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Resistance 3 Review

This is a discussion on Resistance 3 Review within the Game Reviews forum, part of the Trophy Guides, Reviews & Articles; Resistance 3: Official Review by Gauss Basic Information: Developer: Insomniac Games Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment North American Release Date: 9/6/2011 ...

  1. #1
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    Resistance 3 Review

    Resistance 3: Official Review
    by Gauss

    Basic Information:
    Developer: Insomniac Games
    Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
    North American Release Date: 9/6/2011
    European Release Date: 9/9/2011
    Trophies: Yes, 1 | 1 | 4 | 53


    Resistance 3 is the conclusion of this trilogy according to Insomniac, and follows a new hero: Joe Capelli as he ventures to New York in an effort to stop the Chimera from making the earth uninhabitable. At the start of the game the war is effectively over, and we lost. The major military and political powers of the world have disbanded and humanity is limited to small pockets of people living away from major areas. Joe Capelli and his family live in one such area until an old "friend," Malikov, stops by with a serious proposition for Joe: Close the wormhole in New York or humanity will not survive the next year.


    Resistance 3 is an arcade shooter through and through, much in the vein of the previous series nothing feels like it has significant weight and everything has been tuned to be as fluid as possible. Shooting mechanics are very basic and there isn’t anything additional like a cover mechanic to complicate combat. That being said don’t think for a second this game is boring or simple, in a true new spin for the series Insomniac has adopted a ‘Ratchet-and-Clank’-style weapon leveling system. As you get kills with a weapon, it gains “experience” and at certain intervals it attains some new ability. These vary from simple damage ups like exploding rounds for the Bullseye to alternative attacks like turning victims into mines with the Mutator. These upgrades can completely change the utility and effectiveness of a weapon.

    Its also important to note that the series marks the return of the “Weapon Wheel” from Resistance 1. Yes, that’s right, this game abandons the pointless “two-weapons at a time” element that all too many arcade shooters adopt nowadays. When all these elements are put together with a perfectly balanced set of enemies, you get a game that is more about “Situational Awareness” than the hardiest of ‘Moden Warfare’ shooters.

    The upgrades are both useful and unique

    Many of the new enemies all have varying tactics and demand adaptation appropriately. This is not the type of game you will get through on a machine gun and a sniper rifle. The situation can change on a moment’s notice from fighting Grims and Leapers, which require close-range weapons like the Rossmore shotgun and Atomizer, to fighting Long-legs, which are easiest to tackle with the Bullseye, to fighting waves of Hybrids, which are best suited toward medium range weapons like the Marksman or Auger.

    In a true stroke of brilliance, the game never really penalizes you for using the wrong weapon. Rather the correct weapon makes the fight smoother and likely utilizes less ammo.

    That being said, R3 isn’t exactly perfect. It harkens back to a traditional arcade shooter by allowing you to carry an entire arsenal and abandons the new-school approach by having a true health-bar, and while these things have many positives and ultimately are very well implemented, this game also serves as a reminder as to why those two elements were abandoned. Particularly on the harder difficulties players will be back-tracking frequently to find health packs and ammo stores.

    Ultimately, Resistance 3 provides a phenomenal gameplay experience that far exceeds the bar set by most modern shooters and is a breath of fresh air and innovation in the light of the sterile, lifeless, repetition of shooters like Modern Warfare 2 and Medal of Honor.


    The singleplayer campaign for Resistance 3 is truly unique in tone and material. The story is very personal as it follows Joe Capelli on his journey to New York to destroy the tower and collapse the worm-hole before the Chimera can enact their nefarious plans. The thing is the Chimera, at the start of Resistance 3, have effectively won. Humanity is cornered to tunnels and underground bunker-cities, food, water, supplies are sparse and the entire world is eeking out a living. Joe Capelli isn’t doing this for his country, for humanity, or for the future of mankind, but rather doing this at the behest of his wife for the promise of a better life for his son.

    Throughout the game this is hammered down as Joe is focused on his goals, but dreams and scenes show he is constantly battling his desire to be with his family. Scenes such as when a nightmare drives him to demand a VTOL pilot to find his family to make sure they are alright while he continues on foot the rest of the way.

    The single-player campaign is full of large-scale battles

    Whats more is the story deals with some pretty heavy material, throughout the game you encounter several bands of humans trying to survive, they range from an unorganized military called the Remnants, a parish that has banded together near a coal town, and a group of former prisoners who are extorting supplies out of passing travelers. The portrayal really hammers home the tone Insomniac is going for and the overall tone of the story: Society is lost.

    While Joe is very well developed and hashed out considering the length of the journey, I can’t say the same for his supporting cast. By in large Malikov, Charlie, and multiple others aren’t explored with any depth to really make them fleshed out characters, and a lot of this can be blamed on the pacing. Resistance 3’s story is still told with the same scale and pacing as Resistance 2, problem is the story isn’t built the same. The end result is a story that has all the key elements of a truly memorable and impactful character story that never gets off the ground because its told with the pacing of a typical action movie.

    This may be a minor complaint because the story is still very effective, but its just screaming for a slower, more drawn out pace with many smaller engagements punctuating large scale battles. All in all the story does a phenomenal job of conveying the mood it needs to, and the ending is very fitting as well, its just unfortunate that the pacing gets in the way of what could have been something truly remarkable.


    Resistance 3 follows in the same vein as previous games by having a very visceral and entertaining experience. The multi-player matches are designed to be very quick paced and the load times are much improved other some other games in this genre. The real reason you play the multiplayer though: To dominate other players with a custom load-out, and its in this arena that Resistance 3 really shines. The player’s standard loadout features a weapon, grenade, perk, and special ability, as you get new levels, your options in each of these 4 categories changes. These all make major changes to player’s strategies, abilities like Turret are very well suited to run-n-gunners during defensive situations, while abilities like Heal or Ammo can really save the day for people who enjoy support roles.

    Resistance 3 really gives you a sense of progression and customization as you continue to play, but not necessarily at the cost of being capable at lower levels. Its also worth noting that the system Resistance 1 had makes a return: playing as the Chimera and/or Humans is not identical for all game modes. While the differences are somewhat subtle, it still makes for interesting game dynamics.

    Resistance 3 has some of the best perks around.

    The game modes are all great as well; there is a good mix with traditional deathmatch modes as well as capture-the-flag-esque modes. The truly interesting modes are Breach and Chain Reaction, which involve controlling strategic points in order to win the game, its very similar in nature to a Battlefield game.

    The one issue I find with MP isn’t what is included, but rather what is excluded. To anyone who has played Resistance 2 knows the co-op in that game, Spectre Co-op, was a unique take on objective-based Multiplayer, with levels featuring random set of objectives that needed to be completed as a team. Team members were class based, so you needed to have knowledge and capability with multiple classes to accomplish objectives. This mode is entirely absent from Resistance 3, and I am not sure why. In its stead is a much more traditional co-op where you just play through the single-player with another person. It works, but its also pretty standard.
    Ultimately this doesn’t deter from an otherwise phenomenal mutli-player experience.


    This is the one problem area I have with Resistance 3. That’s not to say its bad, but this area represents a fundamental problem you frequently encounter as a reviewer. How much credit do you give a game for trying something original, even if it ultimately doesn’t come together?

    Resistance 3 is by no means a graphical nightmare, the immersion qualities I expect are all there and, in another unique spin for the series, it really drives home the “changing world” aspect of the game that the singleplayer takes now that the Chimera have effectively won. Earth, our earth, is becoming foreign, and the presentation and immersion hammer that point home well. Sailing down a foggy, over-flooded Mississippi river while Chimeran power-cords weave their way around exploring for room or Chimeran blast roots begin to uproot trees. Wandering through a frozen New York seeing animals that shouldn’t be there as the Subway system becomes a breeding ground for feral leapers… These all are images that are meticulously carried out and really nail home a personal aspect of Capelli’s fight.

    Some truly wonderful work is done with environment

    The problem comes in the “numbers” aspect of the graphical department, Resistance 3 is a step backwards… This game isn’t as crisp or as sharp as previous titles, texture work has taken a step back, as have other minor details. Overall Resistance 3 just lacks polish, its not an ugly game, but its also nothing special in this department. Some of this plays into the game’s presentation, but other aspects, such as how bad the Carbine looks, will stick out like a sore thumb.

    That’s really the only thing here worth noting, the audio is top notch. Voice acting carries its necessary humanity, characters actually seem to emote. The grunt the Chimera give when you kill them is always rewarding and all the weapons sound powerful, this isn’t the “pew-pew-pew” of a Crysis 2. The menus and everything else is all executed very well.


    The trophies for Resistance 3 are pretty straight-forward. Insomniac, in a brilliant move, decided to shift away from MP trophies completely as well as simple "progress" based trophies. Aside from the hand-ful of Co-op based trophies, the entire trophy list is littered with accomplishments in single-player such as killing a boss in so much time or without taking damage. There are also some collectible-related trophies and the game's single gold is provided for beating the game on Superhuman. While Superhuman can pose some difficulty, by in large this is not a time-consuming platinum.

    Closing Thoughts

    Resistance 3 defines the phrase “almost amazing.” Many aspects of the game are executed with a level of genius unseen in this genre, but there are just a few aspects that keep the game from truly taking that step forward to be on par with a game like Half-Life 2. The gameplay is clever and wonderfully balanced, but the presentation has some issues. The story is unique and intelligent, but the pacing isn’t quite right. The multiplayer is addicting and fun, but wheres Spectre Co-op?

    Resistance 3 is well worth owning, and comes with high recommendations from this reviewer. Even in its current form its better than any CoD/MoH-esque game on the shelf and easily runs circles around every other arcade shooter to not share the Resistance name. Heck, Halo fans should be jealous… Its just unfortunate that the game didn’t realize its full potential.

    Gameplay: 10/10
    - Easily some of the best gameplay any Arcade shooter has offered to date. The balance the entire game has is unparalleled.

    Singleplayer: 8/10
    - The story is really intelligent and deals with some very personal material. Its just unfortunate that the pacing is still told like an action movie.

    Multiplayer: 9/10
    - The competitive multiplayer is absolutely brilliant. Its well worth dumping hours and hours of time into to get those next upgrades and just to experience all the fun it has to offer. It is a big mistake to exclude the Spectre-Co-op from the previous title.

    Technical: 8/10
    - The game gets some credit for trying something unique, but ultimately its not executed well enough to really garner high praise.

    Overall: 8.5/10 Superb

  2. #2
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    This is one of the best games I've played this year. I agree with you, this game does deserve an 8.5 or maybe even a 9. Thanks for the review, Gauss!

  3. #3
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    The trophies for Resistance 3 are pretty straight-forward. Insomniac, in a brilliant move, decided to shift away from MP trophies completely as well as simple "progress" based trophies. Aside from the hand-ful of Co-op based trophies, the entire trophy list is littered with accomplishments in single-player such as killing a boss in so much time or without taking damage. There are also some collectible-related trophies and the game's single gold is provided for beating the game on Superhuman. While Superhuman can pose some difficulty, by in large this is not a time-consuming platinum.

    I'm going to be one of the few people that disagrees with this concept. While I'm glad I don't have to spend a lot of time grinding out 10k kills as I had to with Resistance 2, I was a bit disappointed with Insomniacs decision not to put any MP trophies in the game. Other than the 10k trophy, all the other trophies that dealt with MP were very reasonable. Trophies included get to a certain rank, obtain a certain amount of XP, and use each "perk" once. Again, I know a ton of people had complained about the 10k kill trophy, but I felt that Insomniac made the trophy set too easy.

  4. #4
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    I definitely enjoyed the game overall, but was left wanting something more. I wasn't satisfied by the ending, especially considering that this was the conclusion to the series. The biggest disappointment for me was not having the online co-op feature that was used in Resistance 2. That was by far my favorite thing about the second title, so not having it in Resistance took away from my experience.

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