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Resistance: Fall of Man

Resistance: Fall of Man had a lot of expectations when it was released. Not only was it the first game to be released for the PS3 (00001 on the side of the box!) but it was Sony's flagship first person shooter game to compete with other existing series on rival formats. However a launch game with the goal to become a serious competitor is an ambitious plan and largely due to the pressure, Resistance suffers.

The game is developed by Insomniac games, a developer with a good reputation who has produced many titles for Sony's Playstation consoles throughout the ages. However, they seemed like a strange choice to develop an apocalyptic sci-fi shooter when their previous titles have mainly consisted of children's platformers (Spyro and Ratchet & Clank). Yet, with a high level of quality control the initial footage and story looked to be promising.

The story takes place in an alternate timeline where World War II never happened; instead Russia sealed itself off as an isolated superpower and remained silent. Well, silent until suddenly at the end of the 1940's a huge wave of sharp toothed alien monstrosities, known as the Chimera, broke out and proceeded to annihilate Europe. However, Britain being the hardest country in the EU managed to put up a pretty decent fight when the creatures burrowed under the channel.

The game picks up when America decide to help the British after a year of them getting massacred by sending in reinforcements in the obvious nexus of northern Britain, York. You play Sergeant Nathan Hale a stony-faced virtually silent hard case that is sent in to help humanity. Before he gets half a mile down the road the Chimera virus, which creates the creatures by mutating humans, has infected him. However whilst this would make an unusually short game, unsurprisingly this transforms him into some kind of unstoppable killing machine who can regenerate health just like every other lead character in every modern FPS.

This gives rise to the very traditional gameplay of carefully hiding behind crates and walls occasionally popping out to put half a dozen bullets into the enemy. Yet, 6 bullets rarely does the job, instead the standard enemy can soak up most of a clip before finally staying down. Whilst this makes the enemy seem pretty dangerous, alongside the fact most have a mouthful of razor-sharp fangs, it just gets annoying. Rocket to the face? Sorry, not quite enough to finish them.

However, the game looks pretty impressive and made a passing mate stop to look at it and nod appreciatively. The game is deliberately made to look oppressive and heighten the grim, nightmarish reality, but after 30 levels of brown, grey and dark red things get a little soul destroying. The last 5 levels or so are pleasantly different and help to dispel the pretty arbitrary middle section.

Sound wise the game is never memorable, with the weapon selection sounding underpowered and never communicating that you are firing a rocket launcher or a flamethrower. The game's music is equally forgettable and never really heightens the tension or adds an epic scale, instead consisting of familiar sounding orchestral scores.
However the worst aspect of the sound is the game's voice acting. Now, I don't know what it is, but every American form of media featuring the British has all the characters having a regional accent and saying the phrases: "Bloody hell", "Piss off" and "Wanker". I can't really remember the last time hordes of aliens invaded the country but I don't think my responses would be the above phrases.

However, whilst a lot of the game is competent and reasonably solid, Resistance does have several flaws. The game is occasionally buggy, which can lead to some epic displays of anger. I nearly snapped my Six Axis when I got stuck behind a crate, fell off a 4 foot ledge and died and shot a standard Chimera soldier 6 times in the head with the sniper rifle only for him to remain invincible and proceed to grenade my sorry ass.

Another problem I had with the game was that the enemies seemed to somehow possess psychic knowledge. Whenever I took care and time to line up a headshot, even from half a mile or so away, they seemed to know exactly when to dodge behind cover. Granted, this problem can be rectified by using the terribly original "slow down time" secondary fire of the gun, but it is still an annoying occurrence from time to time.

The weapons in general are fairly familiar though there are one or two pleasant additions, seemingly influenced from the Ratchet & Clank games. A gun which can fire straight through walls, a mini-gun with a turret launcher and a grenade which creates a fireball are all interesting and help to balance out the more conventional bland FPS additions. Familiar third person driving sections from Halo are actually pleasantly surprising and aren't as bad as I expected, though they don't dazzle.

There are problems with Resistance and after the first few levels I was convinced I would give this game a poor score and be severely disappointed. However the game grows on you if you persevere and while the game is slow paced and methodical the later levels feel more rewarding. The story is hardly Oscar worthy but it is fairly fresh and at least provides some motivation.

Multiplayer too actually seems to have been thought through rather than a tacked-on afterthought, with large scale Human vs. Chimera battle really coming into their own online. The addition of new weapons and skill points provides some replay value to keep things new.

If you are a big fan of the FPS genre, then Resistance: Fall of Man is worth thinking about, especially if you have played most of the superior titles on offer (The Orange Box, Call of Duty 4). Considering this game can be found at a good price either second hand or online then you might consider adding a point to the score if both of the above apply to you. Yet for most people, Resistance isn't the flagship exclusive title Sony were hoping for.

6.00/10 6

Resistance: Fall of Man (Reviewed on PlayStation 3)

Game is enjoyable, outweighing the issues there may be.

Resistance: Fall of Man had a lot of expectations when it was released. Not only was it the first game to be released for the PS3 (00001 on the side of the box!) but it was Sony's flagship first person shooter game to compete with other existing series on rival formats.

This game was supplied by the publisher or relevant PR company for the purposes of review
Christopher Wakefield

Christopher Wakefield


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