Resistance 3, developer Insomniac's upcoming third chapter in its well-liked "aliens versus humans" series was on display at GDC in San Francisco this week, and I got to spend a bit of time banging away at a portion of the game's competitive multiplayer component.
The demo on-hand focused on a single team-deathmatch multiplayer level set in a dusty and decrepit prison located in the Republic of Chad. It was revealed that all of Resistance 3's multiplayer maps will be set in eclectic locales outside of the United States.
Promising a more intimate and focused competitive multiplayer experience, Insomniac has taken a step back from the chaotic 60-player matches present in Resistance 2, and are instead delivering an experience for up to sixteen players. Based on what I saw and played, the decision to go that direction seems like a sound one.
First and foremost, Resistance 3's multiplayer looks fantastic from a visual standpoint, and played blazingly fast. The run-down prison setting where the match took place proved to be a lot of fun, providing players multiple routes (and opportunities to flank the enemy). Battles were fast and furious, with opposing teams (humans and Chimera) often colliding - guns blazing - in any number of the map's choke points. What I played was very chaotic and bloody, and some of the messier battles had me grinning ear-to-ear. The weapons I was able to try - despite being fairly standard renditions of the assault rifle, sniper rifle, and shotgun standbys - felt very solid and powerful.
At the start of each round - or upon dying and respawning - there were four preset player classes to choose from (Survivor, Specter, Warden, and Infected), each with their own two-weapon loadouts. (The weapon-wheel, returning for the game's single-player component reverts back to a two-weapon system in competitive multiplayer.) Another "Custom" class selection is available, which allows players to tweak their weapon loadouts.
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A Call of Duty-like experience system is also present, allowing players to unlock new abilities and upgrades as they complete matches. Passive abilities like the ability to increase rate of fire (when aiming down the iron-sights), run faster, or aim more accurately while running can be earned. Active abilities, like team ammo drops, holographic decoys, energy shields can also be earned via kill-streaks.
Though only the single Team Deathmatch map was playable during the demo I attended, Resistance 3's competitive multiplayer was quite enjoyable. Objective-based multiplayer modes, as well as details on a PlayStation Network multiplayer beta will be revealed later this year, leading up to the game's September 6 release date.