Forgotten Gems: Resistance 3
The first-person shooter is truly and ridiculously overcrowded. And they’re mostly all the same, too. Go here, shoot that, save the world. It’s pretty standard fare. Naturally, the nature of the market has resulted in many people becoming rather jaded with shooters, and this results in some games just not doing all that well in terms of sales, regardless of quality.
Enter Resistance 3, the last entry into a franchise that was, on the whole, rather hit or miss. But its swansong was good. Really good.
Released in the busy period of Fall 2011, Resistance 3 was strangely blessed with little no to marketing or excessive hype. At the time, the Resistance franchise was in a state of decline. Resistance 1 was greeted with fairly positive reviews and praise; the second Resistance, however, was viewed as a rather mediocre title that signaled a stagnation of the franchise. This led to people losing faith–and interest–in the series.
Resistance 3 may be a direct sequel, but it strangely felt like a reboot, which was the perfect move to have made. While the story of average joe saving the world from aliens may not be all that fresh, but the core game was utterly fantastic. As a shooter, it played brilliantly, with tight responsive controls entwined with an old-school approach to health, and how many weapons you could carry resulted in the game feeling oddly refreshing. It may sound like a small thing but having the ability to carry as many weapons as you wanted was a great touch which allowed players to have fun in each fire fight without worrying about inventory space. Also, the health system bucked the trend of fully recharging health,. Instead, health packs made a return, giving each battle an edge of intensity not present in most modern-day shooters.
Continuing with Resistance 3‘s old-school approach were the weapons. Each weapon came with a basic and alternative fire, with the latter often resulting in numerous tactical advantages, or just straight up overkill. A prime example of the tactical advantages mentioned previously came in the shape of weapons that could deploy shields that allowed the player to fire through them. Also, there were guns that allowed the player to see and shoot through walls, as well as a weapon that made people vomit to the point of death. Add to this a leveling system for each weapon and Resistance 3 was a true example of mixing fun and depth while still giving each weapon a true purpose.
Level design was also a highlight throughout Resistance 3, with the singleplayer campaign playing host to various environments. From destroyed towns carrying a ’50s theme, to a crumbling prison being used as thunderdome-like arena, each level oozed character, refraining from simply being yet another corridor shooter. It genuinely felt like love and attention had been applied to each level.This was especially true during the boat ride level. The player is placed on a slow-moving boat as it moves through a small, decaying coastal town filled with various enemies. The whole level is steeped in a dark and brooding atmosphere that concludes with a rather snazzy set piece. The whole level feels reminiscent of Half Life 2‘s Ravenholm section–a true achievement.
Resistance 3 has aged slightly in terms of visuals since its release, however. It lacks a certain crispness to its overall look. Though at times, the game does produce some lovely scenery. Also, the audio has stood the test of time (if you can apply that phrase to a game released a few years ago) with each bullet, explosion and Chimera scream making a full impact. The audio breathes life into even the shortest of fire fights, giving the game a sense of soul.
Despite all of this, however, Resistance 3–in the eyes of the corporate suits–sold poorly. Positive reception could not save the franchise from ostensibly being buried. It’s a great shame that Resistance 3 never got the love and attention it deserved. The story wasn’t great, but it wasn’t terrible, and the core game was both hugely satisfying and well-crafted, with even the multiplayer being top quality. Resistance 3 now resides in the bargain bin and can normally be picked up for under £15/$15 depending where you look–and at that price it’s an utter gem. Fans that appreciate great gameplay and and old-school approach to first-person shooters will undoubtedly love Resistance 3.