The game also manages to take make the story bearable as well. Not that the story is good, but rather that the characters have some actual personality. The main character is a British asshole that sounds remarkably similar to Christian Bale, which given his recent tantrum, makes the voice even more amusing. But the character has a lot of personality, enough so that he kind of grows on you after a while. The supporting cast isn't entirely forgettable either, with its interesting mix of regional U.K. dialects and French accents.
Multiplayer is definitely worth your time, with a mix of modes and an easy matchmaking system that makes the whole endeavor an easy proposition. The game also connects to the PS3 if you have a copy of Resistance 2. This unlocks "infected mode," which makes the main character, James Grayson, into a more powerful version of himself, and grants him access to some different story documents and weapons. There's nothing about this mode that fundamentally makes the game more appealing. Completionists will like it, but it shouldn't be considered a main selling point. There's also the option to play the game through your TV with a dualshock controller, or, if you have the original PSP, you can simply play it with a dualshock controller on your PSP while it's connected to your PS3. Either way, I don't recommend it. The game adjusts to the greater accuracy of the twin analog sticks, which turns it into a much slower-paced affair. It's a change that feels forced onto a game designed around a very different type of control scheme and pacing.
There's something to be said for the confinement of a smaller budget and a more technologically limited platform. Without the enormous pressure of being the next multimedia spectacle or the freedom of an enormous budget, I wonder if developers like Bend Game Studio aren't in some ways at an advantage. Resistance: Retribution is a streamlined, well-edited piece of entertainment in a maelstrom of games bloated on their own ambition. It won't change your opinion about videogames, but it's humble confidence had me playing well into the night.
Bottom Line: Resistance: Retribution is an impressive game with modest aims that it achieves brilliantly. I wouldn't call it a system seller, but if you're a PSP owner you should definitely give this a try.
Recommendation: Buy it and keep an eye on Bend Game Studio.
Tom Endo loves pleasant surprises.