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Resistance 3 Campaign Hands-On Preview

It's almost time for another virtual invasion from those ugly, but surprisingly agile, Chimera. Insomniac Games and their fans see that the September 6 launch date for Resistance 3 is approaching quickly. Will you be ready to defend the United States, your family and those who've banded together to survive?

It’s almost time for another virtual invasion from those ugly, but surprisingly agile, Chimera. Insomniac Games and their fans see that the September 6 launch date for Resistance 3 is approaching quickly. Will you be ready to defend the United States, your family and those who’ve banded together to survive?

Thanks to our friends at Sony Canada, I had a chance to sit down with the game for quite a while this afternoon, during a launch event in downtown Toronto. The event was held in the city’s beautiful and historic Distillery District, in a building known as the Fermenting Cellar.

A very old but amazing warehouse-style space that was the perfect location for a bunch of gaming press members to shoot some ugly returning foes on a digital recreation of American soil. There were many ways to try the game, as well as a swanky bar for refreshments, which made the place resemble a cool little modern yet retro nightclub.

Around eight different 3D televisions were set up throughout the space, each with different viewing and controller options. Some TVs were only displaying the game in two-dimensions, while others were set-up for a more immersive three-dimensional view.

Additionally, some featured the DualShock 3 controller for some joystick aiming/movement, while others had the PlayStation Move and its Sharpshooter peripheral out for demo. Throughout the day, I must have sat down and played at every single station for a little while, in order to make sure I gave everything a fair shot. Regardless of the options I had at my disposal, it’s nice to be able to admit that the game impressed me each time.

Resistance 3 takes place after the events in Resistance 2, which saw the fall of Nathan Hale. His murderer, Joseph Capelli, is now our main hero. His son is ill and he happens to be one of the main leaders of a resistance band that is trying to save an onslaught of Chimera forces, once again planning an attempt at destroying the United States of America.

His journey towards New York (chronicled with a mileage counter similar to that of inFAMOUS 2) begins in small town Oklaholma and seems to never let up once it starts, moving from one interesting location to another. Based on all of the different levels and locations that I got a chance to demo, I can safely tell you that boredom due to dull locations will not be a factor. There are a ton of really cool environments, including but not limited to: a train yard, a creek bed, a cornfield and the streets of a small town. Plus there’s a really strong and surreal section where the Mississippi River has flooded a town and its football field.

In many shooters, players don’t have to worry about agile enemies who can move around the environment quickly. That isn’t the case with Resistance 3, which features an enemy that isn’t afraid to try to flank you in any way that they can. They’re quick, deadly and incredibly agile. Many times, I’d be shooting at one and he’d decided to jump to a different ledge.

There is also a sniping section – a shooting-gallery area that we normally feel safe in as gamers, as long as there’s good cover to hide behind. Not here. The ugly creatures were brazen enough to jump right up to where I was, in order to plant a surprise attack while my eyes were focused on a scope aimed at their allies off in the distance. It makes things more challenging and shows that the A.I. isn’t lax. If there’s a chance for a flank or sneak attack, it’s important to watch for one. If not, it may mean a retry.

Fans of old-school shooters and the previous entries in this series will be happy to know that it doesn’t skimp away from difficulty. Nor has it implemented an automatic health replenishing system. Those strangely florescent yellow/green vials of health make their return and are very vital when it comes to an attempt at survival on harder difficulties.

There were times where the enemies completely overwhelmed me in a pack, where it was detrimental to try to find a way out in order to get health. It happened more than once and seems to be something that they’re programmed to do, in order to add more challenge. It works, considering how difficult it is to get away when you’re surrounded from all sides by mean aliens. Always keep tabs of where the health is and don’t waste it.

The popular weapon wheel from the original Resistance title is back, allowing for a pause in time to easily select the weapon you would like to use. Just pressing the triangle button will only allow players to alternate between their last two weapons used. The selection is quite varied and features popular returning weapons such as the auger, sharpshooter, machine guns and the deadly pin-needle grenades.

Every weapon has its primary fire and a limited amount of devastating secondary shots, which range from a blowback shot to an electrical current grenade. If the latter sounds badass, it’s because it truly is. That secondary fire is a part of an electrical weapon which can be used to send volts through multiple enemies at once. The grenade it emits not only traps and electrocutes close enemies, but it draws those in the immediate area in to be electrified until they pop.

To control first-person shooters, I’ve always preferred the controller over any type of peripheral, and it’s the same for Resistance 3. Though the Sharpshooter/Move combination works well, the DualShock 3 control scheme is my favourite. Fans in each camp will be happy with the way the game plays, though.

It’s a very fast-paced but methodical shooter, full of action and a great deal of required precision. Using the motion controls places a large cursor on the screen, allowing for easier aiming, though it’s also possible to zoom in. Playing with a controller felt very similar to previous entries in the series, though a bit more refined.

Let’s get back to the visuals. The team at Insomniac Games deserves a pat on the back because Resistance 3 is amazing looking, in both two and three dimensions. There’s a ton of detail, as well as some liquid/dirt that sticks to the camera. Plus, some very well-designed character models who look very realistic, complete with some great emotion and animations.

Playing it took me back to Killzone 3, which is a good comparison, as both games are in the elite visual echelon. With the futuristic-looking 3D glasses over my eyes, I became even more immersed in the world due to a greater sense of depth.

At times, it looked like bullets were flying right at me and were about to come out of the screen. Though the game’s jaw-dropping cutscenes are not displayed in 3D, they’re still some of the best out there with tons of detail, shiny visuals and strong voice acting.

From spending over an hour with Resistance 3 myself and watching others play, I can safely assure you that it’s a release which needs to be marked on the calendar in big, orange letters. Orange, because it’s the game’s theme.

Judging by the reactions of those around me, my peers who were in attendance had to have felt the same way. This is a very cool game. One that feels like it’ll meet all the requirements to become a successful, highly-rated triple-A title. It’s also one of the games that I cannot wait to play more of, when it’s out early next month.

About the author

Chad Goodmurphy

A passionate gamer and general entertainment enthusiast, Chad funnels his vigor into in-depth coverage of the industry he loves.