Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Resistance 3

 Resistance 3 Review

Kid Safe: Low (3.0  / 10)                             Game Quality: Very High 8.5 / 10)

Genre: First Person Shooter
-          These games are characterized by the viewpoint and weapons used in the title. In a first person shooter, you are looking down the barrel of a gun as though you yourself are holding the weapon. Likewise, as the term "shooter" implies, the game specifically uses guns and firearms.

Internet Requirements: Moderate
-          Resistance 3 features a moderate amount of internet requirements which comes primarily through multiplayer functions, i.e. the ability to play the game with others via the internet. Players are able to engage both in cooperative as well as competitive gameplay. In a cooperative game, players are able to traverse the game's story together; conquering the challenges of a Chimera-infested United States together. In competitive, players will face off against each other in a wide area of game types; progressively gaining levels and unlocking more and more weapons and special abilities that they can use to defeat their opponents.

Story Summary:
-          In Resistance 3, you play the role of Joeseph Capelli, an ex-soldier living in a world ravaged by war and suffering. In this alternate reality, World War II never happened; instead giving way to a mysterious alien virus that transforms humans into monstrous beasts, the Chimera, whose sole purpose is to destroy the human race in every means necessary: sometimes mutating humans to join their ranks, sometimes just killing them. Players pick up Capelli's story 4 years after the conclusion of the franchise's 2nd installment where humans are slowly trying to re-establish themselves, building homes, and combating the Chimera threat. Capelli, who has been living with his wife and son, is called upon by an old ally, Dr. Malikov, who has discovered that the Chimera are up to something sinister in New York and only Capelli can't help him stop it before it is too late.

Kid Safe: Low (3.0 / 10)
-          Foul Language: High
o   Resistance 3 features a high amount of foul language that takes place in the form of the following words: "d*mn", "a*s", "b*tch", "s*it", and "f*ck". These words, interestingly enough, primarily show up during the latter half of the video game when the player meets two specific groups. The first group, the Remnants, introduces Charlie Tent, an aggressive and cocksure survivor who will join the player for several encounters with the Chimera. This man, while not overplayed, does use profanity loosely during combat. The second group, the Wardens, are a group of ex-convicts that capture, torture, and murder others and generally have few constraints on their foul language. Foul language is heard both during dialogue and in combat, however it is much more proliferate in combat situations. The majority of foul language that is heard throughout the title is used only in situations of extreme emotion including fear, anguish, and frustration.

-          Violence and Gore: Very High - Not Recommended for Children
o   Resistance 3 features a very high amount of violence and gore. Starting off, as a first-person shooter, this title has a focus on fighting, shooting, and killing others. Players will use a variety of weapons to accomplish this that includes, but is not limited to, knives, bayonettes, sledgehammers, grenades, pistols, assault rifles, machine guns, sniper rifles, shotguns, and a handful of alien weaponry that can freeze, electrocute, and/or mutate enemies into hideous, pulsing masses. Players will be fighting a range of alien monsters and robots as well as some human beings. The humans that players fight are not soldiers but are instead ex-convicts that have been capturing, torturing, and murdering civilians and who have made attempts against the player's character. Players are unable to harm innocents.

o   While in combat, player's primary focus is to maim and/or kill their opponent. The type of weapon that a player uses will dictate the type of gore shown. A standard assault rifle or pistol produces small splashes of red blood. Melee attacks with one's fists will have the same effect. The usage of a higher caliber weapon like a shotgun or sniper rifle can cause massive gouts and sprays of red blood. Melee attacks with knifes and sledgehammers can have the same effect. High caliber weapons can also dismember enemies, causing one's head, legs, or arms to be blown off in a spray of gore and leaving a leaking, bleeding wound on the corpse. The "Mutator" weapon causes enemies to convulse and, well, mutate, into massive, pulsing masses of green flesh and puss that will eventually explode into green and yellow globs of flesh. Corpses will remain where they fall for a limited time and then simply vanish. Blood will spray and stain floors, walls, and ceilings when enemies are shot and remain there for an extended period of time. Finally, the use of the sledgehammer weapon leaves chunks of flesh and gore visible on the weapon's end.

o   To the game's credit, it generally does a fine job in concealing some of the more gruesome details of non-combat scenes of violence and gore. One example includes a situation where an individual who you are traveling with at the time is caught by the "Warden" group. The man is progressively beaten with bare fists, producing a fair amount of blood and gore in his face area from the attack. Afterwards, the assailant picks up a machete and gestures to the fact he will decapitate your partner. The camera cuts away as the blade falls. Another example is where a man is being chased down by assailants. You watch the assailants act as though they are about to stab the man, however you do not see the killing blow, only the man falling down with the weapon in his back.

o   For those scenes that are not fully concealed, there are several to mention. One that comes to mind is a situation where you are wrestling another man for a firearm. In the fight, you end up putting the pistol muzzle beneath his jaw and shot him in chin with an explosive round. The man stumbles back momentarily before the round explodes, blowing his head into multiple gory pieces as his body falls over. Another example includes a situation where your partner sneaks up on a Chimeran soldier only to progressively beat it over and over again, caving in his head with the butt of his rifle, sending gouts of blood everywhere. A similar situation is displayed when a Chimeran beast gets a hold of an injured; it progressively bites and claws at him, sounding out sprays of blood and gore.
-          Sexually-Related Content: None
o   To the best of this reviewer's knowledge, Resistance 3 does not contain any sexually related content or nudity.

-          Use of Drugs and Alcohol: Low
o   Resistance 3 features a low amount of drug and alcohol usage which takes place through reference and some scenes alcohol consumption. References are extremely uncommon, however one example includes a situation where, while talking about a gunsmith, the comment is made that "He has been really grumpy since we ran out of bourbon. The man needs his bourbon." As far as scenes of consumption go, two really stand out. During the player's stay with the "Wardens", there are multiple scenes in which "Wardens" can be scene imbibing alcoholic beverages; likewise, empty alcohol bottles can be seen scattered everywhere. Also, during a particularly emotional scene late in game, Capelli can be seen drinking repeatedly from a flask he found while sending a message to his wife and son via a radio.

Game Quality:  Very High (8.5 / 10)
-          Graphics / Visuals: High
o   Graphically and visually speaking, Resistance 3 is rather well done in just about every area except the human characters themselves. Starting off with the game's main focus: the Chimera. Resistance 3 does a grand job in designing unique and interesting creatures, even amongst the alien ranks themselves. Boasting roughly 2 dozen monsters, each one has been fully imagined and many are vastly different from one another. From the giant scorpion/cockroach like Leapers to the bipedal Grims, the hulking "Braweler" to the gargantuan, spider-like Widowmaker; the game offers a wide array of interesting and terrifying enemies that have had an impressive amount of time and detail put into them. Just looking at all of the different Chimeran monsters is a treat in itself; fighting and discovering them is that much better.

o   But what of the environments that you get to explore? Much like the aliens, Resistance 3 does a great job in offering a fun and varied world. Starting off in the remnants of a mid-west farm town, players will venture through the war-torn ruins of St. Louis, the deep woods and mines of the Pennsylvanian countryside, a now-arctic New York City, and even the belly of an alien ship. A decent amount of detail has been put into all of these areas and, while the game itself only leads you on a single path, you generally feel less like you are being forced in a certain direction and instead are compelled to push ahead. The wind, light, and dust details are also something of special mention, being some of the better ones that I have seen in my time gaming.

o   The game's only real graphical deficiency comes in the human characters. As far as enemies go, the humans are almost laughable. Given the wide variety of different and interesting enemies, I was a little disappointed to find that those human enemies you fight are literally cookie-cutter cut-outs of each other with little to no variation between them. Likewise, combat aside, the majority of characters tend to look and act rather stiffly, more mechanical than realistic, with very few exceptions. Facial animations are equally rough across most human characters are it feels like certain characters were given a great deal more love than others when it came to finishing and polishing the game's look.
-          Audio: High
o   The audio and musical quality in Resistance 3 is decently done with high scores in almost every category. The music specifically was an unexpected treat; boasting a full score of orchestral and instrumental pieces throughout the entire game. Each piece is rather exceptional and does its job well in loaning a musical accompaniment to the emotion being portrayed on screen. Deep foreboding horns, fast paced drums, and gentle, drifting piano and string pieces all really help to set the pace of the gameplay. The voice acting is equally well-done, with almost every actor nailing their part. While you generally aren't going to here much more than angry, pain, or frustration given the game's story focus, most of the actor's do a fine job in really adding the weight of the character's plight to their shoulders and help to relay the character's inner turmoil through their tones alone. A well-done job, all around.

-          Gameplay / Playability: Very High
o   But what of the gameplay and the playability, you ask? The answer: very well- done. Starting off with playability, Resistance 3 does a great job in catering to the skilled and amateurs alike. Aside from allowing players to choose how hard they want the game to be, i.e. easy/medium/hard, it starts off the game by introducing all of the base controls in a safe and confined area including moving around and using your firearms. Players will then be placed in a sample fight to get even more of a feel of the controls. Fights will progressively get harder and harder as the game proceeds, increasing the difficulty in a steady, simple curve. Players are always able to access a list of controls to see what button they need to push should they forget. On top of all of this, anytime a new weapon or enemy is introduced, players are provided a small readout about the enemy/weapon so that they understand it better as well as hints as to how to approach fighting/using it. This data is always available to access, as well. If all this isn't enough, every time a new weapon is introduced, players are provided a simple situation or engagement so that they might cut their teeth on how to use the weapon properly in combat.

o   Finally, the gameplay. I have to say, I was rather impressed by just how much the developers were able to do with this game without really varying from the established "first-person shooter" genre. The game's real bread and butter is the weapons selection. While every weapon falls under a well-known weapon-type for the shooter genre, i.e. assault rifles, sniper rifles, shotguns, etc., each one also has a "leveling" system as well as alternative fire. As a player uses a specific weapon more often, it will "level", or become more powerful, and unlock new and exciting powers: a perfect example of this is the shotgun that suddenly starts shoot incendiary rounds or the "Auger" weapon that will start to fire three rounds instead of one. On top of this, alternate attacks add a new and interesting design to each weapon: one example includes the machine gun that can "tag" an enemy so that ever bullet, no matter where you aim your gun, will hit that enemy. Better yet, how about the gun that will open up a swirling vortex and suck every nearby enemy into it. Not enough? Why not try out the sniper rifle that doubles as a laser cannon. Too busy getting shot? That's fine, just use your "Auger" to throw done an energy shield to keep you safe from harm.

o   Even if interesting weapons aren't your thing, Resistance 3 offers a flowing and well-done story that will follow Capelli as he moves across the United States towards the blighted and frozen ruins of New York City. While we already mentioned the varied environments that players will get to explore, we didn't touch on the gameplay. Aside from shooting enemies, players will find themselves in situations that break the monotony of shooting at aliens. One example includes when players suddenly find themselves in a pit fight armed with only a sledgehammer. Or when players suddenly find themselves in a face to face battle over a firearm as they have to wrestle with their opponent to gain the upper hand. The game does a fair job in always breaking up gameplay and never really letting it get too stale.
-          Dollar-Value: High
o   Overall, Resistance 3 has a fairly high dollar-value. While the story is rather well-done and has a lot to offer to fans of the first-person shooter genre, the game itself isn't all that long; roughly 7 to 10 hours depending on the skill of the player. Likewise, the game doesn't offer much in the way of replay value; once you have seen everything there is to see, there is very little appeal in playing it over again. Instead, if you are looking to get more playtime out of this title, you will need to turn to the internet-based competitive multiplayer function. If your player is a fan on online-multiplayer, you will very likely get every penny you spend out of this title, however if you are just in it for the story, it might be worthwhile to wait for it to drop in price just a little bit. 

-          As always, first-person shooters don't have a lot to offer in the way of decent, non-mature titles. Some preferred fallbacks include Ghost Recon, Battlefield 2, the first Battlefield Bad Company, or, if you are a fan of alien-games, Blacksite Area 51. However, if mature rated content is alright in your book, the original Resistance titles are both decently done as well as Call of Duty, Battlefield Bad Company 2, and the Fear franchise; preferably Fear 1 or Fear 3.

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