Thursday, July 24, 2008

Resistance: Fall of Man

Resistance mounts itself upon three distinct already existing first-person-shooters. Those would be Halo, Half-Life 2, and Call of Duty. In terms of gameplay, Resistance is fast, arcadey, has plenty of vehicle sections, and is carried out in the same manner as Halo. In terms of story, you have an alien invasion, desecrated cities, humans being turned into aliens; zombie creatures, and all that good Half-Life 2 stuff. And lastly, in terms of atmosphere and world, you're ravaging the broken streets of Europe with your fellow comrades in arms, so it's pretty close to playing Call of Duty over again.

Since Resistance seems to borrow so heavily from other First-Person-Shooters, it's hard to find any one unique element in it that shines above the crowd and makes it a game truly worth playing. The story is somewhat interesting, but I felt that it could have been better executed in a style similar to Half-Life, relying more on mystery, player discovery and first-hand experience, than force-feeding information through cut-scenes. The story in Resistance almost ran in a similar style to Call of Duty, where you seemed to be part of a huge war, and not of some sort of narrative. This felt fine in Call of Duty, but since the world in Resistance was unknown to us, it felt to me that it should have been explored a bit more.
As far as the gameplay is concerned, it is fun in its own right, but there is nothing overly great about it. The guns are somewhat unique and well-designed. The enemy AI is pretty much limited to RUSH TEH HUMANS or CAMP BEHIND BOX n' PEAK OUT OVER AND OVER. However, one odd thing about the combat is that avoiding enemy fire seems to be exclusively designated to your ability to strafe and has little to do with how much cover you currently have. This is odd because you can peak out of a box only to have your head blown off by surprisingly accurate enemy laser blasts unless you happen to strafe at the correct moment.
Moving on, the screenplay was somewhat interesting, but seemed to have no real focus or goal to it, throwing me from level to level with no sense of urgency, progress, or future outcome. There were some exciting sequences, but nothing close to the level achieved in Halo, Half-Life, or Call of Duty. Also, many of the more thrilling moments in the game were designated for cut-scenes, which I thought would have had more impact if they were played out instead of watched. Lastly, the screenplay ends with some kind of nuclear reactor showdown, which seems to be the ending level for about 50% of all shooters.

To me, a successful first-person shooter should combine an interesting world, with a strong narrative, have unique and fun gameplay mechanics, and use those in exciting sequences. Resistance does a fairly adequate job in all departments, but does not do anything extremely well to make it worth playing, in my opinion.




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