is heavy on the action and light on the story. What little story that follows what is given up top continues on a very linear line with little deviation. The story mainly serves as a way to shepherd you around the country, which comes as a disappointment considering how well planned the first game's narrative was. Characters are paper thin and, while they aren't pulled right from the "Big Book of Stock Characters," they're pretty damn close. Some of the backstory is filled in through radio announcements and intelligence reports scattered around each level. Of the two, the radio announcements are the only things that manage to covey a sense of connection. The Intel reports are good for backstory, though they are found so far off the beaten path that you probably won't get the entire story unless you're really up for an egg hunt.
Even without an epic story, Resistance 2 is still a blast to play. Levels are linear, but each is oozing with expert level design. Much like the first game, Resistance 2 feels almost like an FPS version of Ratchet & Clank. Although there's a lack of overall narrative, each level tells a story that is both engaging and well done. Much of this has to do with how well-paced each level is; everything just makes sense. It's a real testament to the level of craft Insomniac always manages to infuse in its games. As much fun as squaring off against packs of Chimera are, the best moments come during boss battles. By now you've probably already seen the giant Godzilla-like Chimera from the E3 demo, but that's only the beginning.
The single-player game is complimented by various online modes. The usual suspects like Capture the Flag and Deathmatch are joined by Skirmish. Here, teams are divvied up into squads and given objectives to complete. Objectives come in often and help keep the mode from degenerating into yet another variation of Deathmatch.
The real star of the online modes is the 8-player co-op. Players choose from one of three classes and must work together to complete a series of tasks while facing off against hordes of Chimera. Each class has a specific duty that is vital to the group dynamic. For instance, there are no health or ammo drops in any of the maps, making the Medic and Spec Op the only source (respectively) for those essential items. Co-op is incredibly dynamic; even if you are playing the same map for the sixth time, it will feel completely different from the last five times because of the different objectives and enemy spawns.
Just to sweeten the co-op mode, players can earn points during online games that can be used to purchase upgrades like weapons and gear. The new items don't come cheap, and while it may tick off players who want everything "here and now," there's a great sense of satisfaction that comes with finally unlocking a cool gun.