Review – Resistance: Burning Skies

The Resistance series has a history of a great story-lines great gameplay, and great mutliplayer action. With it’s introduction to the PS Vita, it also brings the handheld its first dual analog stick first person shooter. Did developer Nihilistic live up to the standards set by Insomniac Games? Is this game a worthy addition to the Resistance family?

Read our review to find out.

 

The Resistance series was introduced to us in 2006 as a PS3 launch title. It follows the plights of our World in an alternate WWII era where Earthlings had to stop fighting each other, and start fighting the invading hordes of alien Chimera. The series has graced the PS3 three times and the PSP once.

Resistance: Burning Skies is a story about an everyday hero becoming a legend. On August 15th, 1951, New York City fireman Tom Riley is called away during a seemingly routine fire call and finds himself thrust into the midst of the brutal Chimeran invasion (Resistance 2 fans: this parallels the period when Nathan Hale returns from Europe). Riley is possessed with a singular determination to find his wife and child, but along the way he’ll be embroiled in a far larger conflict that will determine the fate of New York and leave him a key inspirational hero of the Resistance.

Throughout all of the games, the story seemed to always be the main focus, with a decent length story, and enough collectibles to keep you busy for some time. For completionists looking for that always elusive Platinum trophy (in titles with trophy support), you could expect to have to play through the campaign at least twice. Beating the game once would in turn unlock the always challenging Superhuman mode.

Resistance: Burning Skies steps away from that pattern and makes the Platinum trophy achievable in as little as 8 hours. One playthrough on the hardest setting will take most veteran gamers 5-6 hours, with just a few areas that might slow them down. Superhuman mode is unlocked after beating the game, but isn’t required for the Platinum trophy. While the story is well written, with all new characters, it’s a little on the short side. Even collecting all of the intel, while not required for any trophies, still won’t add too much playtime.

The game looks amazing on the OLED screen of the PS Vita. This is one area where the developer hit the mark well. The details on the Chimera are spot on with the rest of the series, and the environments are detailed nicely as well. There are only six different chapters to the story, but each level is designed well. While still being very linear, you are still given the feeling of a large world around you. While looking off into the distance on some levels, you may find yourself staring and dying simultaneously.

The weapons of R:BS are also well detailed. Some are easily recognized by Resistance veterans. There’s your trusty M5A2 Carbine and almost every Chimera’s favorite weapon, the Bullseye. The ‘shoot-through-walls’ Auger makes its return as well. No handguns this time, but with eight different firearms to choose from, and a fireman’s trusty ax, no handgun is really needed.The Fireman’s Axe is a handy weapon for Grimms when there’s just one pesky one staring you in the face. The axe is your only melee weapon, but it does a great job of chopping and beheading.

Each firearm can be upgraded by finding grey tech lying around. These upgrades can increase ammo capacity and other things, depending on the weapon. Each weapon has three red and three blue upgrade slots. Only one red and one blue slot can be active at any time, so this gives the campaign an extra layer of thought. One quick note for trophy hunters, the Customize trophy doesn’t require all weapons to be fully upgraded, only that each weapon have at least one piece of grey tech applied to them. There’s plenty of grey tech to be found, and after one playthrough we had several weapons fully upgraded.

The Multiplayer for R:BS is a definite bright spot for the game. It allows for 4-8 players, in three different modes of play. Deathmatch and Team Deathmatch gives you the option of playing in a large game or a small game. Small games have 4 players while large games can have 6-8. New to the series is Survival mode. Here 6-8 players start out as team mates, but as eaxch one is taken out by AI Chimera, they become Chimera as well. The game lasts until there are no humans left. There is a ranking system that unlocks weapons and upgrades as you progress through the ranks.

If you want to get some of your PSN friends together on your Vita, you can start a party using the PS Vita’s Party feature. This feature can be launched after R:BS is running, and you’ll have the option in the R:BS menu to use Party Matchmakingonce it’s active. This is a great feature that needs to be made available on the PS3 soon.

Connect with the PlayStation community through social features including leaderboards and NEAR, PlayStation Vita’s location based service. Through NEAR, Resistance: Burning Skies introduces a new social perk allowing players to either infect nearby gamers with the Chimeran Virus or rally members of the Resistance with the Human Spirit, awarding them valuable XP multipliers to carry into multiplayer battle.

As veterans of the entire Resistance series, we found ourselves with mixed feelings in response to Resistance: Burning Skies. Overall the game design, sound and graphics are all top notch. At the same time we feel that developer Nihilistic probably should have done a little more homework when it came to the trophies and the story length. More mutliplayer game types would also be welcome, and we can hope that those will be added in using DLC soon.

Overall, it’s still a solid addition to the Resistance family and any veteran of the series is encouraged to pick it up or download it from the PSN.

Welcome to the Resistance family Tom Riley. Your axe is awesome!

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