Review: Resistance 2

Tom Endo | 17 Nov 2008 17:00
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The gameplay ostensibly takes the best of both Halo and Half Life by mixing together the relatively expansive skirmishes of the former with the speedier, more confined action of the latter. In practice, Insomniac have created a game that plays a lot like House of the Dead in that it throws masses of enemies at the player which he must eventually shoot his way through. There's no strategic movement at work or incentive to use one weapon over another - its a straightforward run and gun. The game works pretty well in this capacity, to the point that I wonder why they even bothered with abilities like ducking, roadie running, jumping or even walking. The real question is why this game didn't come bundled with a lightgun.

But, as one of my colleagues pointed out, the single-player campaign is often just a perfunctory exercise for a game that is truly about the multiplayer experience. And in this respect the game looked like it might fare better. It does, but only slightly. The co-op portion of the game assigns classes (medic, special ops, etc) to everyone, which might be interesting with stronger level design. My experience consisted of running down a series of hallways with seven other guys, shooting masses of enemies while occasionally reviving my dead teammates.

I also tried in vain to find one of the 60-player skirmishes the game supposedly features, but server problems prevented me from doing so. There's an experience system that may have significant bearing on the way the competitive play ends up balancing out, but until the maps really start filling out with players it's hard to say how those will hold up either. What I can say is that, so far, there's little to convince me this game is going to go in any directions we haven't already seen with Halo 3 and Call of Duty 4. The multiplayer in the game is certainly more entertaining than the single-player campaign, but I'm not sure it's fresh enough to hold players' attentions in the months to come.

Resistance 2 is a mediocre game. Reviewers are often loathe to flat-out criticize a game that's competently executed; for some, another outing with bug-eyed aliens and Doom-inspired gameplay will be enough. But players need to demand and expect more from their games, even if it comes at the expense of polish. Insomniac assumes gamers will buy into tired gameplay because the package is shiny. Let's show them we're not a school of fish.

Bottom line: You've played this game before - many times before.

Recommendation: Don't buy this game.

Tom Endo is cleansing his palate with some LittleBigPlanet.

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