America - Front
America - Back
13th Apr 2009 | 1,844 views
I bought this game back in December 2008, after the glowing IGN review. 9.5/10, in case you didn't know. Resistance 2 is not deserving of that score, and I'll explain why later.
First, a basic rundown of the game. You play as Nathan Hale, an American soldier who has been infected with some Chimeran virus, and for some strange reason, refuses to visit an inhibitor station and keep himself human. It would be nice if Insomniac told us why. They don't. In fact, they don't tell you much at all. All you know is that these Chimera are infected humans (from Russia, lol). They attacked the UK first, and were driven back, and so for some reason decided attacking America would be easier.
It's the mid-1950s, World War II never happened. Communism never took hold in Russia, and instead we have a bunch of pissed off mutants. I'd prefer the Communists, to be honest ;-)
However, you begin the game in Iceland. Once again, you have no idea why the hell you are in Iceland. Because the President said so, I suppose. Okay. There are Chimera there, but there are Chimera everywhere, maybe he put all of the countries into a hat and picked Iceland. Whatever the reason, you are given a brief tutorial, shoot some things, and play a short stealth segment which is actually quite good. Then later, you do something and you are now in America!
In case you haven't gotten it already, the story is crap. They didn't explore it one bit, which is a shame, because it is a fascinating setting, and Ratchet and Clank's story is always great. It also has none of the humour of R&C, but I appreciate that it's a much darker game. Also, Resistance: Fall of Man had a very interesting story, and you always knew what was going on, thanks to the narrator.
You travel around America, in various states, killing Chimera, without any idea of why the hell you are doing this. The Chimera have no leader, apparently, or any officers. So, as I said, the story sucks, but not every game needs a story to be good.
UPDATE: I have played Resistance: Fall of Man, though only a few levels. I understand the backstory better, but that doesn't stop Resistance 2's story from being an incoherent mess.
Moving on, there are three main segments to Resistance 2: Campaign, in which you play single player (only) as Nathan Hale, running around America and shooting things. Cooperative, in which you join forces with up to one player on your console, and up to seven people online (six if you are playing splitscreen). Competitive, in which you choose a side and fight a large deathmatch/CTF/etc.
Leaving that for a second, the core gameplay. It feels a lot less blocky (for lack of a better word) than Fall of Man, and makes a few changes, some good, some bad.
There are several weapons to choose from, which is fun until you realise that the best overall weapon is a bog standard, boring carbine that looks (and fires) like something out of a WW2 game. The Auger which shoots through walls, the Bullseye which homes onto tags, the gun that shoots blades, they all have disadvantages (accuracy, for the most part).
Now, the campaign. Not one of the better ones I've played. Killzone 2 was better, Halo was better, CoD4 was better. Resistance: Fall of Man was better. Not bad, but nothing special. Ho-hum. Nothing resembling a story, but some nice environment and enemy variety. About 6-7 hours, pretty standard for an FPS campaign. Not overly difficult. A few bosses, scattered around, which are the highlights of the campaign, in my opinion (not saying much, of course), an incredibly easy final boss and an awesomely fun final segment which only lasts 3 minutes, unfortunately. I won't tell you what that segment is, but it's unlike any other part of the game.
The co-operative is, in my opinion, the best part of the game. There are three classes to choose from: Soldier (a tank character who deals decent damage and has a shield), Special Ops (Deals the most damage, and throws ammo), and Medic (Doesn't deal much damage, but heals the team). Every game needs at least one medic, and one spec ops. That can work, with two people. With eight, you'll need at least one medic, one spec ops, and two soldiers. You gather Intel (which doesn't do much) and Grey Tech, which unlocks new gear for you to use. You also earn new weapons to use for secondary fire (ordinarily, the Soldier has a minigun, the Spec Ops has a battle rifle (best way I can think of to describe it, think of the one from Halo) and the Medic has a healing gun).
But, there are only three classes, which means there's quite a lack of variety. Also, the only story is a giant wall of text while the level loads. You won't read it. Nobody ever does. And you don't need much teamwork, either.
The competitive is pretty standard, and leaves quite a bit to be desired. Other games in the genre do it much better, and the only thing this has over several of those is that it supports two player splitscreen. There isn't much else to say, really.
Now, the technical aspects. The game runs smoothly, I would assume at 60fps, even when playing splitscreen. I've never had it crash.
Of course, it's not very graphically intensive. Actually, the graphics are some of the worst I've seen on the PS3 (again, surprising, after seeing Tools of Destruction). They're not bad, but the standard set by most PS3 games is very high. It looks like a very good PS2 game, to be honest. Not much better than RFOM.
The voice acting is decent, but there isn't much of it. Nathan Hale hardly ever says anything, and when he does, it's in a pretty generic voice with very little emotion. The Chimera don't speak at all, except for their strange leader thingy (who isn't actually their leader at all, or something). The soundtrack is also meh. The sound effects are pretty good, but nothing special.
All in all, it's a very good shooter. It's not excellent by any stretch of the imagination, and it's not a 9.5. It could have been improved in many ways, and I'm hoping Resistance 3 manages to fix some of the issues. I wouldn't recommend this game unless you want something with online co-op, and even then only if you already own Killzone 2, CoD4, World at War, Unreal Tournament III and Resistance Fall of Man, all of which are superior games. It's a good effort, but from Insomniac, I expected more.