Resistance 3 – E3 Preview

Resistance has been a flagship series for the PlayStation 3 platform since they were introduced together in late 2006. The last release in the series had a powerful ending, and now Resistance 3 is looking to carry the torch into late 2011. I had a chance to play both singleplayer and multiplayer at this year’s E3 convention, and I’d like to share some of my insight.

As known previously, Joseph Capelli will be the new protagonist for Resistance 3. While his personality and behavior wasn’t shown at E3, we can say that his environment is grim. The Lead Designer for the title shared that the setting will be a lot more ominous than the two previous games, and takes influence from books such as The Road, where mankind is faced with astronomical challenges. Capelli’s journey will take him across the United States, and while I was only able to see one area of many during the demo, it looked promising.

Large set pieces are back, and I battled against a large, menacing monster that had several strengths and weaknesses. The battle was a highlight for me, and I was terrified every time I heard him charging toward me. There are a wide-array of monsters in the new game, and I even saw a new type of Chimera in the demo, which were extremely mobile. My aiming precision was truly put to the test, and I found myself challenged by the difficulty of the artificial intelligence. Thankfully, the new arsenal is both entertaining and potent.

Gameplay is very familiar to those who have played Resistance before. The game is extremely fast-paced, and while it is set in a 1950’s motif, the weaponry is highly-advanced. Each weapon has a primary and alternate fire, and I found that each weapon I touched served an important purpose. Most of all, using them is a lot of fun. Being able to fire a tracer round into an enemy before launching dozens of homing lasers that zip toward the enemy was fun to watch, and particularly effective against the more mobile creatures.

A new upgrade system in the campaign mode rewards you for using individual weapons for extended periods of time. Basically, as you get better at using a single weapon, it’ll also upgrade along a path, enhancing its capabilities in the process. After using the sniper rifle for a few minutes, it upgraded to level 2, and I could immediately notice the change. Not only do the weapons become more powerful as they upgrade, but they visually evolve to indicate additional features.

Multiplayer was especially memorable, and I enjoyed myself thoroughly in the competitive arena. Choosing a pre-determined or custom loadout gave me flexibility before hopping in and playing team deathmatch. Resistance 3‘s game fluidity is one of its best assets, and that translates directly into online play. While I only played 4v4, a total of 16 players will be able to battle it out in the full game. The list of weapons is large, and along with several other options will make it fun for players to practice and find their weapon of choice.

Visually speaking, I didn’t find the game particularly impressive, but some of the environmental effects are great. Strong winds blew debris around the level I played in, while trees were nearly torn from their roots. With that said, 3D implementation looks very promising. I actually found that the 3D experience was hands down more enjoyable than playing in 2D, so this might be one of the first PS3 games to really push the impressive technology. This actually makes sense given Sony’s recent $499 3DTV bundle announcement which includes Resistance 3. There will also be Move support, which should provide a fair amount of extra play value.

Resistance 3 is shaping up to be not only a great sequel, but also an excellent sci-fi shooter that should stand out among dozens in its genre. Look out for Resistance 3 when it releases in September later this year.