Resistance 3 review

I have no hesitation saying that Resistance 3 now holds the crown as the best PS3 exclusive shooter.

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After the mixed reception of Resistance 2, a lot rests on the shoulders of Resistance 3. As the conclusion to Insomniac's sci-fi trilogy, its success will dictate if we remember the sci-fi shooter trilogy as a classic. Developer Insomniac Games, aware of the gravity of its situation, invested a longer development cycle on the game. The effort shows, addressing prior criticisms and reflecting the skill a great team has when given the time to perfect their craft. Unlike its predecessors, Resistance 3 tells a much more human story. Resistance 1 and 2 focused on the larger struggle against the Chimeran invaders, but it was hard to overlook its B-movie feel. Resistance 3 introduces a new main character, Joseph Capelli, and changes the core nature of the story being told. The war is over. Humanity has all but been defeated, with only pockets of survivors eking out their final days on earth. Through that despair, Capelli goes on a journey to take one last fight against the enemy, and hopefully, save the world. The "road trip" from Oklahoma to New York City allows the designers to play with a number of unique stops along the way. To be fair, many follow a fairly predictable quid pro quo formula of needing to perform some sort of helpful task in each area before being able to move on. And for those who've played similar games--notably, the Half-Life series--a sense of déjà vu may creep in at times as well.

Resistance 3

But in spite of (or perhaps by virtue of) that familiarity, the encounter design in Resistance 3 stands out as some of the best in any shooter I've played. The original Resistance was defined its arsenal, providing progressively more challenging firefights that tested my ability to put them all to use in order to survive. Resistance 3 repeats that formula, and then builds on it with a design that rewards tactical thinking. While it follows an obvious pattern of doling out new weapons one at a time, no situation felt like an unnatural setup just to get me to use a particular weapon in a certain way. Quite to the contrary, the firefights are satisfying precisely because success comes by juggling all the tools at your disposal. There's no "right" way of winning a battle. I could just as easily have approach a scenario from a whole other approach and win. I was thinking about everything in the heat of the moment: ammo levels, primary and secondary fire for each of my weapons and where I might put them to best use, and the same for my grenades. Excellent level design is what enables such satisfyingly flexible gameplay. Quite often I'd start with one tactic. For example, picking off a few enemies at range, only to then lay a little ambush, lure some into it, thin out their ranks, and then find a way to flank the remaining enemies to mop up. It worked so well that, for the first time in a long while, I got to the end of the single-player campaign and wanted more, a lot more. That the entire campaign can be played co-op only adds to the appeal of making another run through Resistance 3. The design makes no compromises for playing with a second person nor does it include any staged events that feel tacked on. I did hit a couple spots where playing with a partner wasn't quite as smooth of an experience as tackling the same section solo, but it felt like a good tradeoff. I'll come back for multiplayer too, but more as a change of pace than my mainstay. It's fun enough to run around and shoot it up with the various guns, but the tactical element they introduce that makes the campaign so fun doesn't translate to multiplayer. When used outside the carefully designed single-player experience, weapon imbalances are noticeable. Kill streak bonuses and special perks earned by players as they gain levels online only exacerbate the problems. These issues conspire to make early goings online an especially frustrating experience. These rough patches won't completely dissuade me, though, because when it comes down to it I want to play more Resistance 3. Whether it's another run through the game at a harder difficulty, or co-op, or multiplayer, I'll definitely be playing more. That's the surest sign of its success and the reason I have no hesitation saying that Resistance 3 now holds the crown as the best PS3 exclusive shooter.
From The Chatty
  • reply
    September 8, 2011 9:30 AM

    Garnett Lee posted a new article, Resistance 3 review.

    I have no hesitation saying that Resistance 3 now holds the crown as the best PS3 exclusive shooter.

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      September 8, 2011 9:32 AM

      resistance 3 > killzone? ill believe it when i see it LOL

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        September 8, 2011 10:02 AM

        killzone wasn't that great. real talk.

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          September 8, 2011 10:04 AM

          yea but its still better than resistance

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            September 8, 2011 12:50 PM

            Nah dogg, nah it wasn't. It was trying way too hard to be "Halo meets CoD", and it succeeded in every horrific way imaginable.

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            September 8, 2011 4:04 PM

            uh no

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      September 8, 2011 9:36 AM

      It doesn't take a lot of beat Killzone.

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      September 8, 2011 10:00 AM

      Garnett, did you get a chance to play with the Move and Sharpshooter? I was thinking that this might be a good time to pick up the Move and go ahead and get the Resistance 3 bundle. Thoughts?

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      September 8, 2011 10:07 AM

      As someone who hated 2 I have to say I'm really surprised at how much I'm enjoying 3. That said, It still feels like Insomniac is a developer who is happy making 8's when they could very well make 9's or 10's with a little more time and care.

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        September 8, 2011 10:15 AM

        This. I hated R2, and I think R3 is such a tremendous improvement. Amazing what one extra year of development can do. I hope Insomniac learns to continue taking their time with games.

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          September 8, 2011 10:23 AM

          let's hope the lessons also translated into Ratchet and Clank All 4 One

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      September 8, 2011 10:09 AM

      Just finished the campaign in one sitting. Not going to spoil anything but did anyone else find the ending underwhelming?

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        September 8, 2011 10:23 AM

        It certainly couldnt top the ending of R2, to me that is.

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          September 8, 2011 10:36 AM

          In R2 i disliked the majority of the campaign, but loved the ending. However i feel the complete oppisite about R3

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      September 8, 2011 10:38 AM

      Good review. Although I have never played the resistance games it's nice to see this one return to form and the story especially sounds very interesting. I will say though that even though I haven't played it from what I have seen uncharted 2 still looks like the best exclusive shooter and even if it doesn't uncharted 3 may take that crown again.

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        September 8, 2011 11:56 AM

        I wouldnt call Uncharted a shooter or put it in the same category.

    • gmd
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      September 8, 2011 10:40 AM

      holy shit balls I forgot this was coming out

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        September 8, 2011 12:06 PM

        Same here, when I went to pick up my copy of Space Marine on Tuesday they tried to sell me a copy. I had no idea.

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          September 8, 2011 12:32 PM

          Seems like the game could use some marketing help.... I didn't know it was out soon or expected to be so much better either.

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      September 8, 2011 4:47 PM

      This is my first Resistance game... man these guns are so fun and awesome!!

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      September 9, 2011 6:31 PM

      Typo: "The original Resistance was defined its arsenal" should be "was defined by its arsenal"

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        September 13, 2011 7:48 AM

        Hmm … now where did I put my gold star stickers?

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      September 10, 2011 2:15 AM

      I'm enjoying the game so far despite some questionable design decisions. All the weapons are great and feel really good to use but their animations are horrible with child like looking hands (view weapons done poorly is one of my biggest peeves. Fair enough some people don't care, but it really annoys me). And i LOVE that they have a weapon wheel in it. I've been wanting a game to say "Fuck this 2 weapon bullshit" and just put in a wheel which pauses the SP game. Thank you! I also like that they did non-regen health, in favour of health pickups, however it could've been balanced better.

      My biggest complaint is we have yet again another goddamn console shooter that lets the controls suffer by allowing them to become horribly laggy just so it can look slightly prettier. Why do people just bend over and take it, or worse yet, blindly defend this fucking bullshit practice (Killzone 2 fanbase. Jesus christ)? I'd much rather a slightly worse looking game or disabled v-sync if it meant responsive controls.
      My second biggest annoyance another symptom of console shooters; the ridiculously narrow FOV. So often i'd not see things coming from the side, or get stuck on something which i cannot see when trying to strafe from fire. You simply have no peripheral vision! And it's exacerbated when sprinting... which narrows it further! WTF? First of all it makes it feel like you're not actually moving any faster, and when you're desperately trying to flee, or evade a massive enemy, it makes it frustrating trying to navigate while sprinting!

      Anyway, there are a number of other niggles but overall, as i said, really enjoying it. It feels like a bit of an old school shooter with some more modern elements (mostly good, some bad). Much better than the previous games (never could be bothered finishing) and so much better than any Killzone game.

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      September 13, 2011 7:54 AM

      Nice review, Garnett. I'm really starting to gain appreciation for ShackNews' policy of keeping reviews short and sweet – quality over quantity, I say. Anyway, as much as I'd like to pick this game up, there are just TOO many titles vying for my time and money this season. I've got to curb the habit of breaking my budget to buy games that I don't even have time to play.

      I'll probably pick R3 up sometime early 2012, when the price drops a bit. I think $30-40 is my sweet spot for FPSs that I don't intend to play much online.