Resistance 3 didn't have the greatest showing at Sony's presser this year, but at least the demo on the show floor and at Sony Europe's fancy booth were enough to whet my appetite for the coming storm. Resistance is a franchise that has been on a bit of a roller-coaster ride and the third game isn't straying too far from the tracks. Solid gameplay, revamped designs and a humble 8-vs-8 competitive online portion, it's certainly familiar and alien at the same time.
The demo at E3 is one most are familiar with. Former Sentinel Corporal Joseph Capelli is the new hero, but the world is at the point where the war with the Chimera is already over "“ and humanity lost. Pockets of survivors can be found across the United States. The Chimera send out hunting parties every now and then to wipe them off the face of the Earth, meanwhile their presence and technology have terraformed the entire planet to fit their preference.
The demo has Capelli visiting a group of survivors in Oklahoma just before the Chimera send in dropship after dropship, dumping Hybrids and Longlegs over top of the survivors in an attempt to destroy them. Capelli joins forces with the local resistance, taking up arms against the assaulting Chimera. Meanwhile, a huge Chimeran terraformer draws ever closer to the quaint town. Wind speeds pick up, dust is blown up and Capelli's vision is compromised. It's a rather intense affair.
Resistance 3 plays just as fans of the first two expect it to: like a solid first person shooter. The Weapon Wheel is back, allowing Capelli to lug around every single weapon he comes across. It's definitely a feature that was sorely missed in the second game. What's different when it comes to combat is that all the weapons have been redesigned to reflect the sullen atmosphere and the desperate sense of survival.
There isn't much to say about the weapons aside from their new looks and the new progression system, which is hard to describe from the short demo. In any case, it feels mechanically like a Resistance game with some added weight. The gist of it is, the more you use a particular weapon, the more proficient you'll get with it.
What really struck me about the demo were the visuals. Granted, it doesn't look nearly as impressive as Uncharted 3 from long-time rival studio Naughty Dog. However, it was the 3D that really blew me away. Putting on the glasses and picking up the controller, Resistance 3 suddenly became very real, very visceral. Close encounters with Chimeras, introducing them to the butt of the Marksman, it was all very thrilling. Nevermind the rounds whizzing past Capelli and his comrades, those are obviously amazing, but the little effects like the wind and even the dust bunnies that float around in space, in front of me, off to the distance, right around me, et cetera. It was pretty wicked.
Resistance 2 was quite the disappointment. Insomniac tried a lot with it "“ and kudos to them, but ultimately only really delivered on the online modes. Based on the demo, Resistance 3 appears to be shaping up to be a great game. Mechanically, it's Resistance. The pacing, the challenging firefights, the Weapon Wheel, the over-the-top weapons, Insomniac have heard the fans and it seems to all be there. It'll be interesting to see how the online multiplayer develops. However, I'm personally excited to take on the Chimera in 3D.