The PlayStation brand is filled with a variety of great and varied games. Want adventure? You’ve got Uncharted. Want to be a superhero? Play inFAMOUS. Want to play pretend? Try LittleBigPlanet. And if you want a first-person shooter, you play Resistance.
When the PS3 first launched, it came with a variety of great launch games to those who took to buying the system from day one. And of course, what system didn’t come packed with a first-person shooter at launch? This is where Insomniac Games, the famed developers of games like Spyro and Ratchet and Clank, came in.
Taking their love of unique weapons with them., Insomniac developed a first-person shooter unlike any other.
Resistance: Fall of Man launched alongside the PS3 in 2006 to raving reviews and currently has a respectable 86 on Metacritic. It took the much used alien invasion storyline and made it fresh and unique. Unlike other invasion shooters, Insomniac crafted an alternate timeline world deep with lore and back-story, something that hadn’t been in a shooter in a long time.
You played as Nathan Hale, an American soldier sent to Britain to join the fight against a strange alien race known as the Chimera. What he doesn’t know, is how dangerous this war is, and what dark secrets he will discover.
With it’s incredibly fresh guns that each have their own special power, Fall of Man remained an interesting and thrilling adventure from beginning to the end. By giving players access to a plethora of guns, you were free to develop your own unique playing style based on what guns tickled your fancy.
And by using an actual health-bar, a rarity for a shooter, Insomniac made each and every moment feel tense and exciting. You never knew what was around the next corner, or what new kind of creature waited for you. I spent many a firefight hiding behind corners, only coming out to snipe an enemy with my sniper rifle.
Two years after Fall of Man’s success, Insomniac followed up with Resistance 2, a very different and yet very similar game compared to Fall of Man. And although it brought some controversy due to the regenerative health and the limited number of guns you could hold, Resistance 2 gave Hale an even deeper character and gave the Chimera an overhaul in back-story, giving more meaning to an already terrifying menace.
By introducing a ton of new enemy types, Insomniac not only added to the depth of the game’s story and gameplay, but also kept every minute fresh and original. One minute you’d be in a firefight with Steelheads, and the next you’d be fending off a pack of feral Chimera, Insomniac’s take on zombies, and then you’d be faced with taking down a beast the size of a building. Crazy? Yes. Fun? Very much so.
And while I loved the first game to death, Resistance 2 completely blew me away. I did miss the weapon wheel, but the new tone of the sequel gave me such a memorable experience. And by placing it in America, it gave the story an added amount of reality. Seeing the New York City skyline in flames is something that sticks with you.
Resistance 2 also presented me with the first game that honestly scared me. Turning every corner was a rush, and I spent every minute wondering what would be thrown at me next. Whether it be a new boss battle, a new gun, or having a swarm of feral Chimera charge at me, Resistance 2 was continually thrilling and shocking.
One other thing that Resistance 2 did that I admire is the way they handled swearing. It seems that in most shooters these days, the characters scream vulgar curse words in every sentence. All this accomplishes is make the characters seem like meat-heads who can’t grasp basic English. But Insomniac handled it in a way I greatly admire.
Rather than having the endlessly interesting characters act dumb, they used their curse words sparingly, and each time a character swore it added an extra layer of tension or tragedy to an already intense scene.
After an extended development time, Insomniac finally released Resistance 3 to PS3 users in September of 2011. Resistance 3 took the best parts of both Fall of Man and Resistance 2 and combined them to make not only the best game in the franchise, but one of the best shooters of the year (of which there were many).
In the third game, you no longer played as Nathan Hale, but instead step into the shoes of Joseph Capelli, a man who previously worked with Hale but has since left the war to have a family. And while everyone loved the story of Hale’s transformation from normal man to half-Chimeran super soldier, Capelli brought humanity to the table in a refreshing way.
Capelli had turned his back on his past, and now focused on family instead. But nothing good can last. Due to extreme circumstances, Capelli is forced to leave his family to try and stop the Chimera one more time, or risk the end of the world.
What follows is a journey across the country that is filled with intensity, epic set-pieces, characterization galore, and a frightening descent into the madness of the world.
The story of Resistance 3 is amazing. As the game progresses, you can see how the world has lost itself, and how the surviving humans are either hiding in the dark, or have become savages intent on the death of any living thing. Insomniac gives Capelli an amazing adventure, and itt stuck with me long after the credits rolled.
In addition to the great story, Resistance 3 also gave us the best gameplay of the franchise. It brought back the health bar and weapon wheel and added the quick moving, smooth gun-play of the second game. Playing through the game was a blast, and I never stopped having fun.
The control scheme is familiar and easy to learn, compared to the Fall of Man’s mildly complicated controls, and no matter how crazy the game got, I always knew how to handle it. And with the introduction of more new, unique weapons, every fight became a game in itself.
If I wanted to hang back and fight from a distance, I could use the Marksman or Deadeye to snipe enemies from a distance. If I had a need to get up close and person, I would grab the Rossmore shotgun and charge the enemy.
But Insomniac didn’t stop at just adding new guns, they perfected their weapon upgrade system as well. The more you use a gun, the more it levels up, giving it more special abilities. For example, my favorite gun (the Rossmore), when fully upgraded, has combustible rounds, while the classic Carbine got a grenade launcher.
Nothing beats shooting a snarling Chimera in the face with a shotgun and then watching his body burst into flames.
If I haven’t convinced you that the Resistance franchise is worth your time, than maybe you just need to play them yourself. I recommend starting with Fall of Man, as you’ll get the most out of the next game’s if you play it first.
But if you so desired, you could very well start Resistance 3, as Insomniac crafted it in such a way that it’s accessible to fans and newcomers alike.
But let me try and convince you to play them in order before you go. For one, like I said, the stories of each game build upon each other. The first game leads into the second, and the second into the third. The gameplay also adds onto itself. The customization of guns gets significantly better as you go on, and you’ll have an even greater respect for the gameplay if you’ve played through all three.
And as an added bonus, a box-set has recently been announced that packages all three games on one beautiful disc. For just $40, you can get all the games I’ve spent the last thousand words talking about in one purchase.
I hope I’ve been able to encourage you to give these fantastic, sometimes overlook games a try. They pack amazing stories, gameplay, characters, and a ton of memorable moments that stick with you for a long time.
So go and pre-order the Resistance Collection and dive headfirst into the adventure. You won’t be disappointed.