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(C-12): Final Resistance
Score: 60%
ESRB: Teen
Publisher: SCEA
Developer: SCE Europe
Media: CD/1
Players: 1
Genre: Action

Graphics & Sound:
What can I say except that this game is a perfect example of a developer who doesn't quite see all the potential their game has. Consequently, SCEA's (C-12): Final Resistance doesn't quite live up to the game it could have been.

The graphics of C-12 won't blow you away, but they are definitely impressive for a PSOne title. One thing I've always found rather neat was the way the 'grittiness' of PSOne titles can sometimes be very appropriate for games. C-12 is one such game. So while the visuals will appear quite a bit rougher than most comparable PS2 games, it doesn't suffer as much as you would think as it actually adds a bit of atmosphere. Aside from the obvious limits placed on a PSOne game in the graphics department, the visuals of C-12 are both attractive and appropriate.

Most developers understand the importance of sound in a game, and SCEA is no exception. Filled with the loud booms of explosions and the creepy breathing of an alien around the corner that hasn't noticed you yet, C-12 delivers it all. Every tiny little corner of the game contains nice sound effects that breathe life and a sense of oppression into the game. Your scanner will hum when you look through it, and your laser eye will whirr when you move your head back and forth. The music, however, is pretty much unnoticeable. While there was nothing horrible repetitive or annoying, neither were any scores very memorable.

It's been a trend many people have commented on in the last few years, both developers and players alike. It seems many developers have begun to focus on the technological presentation of the game, the graphics and sound, but don't spend enough time fleshing out really great gameplay. Unfortunately C-12 is a perfect example of this. Upon looking at the back of the box, and even after playing the first few minutes, the game comes off as being far more interesting than it really is. With the engine they had, SCEA could have done so much more with this game than they did. There is one moment near the beginning of the game where you turn on a power generator. This has the side effect of juicing up a fallen power line that happens to be lying right across a catwalk you have to walk across. In order to avoid being fried, you have to use your scanner to figure out exactly what's going on and then shoot down the offending line. It's not a big deal, but using little things like that is what separates a fun game from one you've pretty much played time and time again.

What it ends up being is a typical trite action game rehash that's been done to death. You simply complete various missions that consist of 'get from point A to point B' and 'Put Tab A into Slot B' gameplay. Of course you also have to kill the various aliens you run across in the process. Actually fighting the bad guys isn't too much fun. Rather it's the moments when you see a group of enemies in the distance and are trying to figure out the best way to attack without arousing all of them at once that lead to the most interesting moments. While we are on the subject of fighting, I have a big complaint about the tank enemies. You'll come across several of these bosses in the first parts of the game. Sadly, fighting them is not at all interesting. Instead of coming up with some interesting or creative tactics that you would have to use to fight them, it is just a matter of finding the gun turret in the room and having enough health/shields to survive the tank's unavoidable attacks. You pretty much HAVE to use the gun turrets if you want to kill the tank fast enough to survive, and while you are in the turrets, you are completely unable to avoid the tank's guns, laser, and rockets. It really becomes an exercise in severe frustration.

The difficulty of a game like C-12 is measured in how easy it is to stay alive and figure out the puzzles of the missions. While none of the missions are especially mind-boggling, the detailed mission, item, and map information given to you in the pause menu sees to that. As for staying alive, fighting the normal enemies scattered through the level is never very difficult as long as you progress slowly and make sure you never run into a room filled with five or six enemies in it. The bosses, however, are a different matter. Most of them have attacks you can avoid; unfortunately you can't actually be attacking them and avoid at the same time. So most of the game becomes a process of saving up as much health and shields as possible so that you can survive the inevitable 'health' standoff with the next boss - not very inspired challenges.

Game Mechanics:
The control scheme for C-12 seems a little complicated at first, but while most people will catch on pretty quick, the lock-on mechanics are just horribly flawed and you're usually better off not using them. The digital pad and left analog predictably move your character around, and the right analog sweeps the camera left and right. The X and square buttons use your weapon's primary and secondary attacks respectively. The circle button crouches, and the triangle button activates your shield. The R2 button brings you into 1st-person perspective and allows you to look through your electronic eye, while the L1 button cycles through your weapons. The R1 button is where you will find problems. The R1 button strafes and locks onto enemies. Now the main purpose of strafing in an action game like this is for intuitive dodging during a firefight; however you move far too slow while strafing for it to ever be effective. Since it's also the lock-on button, you will always be strafing while locked-on and you just can't fight effectively while strafing.

Despite its cool setting and creepy ambience, C-12's gameplay just falls flat on its face as something completely uninspired. Most people will become bored very quickly.

-Alucard, GameVortex Communications
AKA Stephen Triche

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