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Resistance 3: Status Quo
Company: Insomniac Games

Resistance 3 offers a completely different world than the one we left at the end of Resistance 2. Two-time series protagonist Nathan Hale is gone and the Chimera have effectively won. Earth is now theirs and the human population has been reduced to a couple thousand groups huddled in makeshift communities.

Joseph Capelli is one such individual adjusting to the new status quo. If you played Resistance 2, you're already familiar with Capelli and his role in Earth's current mess. Since then, Capelli has settled into life as a family man with his wife and child. He's not interested in fighting the Chimera; he just wants to build a life and survive. However, Dr. Malakov, another familiar face, has different plans for Capelli. Malakov is convinced he knows a way to turn the tides on the invasion. He can't outright stop it, but he's figured out a way to put a crimp the Chimeran invasion plan. Problem is, he needs Capelli, and he needs him in New York, not Oklahoma.

Resistance 3's gameplay changes reflect the new reality of Post-Chimeran life. Unlike previous games, there's an added emphasis on survival. I'll stop short of affixing the "Survival Horror" label, but gameplay is much rougher this time. The auto-replenishing health system is gone and replaced with health packs. The change forces you to stay on the alert at all times. Not only do you need to keep an eye out for health caches, but decide when to use them. Based on some hands-on time, it doesn't look like health will be incredibly hard to find, which is why I back away from the "Survival Horror" comparison, though it creates a major dynamic shift from the "Wait and Heal" mechanic.

I like the shift from "Superman" to normal man, especially since it goes hand-in-hand with the bleak, ragtag feeling Insomniac is trying to create with Resistance 3. The change also brings more attention to one of the series' main selling points, its arsenal.

Wild weapons have always had a major presence in the series, though most times, especially in Resistance 2, their usefulness wasn't always as major. It was fun to bang out a couple of rounds with new weapons when you first got them, though usually I stuck to a small handful of weapons. Here, however, I used nearly everything in my load out. I found myself constantly flipping between the Marksman, a machine gun, and the Rossmore Shotgun, based on the situation. It may seem like good strategy to most, but for me this was a big change. As I mentioned earlier, I'm usually the sort of player to stick to certain weapons while ignoring others. Here, I had to use them all just to get out of some battles.

One of the reasons for my constant back-and-forth between weapons was the alt-fire mode for each. While the standard fire modes show off a few bells-and-whistles, such as the Auger's ability to see and shoot through walls, the alt-fire modes can quickly turn a dire situation into a survivable one. For example, the shotgun can launch grenades while the Marksman rifle can deploy a turret, adding a second stream of fire. Resistance's gunplay has always been fun, but Resistance 3 makes enough small tweaks to the system that it is an absolute joy.

When a series hits its second sequel, especially one as highly regarded as Resistance, it is usually hard to keep the momentum going. Although the core gameplay is mostly the same, Insomniac has shown it is willing to take risks with Resistance 3, and so far those risks are paying off, giving PS3 owners a lot to look forward to this September.

-Starscream, GameVortex Communications
AKA Ricky Tucker
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