games I've started it seems that my squad immediately fragments into individuals.

Ultimately, Resistance 2 will probably be liked more by newcomers to the series. Fans of the original game will likely notice the shortcomings and changes all to well. Still, R2 is a proficient enough of an effort and here's hoping the next game realigns with the efforts of the first.

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