Resistance: Burning Skies Review

Resistance: Burning Skies Review

Resistance has been a massive franchise for Sony this generation. It was one of the shining lights in the PlayStation 3's launch line-up and continued to grow its fanbase with two further iterations. Its success saw a spin-off title appearing on the PlayStation Portable, something that has now been echoed with the PlayStation Vita. But while Resistance: Fall of Man carved something for itself for the right reasons, it's difficult to see Resistance: Burning Skies doing the same.

The story focuses on Tom Riley, a fireman who's caught right in the middle of the Chimeran invasion of North America. In the ensuing chaos, Tom decides to be a hero, helping the Minute Men (a militia group) to fight off the Chimera. As a result, he gets separated from his wife and daughter.

Riley doesn't have the same appeal of any of the previous protagonists though. He's certainly no Nathan Hale or James Grayson. Their feats were also more justifiable, while Riley's are rather far-fetched. The amount of stuff that happens in the story that Riley's involved with, it's rather crazy. And all of this considering he's a fire-fighter with, what seems to be no military background whatsoever.

By the end of the story you'll be left wondering how most of what happened was even possible. There's no real explanation for it. Sure, the impetus was meant to be that anyone can make a difference in the fight against the Chimera - you don't need to be a SRPA agent to make a stand. And Nihilistic certainly shouldn't be criticised for wanting to show the Resistance story from a more grounded perspective. It just didn't work out that way at all due to the ridiculous exploits of the grounded individual they chose as their story focus.

Unlike Resistance Retribution, Burning Skies didn't have to compromise very much on the gameplay experience. This means Nihilistic were able to create a full-on first-person shooter with twin analogue sticks as the main control method - a massive plus. What it also means though, is that we ended up with the Vita's motion controls being shoved in.

There's nothing wrong with pushing the capabilities of the hardware, but in the case of Burning Skies, it's more of a hindrance than anything else. Superfluous is the perfect word to sum it all up. Want to walk through a door or pick something up? In most instances, games would ask you to press a button to execute this action. In Burning Skies, you have to touch the object on-screen instead. It's an annoyance, because it means one of the analogue sticks has to be ignored to do this. You can either choose to use a normal finger, or your thumb - either way is much more cumbersome than hitting X would have been.

The same also applies to the weapons. Firstly, there's very little originality here at all - the weapons are all derivatives or others seen before in the franchise. Secondly, if you want to use a secondary fire, you have to touch the screen in some way or another. For example, if you want to use an Auger Shield, this means you have to make a gesture. If you want to fire a Bullseye tag, you've got to point where you want it to go on the screen. It's novel, but again, very cumbersome. If you're in the middle of an intense fire fight, the last thing you want to be doing is releasing your aiming ability to use a weapon's secondary fire.


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