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Sunday, April 5, 2009

Resistance: Retribution

I finished the single-player campaign of Resistance: Retribution a few days ago... I guess that seems kinda fast as I got it less than a week ago? I was pretty engrossed into it though.

Resistance: Retribution is a third-person shooter that's an odd cross between a World War II shooter and a sci-fi shooter. I have to admit, I'm just not interested in WWII games... there are so many, so I suppose there's quite an audience for them since they keep making them. I'm also not big on first-person shooters, I prefer games that have a third-person POV. I just like seeing my "guy" even if it's just the back of him (preferrably her, hehe) But I was really in the mood to get into a sci-fi shooter, and I'm happy that Resistance: Retribution is done in third-person view.

Overall my complaints about Resistance: Retribution are small ones... I think the game is pretty good for what it is. I was disappointed that it just assumed I'd already played and completed Resistance: Fall of Man on the PS3, and dropped me into the world with little to no explanation of who the Chimera are and what they're even doing here. I'm going to have to wiki that or something.

The gameplay itself is very straightforward; if you've played developer Studio Bend's previous Syphon Filter PSP games, then you'll probably feel at home with Resistance: Retribution. I'd almost call it a Syphon Filter game with a Resistance skin overlaid onto it. At one point I was going down a ladder, and without thinking I instinctively pressed ↓ (down) on the D-pad and I quickly slid down the ladder... I don't think it was mentioned in the Resistance: Retribution instruction manual to do that, but I knew that you can do it in the Syphon Filter games, and it worked here too. Stuff like zooming in on enemies is pretty much transferred from those games to this one.

Instead of having to press a button to take cover like in the Syphon Filter games, in Resistance: Retribution your character takes cover "automatically" as soon as you go up to something you can hide behind and there are enemies in range. It generally does a good job of knowing when to take cover, but it can be annoying sometimes when you're trying to go past some cover and it automatically ducks you down into it and slows you down... especially frustrating if you're trying to be fast and running to somewhere. So there are trade-offs to this new system.

But it's not like Resistance: Retribution is simply a clone of the Syphon Filter games, it isn't. The big change is the aiming box in Resistance: Retribution. There's a large area of the screen, a box where if an enemy's within it, the target locks onto that enemy... and you can switch between enemies by tapping one of the face buttons (whichever is in the direction of the enemy you want to target).... at first I was a bit skeptical of this system-- though switching targets isn't as smooth as I'd have liked-- it works pretty well. A little *too* well; in the early parts of the campaign it feels like this is going to be a complete cakewalk. But then the difficulty goes up, and I wouldn't call this an easy game exactly. It can get pretty challenging at times, though I wasn't ever outright frustrated by any broken design or straight-up difficulty curve. There are 3 levels of difficulty, which is a nice option.

At first I was a bit taken aback by the lack of a map. But it's generally pretty intuitive as to where to go... though a map would be nice, especially when you're hunting around for some hidden intel....

There are 2 levels where you drive a mech, which I love. I love mech games like MechAssault on the Xbox... I just wish there was a bit more mech levels in Resistance: Retribution What we got felt like a reward for passing some hard bits; you've been on the recieving side of a mech-stomping, now you get to be on the GIVING side, hehe.....

Because of the new targeting system, Resistance: Retribution is a faster-paced game than the Syphon Filter ones. The SF games had a stealth component to them that isn't here. It's really all about shooting up some cannon-fodder Chimera, and shooting them some more. But like the Syphon Filter games, the cover-system is really important-- you *have* to be able to take cover, and plan your attacks accordingly. It's not as focused on that tactic as the Syphon Filter games, but it's still a major part of it.

If you were playing a drinking game based on how often I mention Syphon Filter, you'd probably be on your way to being sloshed right now. I can't help it-- as cool as Resistance: Retribution is, I can't help but compare it to Studio Bends Syphon Filter games. That said, I don't feel that Resistance: Retribution's James Grayson is as interesting a character as Syphon Filter's Gabe Logan was. Gabe just seemed cooler, and he had a little bit more that he could do. And while none of these games have great storylines, I also wasn't impressed by the story for Resistance: Retribution. It just didn't grab me. Though the blend between WWII and sci-fi is a unique one. All these games are great, but a bit repetitive; as fun as they are, you're doing the same things over & over.

So Resistance: Retribution definitely lives up to Studio Bends standard of high-quality PSP games. Honestly though, if I had to choose between another Resistance game or another Syphon Filter, I'd probably prefer seeing another Syphon Filter... though I wouldn't be unhappy to see another Resistance PSP game from them either. It's just the world/story isn't all that compelling while the gameplay is.

While I wouldn't call Resistance: Retribution the perfect game, I'm feeling a bit of what's next now... I'm left wanting more, but in a good way. I didn't want it to end... but there is some replayability in the form of finding hidden evidence-- err, I mean Intel (yup guess where they got that from-- I'm not going to type Syphon Filter again-- d'oh!!) and skill points when you do some special task like kill the first hybrid in a level, etc. This unlocks additional weapons & game development info.

This is the second time I've wanted to actually contact a game studio to thank them for making a great game... the first time being Krome's Star Wars: Force Unleashed games..... I never did find an easy contact for Krome, maybe I'll look to see if Studio Bend can be contacted. I bitch so much about broken/half-assed created games, that I really want to thank studios that make GREAT games.....



dysonjam said...

What do YOU think about the Resistance Retribution featured weapon of the week? Check out what developers are saying at www.myspace.com/pspresistance http://tr.im/hu8K.

Don said...

I'm trying to figure out if you're a spammer bot or what.... until I can confirm that they're legit, I won't be checking out those links.


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