Genre: First person shooter
Year: 2008
Developed by: Insomniac Games
Published by: Sony Computer Entertainment
Feeling Like: A turning point

It’s immeasurably disappointing that Insomniac Games removed co-operative campaign play from Resistance 2. It’s possible that the mode was never even considered, but that didn’t erase the sting that JP and I felt upon realizing that we wouldn’t be able to back each other up while blowing away scores of Chimera aliens all over the United States. I vowed never to make another blind purchase again. You can hardly blame me though, considering this kick ass commercial.

Once the disappointment faded, I found a lot to like in this nightmarish firefight. Even level is packed with grand set pieces, cataclysmic imagery, bleak visuals and a rush that I found was lacking from Killzone 2.

The scale and ambition is impressive, though I never found myself completely pulled into Nathan Hale’s story. Infected with some Chimera blood, you play as the protagonist from Resistance: Fall of Man as he joins other soldiers with the same ailment. The conflict with the invading force continues, but without the narration from the first game, I found myself caring less and less about the plot and more and more about oh god I’m out of ammo please give me ammo or I’m about to die I’m dead.

Thankfully, your allies are not useless. Far from it, I constantly felt like the fate of the world was divided evenly among myself and my fellow soldiers. This truly feels like a war, with enemy bosses scaling in size from bigger than a car, to bigger than a skyscraper. You’re going to need a bigger gun.

Like this one.

Weapons always pack a major punch. Each shot feels like you’re holding the gun on your couch. Even though you can only carry two guns at the same time, new ways to put holes into Chimera are littered throughout each level. Large scale battles will turn your senses inside out as you try to evaluate the lay of the land, while avoiding giant, mechanical T-Rexes and slithering leviathans.

The gargantuan boss encounters are the best part of the game. One takes place in a mansion better suited for Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. Once you take out the grunts inside, a bipedal dinosaur quickly makes his presence noticed, and you won’t be able to take him out head on. Employing a cowardly approach, like staying INSIDE THE HOUSE and taking pot shots, is a far better strategy. Donald Gennaro could’ve used that handy tip on Isla Nublar.

Only you can prevent forest fires.

I wasn’t wild about enemy AI frequently charging towards my gun, and probably should’ve played on an easier difficulty. If it isn’t Halo, or Goldeneye 007, it’s always a crapshoot using a controller in a first person shooter instead of a mouse. The controls are fine, but I frequently missed the precision of the point and click. Some of the animations on the Chimera look really unnatural, and there’s no grey area between them being listlessly unaware and attacking you with every piece of their arsenal.

With all that in mind, I must confess the previous mentioned complaint about a lack of co-op isn’t exactly true. You can actually have up to eight players do a certain set of missions that run parallel to the main story and have their own objectives. If you can manage to get this many players together, the class based multiplayer mode is incredibly dynamic. I didn’t love how the XP numbers jumped up every time you shot an enemy, but I didn’t give that mode a fair chance.

I must mention another scenario…although I can’t be for sure if it’s from Resistance 2. You’re in the woods. It’s quiet. All of a sudden you’re dead. Huh, that’s interesting. Most enemies in this game resemble a loud, drunken, trumpeting fart, what’s with the silent but deadly? Turns out there’s an invisible type of Chimera, straight out of Predator. One hit kills. I was surprised that this incredibly tense section is a one hit wonder (literally), and that cloaked creep never appears again.

Maybe it didn’t belong in the grand scheme of things. Resistance 2 is a big, bloated bag of fun. It’s loud, massive and makes sure you’re aware of that every second. I still lament the lack of a campaign co-op and it’s not my favorite shooter, but I enjoyed it better than at least 100 other games.

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