Genre: First Person Shooter
Year: 2006
Developed by: Insomniac Games
Published by: Sony Computer Entertainment
Platforms: PS3
Feeling Like: Bigelow, Bigelow, Bigelow…

Resistance 2‘s campaign was better. Bigger set pieces, more giant dinosaur/alien hybrids, a crazy Predator-inspired section and improved graphics. But, it didn’t have co-operative multiplayer in the campaign.

I happen to like co-op campaign play. I happen to get annoyed when first person shooters don’t have co-op in the campaign. I’m look at you, Halo 5, which won’t be on the 500 because I’m captain of the bitter bus and haven’t tried it yet.

I resided in Fernwood for a couple years with JP. Grant St. wasn’t a bad spot to live; it was close to work, it was close to a grocery store, it was close to a bar, it was close to a pizza place, it was close to chinese food, it was close to a bagel shop, rent was relatively cheap, it was a house, it had laundry and it had a dishwasher. Actually, now that I think about it, it was a pretty darned good place to live.

Another reason it worked well for us is that JP and I each had a Playstation 3, our own TVs and two couches in our living room. This made playing through Borderlands co-op a cinch. We didn’t have to use the Playstation Network for voice communication, since we were in the same room. Often a few drinks were had. We had a blast. We wanted more. We found Resistance: Fall of Man.

Since I’m smaller, I got the big TV. That’s how it works, right?

This was one of the earliest PS3 games and it shows now, but didn’t when we played it in 2009. The framerate was impressive, animations were smooth, enemy hordes frantically attacked and AI squadmates backed you up. In terms of console shooters, it was a good one.

Not perfect, mind you. The game’s color pattern is filled with shades of grays and browns. It’s an ugly world. Upon watching some retrospective videos, my suspicions were confirmed – this is bland, colors wise, but that was a common complaint around shooters at this time. Gears of War had changed everything, and developers around the industry took note. Nothing necessarily wrong with that, it’s not as if I’d describe 1950’s Britain as colorful anyway.

Resistance: Fall of Man has a good mix of weaponry. You start out with your typical  World War 2 arms, but then you also pick up the Chimera guns and unleash hell. These were a lot more fun, but I remember ammo being slightly scarce. I also liked how each reload, particularly on the bigger guns, felt meaty. I could hear the clank of the ammunition, and the rust on the older guns.

Let’s hope I’m not too rusty

I can’t count the number of times we died, but it was a lot. JP and I are pretty good at stumbling recklessly upon terrible things, and we did so often throughout the campaign. The enemies have a weird habit of either charging blindly, or staying in cover. Kneeling and taking pot shots doesn’t really work, so you’re forced to be active. Eh, works for me. I’m not really the patient type anyway.

It probably hasn’t aged well – you have to remember, this was one of the PS3’s first games and players were awed at the smooth, silky framerate when they’d been subjected to the PS2 previously. There’s an obvious, massive leap in hardware and it’s clear Insomniac wanted to show that off as much as possible. There’s a huge emphasis on displaying giant crowds, lighting effects and explosions. There are even a few story beats to show close up models of the main characters’ faces.

My reaction when I found out Resistance 2 didn’t have Co-op.

It’s always easier to tackle challenges with a friend. Even if neither of us felt like playing another level, JP and I managed to begrudgingly encourage each other and manage to have a great time regardless if the particular section was fun or not. The point is, we were doing it together. We were getting a little taste of residence life all over again, and that tasted delicious when you’re long past school and working full time. Multiple deaths in the same spot became a running joke and when we finally did get past a tricky section, drunken hugs were often distributed.

This would be the only time we had the same amount of ammo.

A lot of the stuff I’m describing seems rote for a console first person shooter, and it is. It’s been lost in time; Resistance: Fall of Man did not have a lasting impact, only to show what was possible on the system in a brainless, fun manner. Mission accomplished.

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