Resistance 3 single-player preview

Described by the designers as The Road plus District 9, I played the 'Junkyard' single-player demo of Resistance 3 for this hands-on report.

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A group of three designers working on Resistance 3 described the game as a combination of the movies The Road and District 9 in response to a fan question at Insomniac's recent community day. That makes this third chapter in the series quite a departure from its predecessors. Both Resistance 1 and 2 focused on the large-scale military struggle as humanity sought to fend off the alien Chimeran conversion sweeping the globe. The hero of those games, Nathan Hale, met his demise at the end of Resistance 2.

Resistance 3 picks up four years later, and it's grimly apparent that humanity has been all but wiped out. Hale's former comrade in arms Joseph Capelli takes over the central role, though from the state of things it's hard to imagine his future as heroic. The game follows his trek across a devastated America as he heads from Haven, OK. to New York City on what sounds like one final, fateful mission.

With the aim of doing a few things really well, substantial changes also come to the design of Resistance 3. As we learned in our multiplayer preview, gone is the massive 60-player online mode in favor of more intimate matches that range up to a maximum of eight on eight. Also out is the separate co-op campaign with its innovative dynamically generated mission objectives. In its place, though, co-op for the entire single-player campaign--like the original game had--makes a return. And while that co-op partner is not tied strongly into the storyline, the designers do promise to include unique support mechanics that take advantage of playing with a friend.

If the Junkyard area I got a chance to play is indicative of the rest of the game, much of the design harkens back to the first Resistance. As fans were excited to learn, the weapon wheel from the original is back, allowing Capelli access to his full arsenal at any time as opposed to just the two guns on his back. Better yet, the portion of the level I played had the open, play how you will feel that made putting all those weapons to good use so satisfying.

As the video of the Junkyard area I played shows, waves of Chimera attack from every direction. The size of the area in play is initially deceptive. Every ledge and firing position the Chimera attack from can be reached, and tactically need to be as the orientation of the fighting changes over the course of the battle.

In the ongoing rotation as the fight moved around the Junkyard, I used different weapons as best suited the situation. Caught out in the open, with wrecks to take cover behind, I used the Bullseye to tag the new 'Long Legs' Chimera that leap around and then hit them with a barrage from behind cover. When the Steelheads with their Augers showed up, I countered in kind, staying in cover and trying to catch them at range.

I set the difficulty to hard for this play through to get a sense for how AI tuning was coming along. For Resistance 3, all enemies use a 'job' system that gives them a set of priorities and then turns them loose in the fight. This adaptability was most noticeable in my climactic fight with the hulk. If I let myself get caught flat footed he would charge me and hit hard with his ground pounding attack. But when I went for higher perches to get a shot on him, he retreated, picked up the wrecks from around the yard, and hurled them at me to knock me out of my position. Though defeating him boiled down to shoot the hot spots, the dance to do so struck a nice balance of maneuvering around the environment and setting up the right shot with the right gun.

Later in the evening Insomniac also showed the bayou boat ride level that originally appeared in the Game Informer preview of the game. It highlights what the designers termed "environmental storytelling." This is their way of telling the story without having a narrator drone on throughout the game. So, for instance, as the boat passes through the flooded city there are remnants of Christmas decorations about--a tree still tied to the top of a station wagon, a Santa figure on top of a store, and so forth--that drive home how quickly everything came crashing down.

From these two sections, I get the sense that the way Resistance 3 starts with the premise of "we've utterly lost" and then takes the player across the country to really bear witness to the crushing nature of the defeat could tell a powerful story. And the designers did say during the question and answer session that they plan to solve several of the mysteries about the Chimera and what has been happening over the course of the game. At the very least, with the full compliment of weapons back at my command I'm ready to see more of what the road to New York holds in store.

From The Chatty
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    April 4, 2011 6:00 PM

    Comment on Resistance 3 single-player preview, by Garnett Lee.

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      April 4, 2011 6:01 PM

      is the resistance series something worth getting into?

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        April 4, 2011 6:12 PM

        The first one was great because you could play the single player campaign in coop mode. I tried playing the 2nd one, it's not very fun without coop.

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        April 4, 2011 6:22 PM

        Yes and Yes and Yes and YES.

        Didn't like the demo of the first one, but I bought the game on the cheap during a holiday sale and gave it a shot anyway. It starts off kind of rough and bullshit and cheap and way too hard, but it soon all clicks and sucks you in. By the time you get to the point where the demo took place, you're having a blast. It's got a total retro sci fi serial vibe to it and it's neat as fuck.

        Resistance 2 does a lot of things better (the graphics are AMAZING), but it loses that vibe and takes itself a bit too seriously. Fucking phenomenal endgame that totally makes up for the lulls of disappointment and running through smalltown USA was pretty damn neat.

        Haven't played Retribution yet, but I intend to before Resistance 3 comes out.

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          April 4, 2011 6:28 PM

          They ruined the 2nd one by not including coop for the single player campaign IMO. The coop mode was pretty much crap, not sure why they even bothered.

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            April 4, 2011 7:34 PM

            I heard the coop campaign was fun with a proper sized team... But yea, I have a hard enough time getting 2p going :(

            Sucks they put so much effort into a unique coop experience that most people couldn't really get a chance to enjoy. They should have refocused that effort into an improved coop experience through the normal campaign :(

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              April 5, 2011 3:13 AM

              When it first came out the co-op mode was busy and it was AWESOME!, Medic for lyfe!

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            April 5, 2011 4:02 AM

            The coop was amazing fun. I'm sad they removed it for the third one.

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          April 4, 2011 6:34 PM

          Retribution is good(much better than 2) but don't you have a huge backlog already Roush?

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            April 4, 2011 7:35 PM

            Backlog size doesn't matter. Just matters what I'm in the mood to play at the time. Gotta finish yakuza 4 before portal 2 comes out and then I'm free to play whatever I'm in the mood for until DNF :)

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        April 4, 2011 6:24 PM

        The first one is awesome from a story and gameplay perspective and it has some of the best graphics in the console genre.

        The second one is very well done by they sort of dropped the ball on the story line, which is what I care about the most.

        You can buy these games for about $30 together, so if you like shooters, they are a "must have" for this console generation.


        PS: They blow the shit out of Killzone 2 and 3 IMO.

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          April 4, 2011 6:26 PM

          I still need to play Killzone 2 and 3 :(

          Was flipping through my old screencapture directory and stumbled on my shots of Killzone on PS2. Man, that game looked pretty good. Consistently chunky framerate, but damn did it look good.

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            April 5, 2011 10:17 AM

            Agreed. Killzone on PS2 looked excellent. And despite its shortcomings I really enjoyed the game too. Played the demos of 2 and 3 and haven't really had an urge to buy them for some reason.

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        April 5, 2011 3:43 AM

        Not really, mediocre at best.

        I played through both over a long weekend and it was barely memorable.

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        April 5, 2011 7:13 AM

        I personally enjoyed them, you can probably get both for real cheap now so I say go for it. I can't stand FPS games with a controller but I thought these games played pretty good overall.

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      April 4, 2011 6:03 PM

      My report on Resistance 3 from the Insomniac community day last week where I played the single-player Junkyard level demo and listened to the designers do a Q&A panel for the game.

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      April 4, 2011 6:32 PM

      cod with aliens..

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      April 5, 2011 1:05 AM

      oh how i wish this series would come to the PC... sigh....::looks over at portal 2 page ::

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      April 5, 2011 2:15 AM

      What a surprise, you play another brown-haired, stubble-jawed beefcake douchebag character, like in all other games on the market, except Duke Nukem.

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      April 5, 2011 2:28 AM

      wow that demo was brown

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      April 5, 2011 4:04 AM

      I'm sad they removed the coop from the 2nd game. I played it a lot. I leveled a medic to 30 and a soldier.

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      April 5, 2011 4:05 AM

      Also, I can't wait to see what insomniac do with their next ip. I hope their next project is something new.

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      April 5, 2011 10:19 AM

      I think the formula is getting stale now but Resistance 1 was a great game when I played it. Coop is also super great. I have #2 but haven't touched it yet.

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      April 5, 2011 1:00 PM

      Hey! isn't this the game the advertised so blatently in Battle: LA ? too bad this looks like turd shat itself and this is what came out. straight to the 19.99 bin, just like homefront.

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      April 6, 2011 12:47 PM

      Garnett, have you or anyone else been able to preview the 3D in Resistance 3 yet?