Resistance 3 is a seriously bleak game. The Chimera, a race of monsters that have been destroying Humanity since the 1940’s, have damn near succeeded in their campaign. All major cities lie in ruins, and the last of the people live in small pockets trying to forget the destruction and simply live. While the first two games were all about fighting back the Chimera and waging a war bigger than all World Wars combined, this final entry is far more personal. Following former Sentinel Joseph Capelli, ironically the guy who put a bullet in original protagonist Nathan Hale’s head, in his quest to save his new family and what is left of Humanity. Developer Insomniac Games has placed a more individual focus on Resistance 3’s story, which is perfect for the bleak and horrific world it takes place in. Combine that with the best first-person shooting the series has seen, and you have an epic first-person shooter that is at the top of it game.
- Press Start
Resistance 3’s menu is very similar to the past two titles. Not much dynamic movement, but this works well with the empty feel of the game’s world. The title now has the Statue of Liberty hidden within, marking New York as the new destination of the player. The opening cinematic is a comic-style slideshow filling you in on the end of Resistance 2 and the current status of the Chimeran War, and does a great job of getting the story rolling.
- Story: 4/5
The story of former anti-hero Joseph Capelli is one of loss, rebirth, and more loss. After he killed Hale who had finally gone full Chimera, Capelli was dishonorably discharged from the Sentinel Program, which gave humans a burst of Chimeran DNA to increase their performance. Hale’s dead body is used to finally create a Chimeran virus vaccine, which is administered to Capelli. At this point in the story, humanity is all but dead, and Capelli leaves the military to attempt to live out the life he has left in pseudo-peace. He finds a wife and has a kid, and just when he starts to get used to the quiet, the chaos of war once again envelops him.
Overall, the story is great, and is filled with a fair few intense moments of pure cinematic goodness and some truly awesome setpieces as well. Since the Chimera have grown so deeply imbedded in Earth’s ecosystems, the race has split into two groups: feral and military Chimera. Despite being the same species, the feral Chimera have grown apart from the hive mind, and will attack military Chimera on sight. This makes for some seriously awesome fights, where Joe finds himself in between two warring factions of monsters.
The world of Resistance 3 is amazingly done. The two types of Chimera fight in arenas overrun by alien flora and fauna, and your journey through the wilderness and ruined cities is awesomely horrifying. The world truly feels dead, with bodies being found everywhere and random Grims attacking you. Grims are what happens when the Chimera infect an entire town and leave the bodies to cocoon themselves and transform into mindless starving alien zombies. Don’t worry, that’s not even the worst thing you see. The feel of the world is also helped a lot by the voice recordings and documents you find, and a few of them almost brought tears to my eyes. A few of them also made me retch.
While Joe may still be a military man at heart, which shows in his combat prowess, he now has something to fight for, and it makes him a far more likeable character than in the previous game. The writing in Resistance 3 is pretty good, and the characters, what few of them there are, are well done. You won’t really care about the majority of the stragglers you meet, but the story does make you deeply cling to a few select individuals.
While Resistance 3 takes some epic twists and turns, the conclusion that they lead to was honestly a bit disappointing for me. The ending is great, and cinematic as hell, but I felt like the series ended a bit too abruptly for all the events that had taken place. A bit more elaboration on certain aspects of the overall story would have been a welcomed addition in my opinion.
- Gameplay: 5/5
Resistance 3 may have an oddly simple ending, but the amazingly fun gameplay more than makes up for it. Insomniac is known for its creative weapons and fantastic shooting, and there is no shortage of either here. Since the world is now completely overrun by the Chimera, there are plenty of things to shoot but don’t be mistaken, this game is more than just an adrenaline fueled bullet fest. There are a few levels that are seriously spooky, and in the greyed Chimeran wilderness you are usually on the edge of your seat. The shift in scale from previous Resistance games did not change the size of the Chimeran army, and as such the individual focus of this entry has the player often feeling overwhelmed, frightened, and extremely under prepared. Not many games can make you feel as insignificant as Resistance 3.
The weapons of Resistance 3 are, to no one’s surprise, freaking awesome. The Chimeran Bullseye Rifle, explosive Magnum, and many other fan favorites make a return, as well as some new guns that do not remotely disappoint. All guns are fully upgradable, and some of the later effects of the bigger weapons are frightening. The game also controls extremely well. There will never a moment where you don’t know what to do, or will blame your death on the controller. Additionally included in Resistance 3, especially for those fans that purchased the Doomsday Edition, is PlayStation Move support. With the Move, Resistance 3 is even more fun to play. It takes a bit of getting used to if it’s your first time, but once you get the hang of it, it immerses you even more in the bleak world, especially if you have the plastic Move Gun. Headshots become a breeze, and it makes you feel like a true badass.
Once you are done with the main Campaign, you can head over to multiplayer. Like Resistance 2, Resistance 3’s cooperative and competitive multiplayer are a blast. Both have a special upgrade system based on your class, and will keep you coming back. The fights, no matter what mode, are large and hectic, and insanely fun.
- Graphics: 4/5
Overall Resistance 3 may not have the best graphics ever, but they get the job done. The effects are awesome, the Chimera are highly detailed, and the guns are gorgeous. The general wilderness and buildings are alright, and have a lot of greys and browns. When Chimera show up though, the game gets quite colorful, with jets of blue and orange from their engines and weapons. This contrasting effect aids the dead feel of the world greatly, and the general lack of detail allows the large fights that make up the more epic sections of the game to run smooth as hell. It was a risky strategy, but it paid off in the end.
- Music: 5/5
The voice acting, soundtrack, and general sound effects are top notch in Resistance 3, all lending great strength to the horrifying and decrepit look of the world and epic scale of the fights. The soundtrack always gets your blood pumping at the right moments, and makes you nervous during the creepier levels. Be it the roar of the Chimeran engines, screams of the feral Widowmakers, or blasts from your weapons, all of Resistance 3’s sounds are phenomenal, and immerse you deeply in the game’s depressing world and its horrors.
- Replayability: 5/5
The main campaign won’t take you that long, and is a decent length for a first-person shooter. Once you beat it, there is a new game plus mode where you can play on the hardest difficulty with all of your weapons retaining their previous stats. This is essential if you want to fully upgrade them all. Once you tire of the campaign, you can head over to the multiplayer, which as previously stated will keep you busy for a quite a while if you let it.
- Final Grade: 4/5
Resistance 3 is the best entry in the series in many ways. With its amazing guns, epic scale, great sounds, awesome gameplay and multiplayer, and a great personal story, it’s a wonderfully bleak experience that fans will greatly enjoy and newcomers will have a blast with. I had some gripes with the end of the tale and the graphics weren’t the best they could have been, but neither of these takes away too much from the overall experience. Resistance 3 took an awesome bite out of my face and tasted 4/5 pieces of my brain. Hopefully I don’t kill too many of my fellow gamers when I come back as a Chimera.