Resistance: Burning Skies Review
Developer: Nihilistic Software
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
North American Release Date: May 29th, 2012
European Release Date: July 1st, 2012
Trophies: Yes, 1 / 7 / 7 / 10
As the Chimera undergo a brutal attack on North America, firefighter Tom Riley has just one wish: to save his wife and daughter caught in the midst of the chaos. Buckle up for the second portable game in the Resistance series.
Burning Skies plays just like any other Resistance game (except for Retribution). You're given a gun, and told to kill some Chimeran punks that ruin your day. This is what makes Resistance so fun, but it feels odd however in Burning Skies. It lacks creative guns, and amount of guns in general. You could lose all of your fingers and still count on one hand how many guns are unique to Burning Skies. Sure each game has a Bullseye (standard infantry weapon for the Chimera) and the Carbine (standard infantry weapon for the Humans) and a few others, but this is just funny to me. They've taken guns from others, and given them a new name. The Wraith becomes the Mauler, LAARK becomes Sw.A.R.M., Marksman to Hunter, Rossmore to Mule, etc. Though the Mule is the most creative gun, instead of looking like a shotgun it's a crossbow, but it has the same effect as a shotgun. This is not why we love Resistance! The guns are usually the best part, and that's been squandered.
Same old guns, same old gameplay.
Other than that, there really isn't much else. The addition of the fire axe makes sense due to Tom being a firefighter. It's used frequently, but could've been utilized a lot better. It's mainly used to open doors (like a regular fire axe) but it could've been used to defeat bosses throughout the game, and really emphasize the fact that you are only a firefighter trying to help.
I had a hard time getting used to the run mechanic. To run, you need to double-tap the back of the Vita, but before I finally got the hang of it, I would just make Tom run in spurts, and when I was in a rough spot that I needed to get away from, it was just annoying.
Tom Riley is just a firefighter trying to survive. While fending off waves of the Chimera, his main goal is to keep his family free of harm from them. That hope quickly diminishes. Not only this, but you find out a crazed scientist is trying to use the Chimera's technology against them, and well, I'll try not to spoil the rest. But really it's not much of a plot, near the end it gets enticing and interesting, but Burning Skies just shrugs it off and continues to let you blow up Chimeran heads.
The boss battles feel rushed, and uninspired. Even the best boss in Burning Skies has been used before (the end boss), or is very close to one in Resistance 2. In fact all of the enemies have been used in previous games as well. The chimeras that jump from wall to wall, standard chimera soldiers and those creepy-crawlers. There's nothing to really wow the player, here. And that's something that saddens me. I expected much more from a Resistance title.
The online multiplayer can be fun for a while, but gets stale. It's basically a dumbed down version of Resistance 3's multiplayer. You can create classes, pick weapons and equipment, etc. but it isn't in-depth enough. Due to the limited amount of weapons you'll get bored quick, or find one weapon that you'll stick with. Like I said though, it's good for a laugh but don't expect something great.
A lot of the old Resistance modes return in Burning Skies.
On top of that there is a hideous exploit with the crossbow (Mule) where, if you put the correct perks on it, you can kill others in one shot almost every time. And almost everyone abuses this. It makes some matches unplayable, especially if more than one person is abusing this exploit.
There is a fair amount of ranks compared to Resistance: Retribution on the PSP, which motivated me to keep playing if however small. Usually though when I would try to get into a match, I would get a matchmaking error kicking me back to the menus, or a notice saying the lobby is full. In short, the matchmaking is just bad.
Along with terrible matchmaking and an exploit, Burning Skies has this one glitch with AFK players. For some reason, when you kill them they stay in one spot, and are able to be killed again. So if you stand near an AFK player, and tap the melee button a bunch of times you get kills and points. You can stay there for upwards of five minutes before they are either kicked or moved.
And on top of even that (oh yes, there's more) multiplayer runs about as smooth as a jagged cliff, the frame rate can drop a little, making you experience a bit of lag. There's too many problems with the multiplayer to even say it's a great experience.
Other than the multiplayer troubles, the rest of the game runs well. I didn't like how low-quality the singleplayer cutscenes were, but I would blame that on the Vita rather than the game. The graphics are on par with the PSP as well, so I'm really not sure if it is the Vita's fault or Nihilistic's.
Trophies are the only reason I would recommend playing Burning Skies. They are extremely simple, most can be earned just by completing the game once. Killing 1000 chimera is the toughest trophy, but it still isn't even hard. By the time you finish the game you'll have around 900 kills. A trophy whore's paradise.
Resistance: Burning Skies is by no means a bad game, but it is far too mediocre from what I'd expect from the Resistance franchise. I've also come to the conclusion that Nihilistic is not the company that should be handling these large franchise games, because it seems as thought they half-ass it.
Regular FPS gameplay, don't expect any unique things here.
A bland story with no "wow" factor. A major disappointment in my eyes.
It lacks depth, and has a terrible exploit that hinders the experience.
Multiplayer has many things wrong with it, which is basically what brings down the score entirely.