Cast your mind back to the launch of the PlayStation 3, at a time when Sony was so bullish in its sales forecast that the Japanese giant claimed consumers would rush out to land a second job to afford the console’s eye-watering $599 price tag. Oh, how far we’ve come.
Then again, the platform-holder wasn’t the only one on the verge of change. Buoyed by increased technical horsepower and advances in graphics technology, in 2006, practically all video game genres were starting to evolve in new and exciting directions, and one bracket that arguably displayed the most tangible results was the first-person shooter. While Quake, Doom and, to a lesser extent, Halo are often cited as the genre’s founding fathers, by the mid 2000s, FPS fans were beginning to clock eyes on refined narrative experiences, and it’s little wonder why Irrational’s BioShock is celebrated as a landmark achievement in artistry, innovation and storytelling.
An Alien Virus Like No Other
But before plunging beneath the icy waves of the Atlantic Ocean in 2007, Insomniac Games jump-started a franchise of its own in the form of Resistance. Launching alongside the PlayStation 3 a decade ago, the cult sci-fi was considered by some to be the console’s first killer app, as the PlayStation faithful became acquainted with one Nathan Hale.
Now, ten years on from the Fall of Man, the dormant Resistance franchise has reached its 10th anniversary, and what better way to mark the occasion than an in-depth retrospective on the Chimera, the Cloven, and everything in between?
Welcome to This Day in PlayStation History, your window into the archives of all things PlayStation. In the time since this original feature began, we’ve placed the spotlight on entire franchises, industry icons such as Hideo Kojima and Nolan North, and bona fide gaming mascots. But after chronicling the stories behind Ratchet & Clank and Crash Bandicoot, it’s time to trace the history behind Insomniac’s Chimeran virus, one which spread its tentacles across three mainline installments, two spinoffs, and even a series of tie-in novels.
Rooted in a dark alternate history, Resistance: Fall of Man introduced PS3 owners to a reality in which World War II never came about; instead, Allied forces were busy locking horns with a much greater threat: the Chimera. Around the 1930s, reports of biological experiments began leaking out of Russia, leading both the US and Britain to mobilize troops in the event of an invasion. The truth, however, was much worse. By 1949, the Chimeran virus swept across Europe in a matter of weeks, meaning that by the time Fall of Man opens, Britain truly was facing its most darkest hour.
Though it didn’t quite reinvent the genre, the first entry in Insomniac’s Resistance series was an intelligent and surprisingly deep experience, and served as the necessary springboard to launch a franchise. Two years later, Resistance 2 shifted the action Stateside, where Nathan Hale once again fought the good fight against the Chimeran threat. Thanks to intel peppered across the battle-scarred environments, Insomniac was able to dive a little deeper into the lore in 2008, and the sequel’s cliffhanger ending was enough to spawn scores of theories online.
This Day in PlayStation History - Resistance Retrospective
Ultimately, by the time the credits rolled on Resistance 2, and the Chicxulub Crater had been blown to kingdom come, Sentinel Joseph Capelli took on leading man duties. It’s a change of guard that would go on to lay the groundwork for a poignant, harrowing journey to the Big Apple in Resistance 3, arguably the finest entry in the series.
That was in 2011 and since then, talk of another installment has quietly faded into obscurity. The widely-derided Vita exclusive Burning Skies (2012) stands as the most recent Resistance title, and we all know how that one turned out. Last we reported on the franchise’s uncertain future, Insomniac conceded that it had “no plans for anything Resistance.” But never say never.
During the same interview, Studio Head Ted Price stated: “The future of Resistance is unclear – I’ve said we wouldn’t go back to making Resistance since we don’t own the IP. But I’ve also learned to say ‘never say never.’”
Never Say Never
Beyond the core video game series, author William C. Dietz has expanded that most intriguing alternate history through literature, penning both Resistance: The Gathering Storm and Resistance: A Hole in the Sky as stop-gaps between Resistances 2 and 3. Heck, at one point there was even conversations about a live-action feature film but, much like the possibility of a Resistance 4, any sign of progress has since fallen away.
Both Resistance 2 and Resistance 3 shut down their respective servers in April of 2014 — Retribution followed the following year — and since then, even the more optimistic fans are beginning to think that the Chimeran virus has been quarantined for good. Ten years ago, Insomniac Games unleashed Resistance: Fall of Man on these shores and with it came perhaps one of the most under-appreciated series of the PS3 era. The cult sci-fi franchise spanned another four titles in total — two on console, two on handheld — and at the moment, the Resistance we know is effectively dormant.
Do you believe the studio will one day circle back to the Resistance franchise? Or are you of the mindset that the series has already run its course? I’ll see you in the comments.
This Day in PlayStation History is a new and recurring feature here on PlayStation LifeStyle that will be acting as your window into the archives of all things PlayStation — birthdays, anniversaries, milestones and more.