Genre: First-person shooter
Single-player length: 10 hours
Developer: Insomniac Games
Release Date: 11/4/08
– Large number of enemies on screen without slowdown
– 8-co-op with addictive experience system and classes that highly on each other
– Skirmish mode constantly changes the game's objectives
– The majority of the campaign sets you against 2-3 very generic types of enemies
– Only one boss requires you to approach the game differently
– Co-op's extremely large enemy forces noticeably slows down the pace of combat
– Very little multi-player objective or mode variety
There are so many first-person shooter games made every year that many times it's hard to differentiate among them. Some games, such as Call of Duty: World at War, offered varied gameplay that requires you to react to different attacks in varying environments with a wide range of weapons, vehicles and powers, but Resistance 2 is not one of these games. Both the campaign and multi-player game modes are extremely repetitive by simply marching out the same generic enemies thousands of times and supplying you with very few interesting weapons to deal with them. Co-op offers the best gameplay because you can earn powers through an addictive experience system, but even its gameplay slows to a crawl as you face an endless stream of the same boring enemies. It's best to avoid this game and spend your time with other far better shooters on the market that offer a much more complete package.
Resistance 2 follows up where the original game left off. You play as Nathan Hale, an American soldier that is partially immune to an infection threatening to transform the human race into monstrosities called the Chimera. You've managed to slow the infection in England and now must bring the fight to America's shores. Through the campaign, you'll be shipped to various parts of the world to find the problem's source and stop the threat once and for all.
While there are an appropriate variety of enemies in Resistance 2, the problem is that a great majority of the game's campaign is spent fighting the basic Hybrid soldiers over and over again. While you are sent to various locales, including swamplands, enemy bases, inside capital ships, and large cities, none of the levels are unique from anything you've seen in other shooters. While there are many weapons, only a couple of them actually differ from other shooter's arsenals.
Gears of War 2 is an example of a game that ensures you do not see the same enemies repeatedly. Every level varies its pacing by including squads comprised of different enemy types. It also makes sure to let you fight them in various ways, such as in vehicles, with melee attacks and letting you use enemies as human shields. Many enemies also require different ways to defeat them as well, which also helps keep you from getting bored. Resistance 2 never runs from running and gunning down enemies on foot.
The few enemies that differ from the regular Chimera troops appear far too infinitely in the game. You'll fight some Chimera a couple of stories tall, some large spider robots, and robot drones that attack in packs, but none of the enemies have really unique weaknesses or attack patterns to set themselves apart from the rest of the game. You just need to shoot the bigger enemies more to lay them down. The only unique enemies are the Chameleons that are invisible until the moment they lunge to attack you, which leaves them vulnerable to your shotgun blast.
There are also some large shielded robots that require all of your squad to focus their firepower on to stand a chance at overloading their shields. You'll also encounter some creatures that try to sneak up on you and blow themselves up to cause massive damage. It's best to shoot these guys while they are still in the mid of your enemy to use the explosive attack against them. These explosive Chimera were fun to fight, but they literally appeared only twice in the entire game.
An example of a game that actually makes combat interesting is Dead Space, which creates glaring weaknesses that can be exploited such as shooting enemy limbs to extol a greater amount of damage. This gameplay mechanic actually makes you think about combat differently and approach combat by targeting specific body parts to improve your efficiency rather than just blindly enemies.
There are a few efforts to break up the repetitive run and gun gameplay, but none of it is novel or interesting. There are a few turrets that can not be destroyed by shooting them. You must sneak behind cover to manually shut them down from their rear controls. There are also some deadly Chimera fish that will instantly kill you, so you'll need time to jump between platforms to ensure you do not fall into the water they swim in. The Goliaths are gigantic robots that you destroy by shooting the engines on their backs. They look really cool, but the mechanics of killing them involves only one shot. These unique creatures are pretty cool but you'll only encounter them one or two times in the entire game.
The first Resistance game introduced a couple of new weapons, and this sequel introduces a few new weapons as well. In the first game, you could carry several weapons, but now you can only carry 2 weapons at once. This game design introduces a layer of strategy because you have to decide which weapons will serve you best in various parts of levels. The Bullseye returns with its erratic fire that can be focused on a single creature with its secondary fire option. The Augur is still the most interesting weapon. It lets you see enemies through walls and it causes more damage if you fire through walls to dispatch your foes. It also has a secondary fire which erects a temporary shield. The Far Eye is a sniper gun that shoots 5 rounds to dole out damage from a distance on the Chimera.
One of the new weapons is a huge gattling gun with a secondary fire mode that deploys a shield with a longer deployment time than the Auger. The Splicer is a new weapon that sends saw blades at enemies and works best in close quarters. You also have your standard issue grenades and grenades that spit out spikes at nearby enemies.
The bosses at the end of levels offer the only meaningful change of pace to the game, but even these monstrosities are not very memorable. A couple of these big nasties require unique methods to kill them. Unfortunately, most of them do not have any glaring weaknesses, so you'll just need to mindlessly shoot any area of them to ever dispatch of them. It would've been nice if these monstrosities required you to exploit a weakness or at least learn their attack pattern to further differentiate them from the countless other Chimera that you face in the game.
One level ends with a massive squid attacking you from the water as it attempts to tip you off a platform into its massive maw. He looks different than other Chimera, but all you need to do is unload on him until he ever dies. There's a huge spider-like Chimera that spits out smaller hatchlings, but all you have to do is keep moving and firing at him until he succumbbs to your attacks.
One of the few unique enemies is the Leviathan, which is a Chimera who is the size of King Kong. As you fight him, you'll have to defend yourself as he picks you up and tries to eat you, run from some of his attacks, and finally use the environment to finish him off. Even the game's final boss is not very interesting. It is not completely obvious how to deal with him, but the game actually tells you what to do, which removes any novelty the fight could have offered.
While a couple of multi-player modes are initially fun, they also follow the repetitive nature of the campaign. The main weakness of the competitive modes is that there are very few modes to play. The game modes include deathmatch, team deathmatch and capture the flag (called "Core Control"), which are so generic that they are strictly worth even mentioning. Only the Skirmish mode is worth your time.
In Skirmish up to 60 players are split up into twelve 5-man teams. Each team competes to complete varying random objectives that change as the match progresses while opposing teams vie to stop their progress. Objectives change as you play through the match, which creates a frantic game where players are constantly trying to gain and regain the upper hand as tasks are changed. You may start out fighting to control a key location, later may have to defend it and could finish the match by needing to eliminate a high priority target. As a match reaches it finale, all of the teams are funneled into one central area where a large war erupts to finish the match.
Initially the mode is quite fun, but there are not that many objective types to complete, so many matches feel very similar. Online matches would have been much better if more weapon, vehicle and power variety was included. It also would have helped if players could choose amongst more unique player types with different strengths and weaknesses to reduce the redundancy of repeatedly shooting the same enemies. More imaginative modes, such as the numerous modes in Call of Duty: World at War, also would have made it a better game.
The co-op mode requires up to 8 players to work as a cohesive team of interdependent classes to complete varying objectives in levels modeled after the campaign's stages. Each player chooses among three different classes that are similar to those used in other class-based co-op games, such as Counter-Strike. In order for a team to succeed, each class needs to be represented and perform their unique abilities well to better the team.
The medics can drain enemy health and use it to heal teams. Soldiers can soak up tons of damage, erect a shield to protect the team and fire large gattling guns to deal large amounts of damage. The Special Ops player is the only source of ammo refills for the team and can deal damage from a distance with their Fareye rifles. No team can survive without having a balanced group of each class. The resulting teamwork with varying classes and abilities really helps push the mode beyond that other co-op games provide, such as Left 4 Dead where every character is identical.
The game balances matches by increasing the difficulty as teams grow in size by increasing the number of enemies you face. A side effect is that you will repeated face hundreds of the same generic enemies, which is the same problem the single-player campaign sufferers from. Your progress also moves at a snail's pace as your team frequently must stop for several minutes to gun down large enemy squads. Similar to the Skirmish mode, there are also a limited number of objectives available. The game may choose them randomly to make each match unique, but you'll soon notice the monotony.
While games can easily get monotonous, the game's experience and abilities system does provide some variety. For each kill and objective you accomplish, you gain experience to unlock some advanced abilities, weapons and stat boosting gear. For instance, the soldier can gain the Ironheart ability to reduce the amount of damage he takes. Experienced drugs can use the Ring of Life ability to create an area that regenerates health for the troops in the area. The experience and skills system is similar to Call of Duty: World at War, but lacks the same level of depth.
It's quickly evident that the developers were focusing on ensuring the game has a very high quality. Many levels show massive capital ships flying in the background as you fight on the ground, towns are filled with Chimera sacs waiting to erupt with newly converted humans, or landmarks such as the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. Many of the game's level settings are truly epic and make you really feel like you are part of a massive war. Frequently there are 20-30 enemies on screen at once and the game never suffers any framerate slowdown issues. As you'd expect, the innumerable enemies and gunfire all sound excellent and lend that extra layer of realism to the battles you are fighting amongstst.
Resistance 2's campaign adeptly creates a grand setting for its campaign. While the grand setting may inspire you, the actual gameplay will bore you as you constantly face the same enemies that fail to differentiate themselves far too often. Overall the game's focus on simply throwing thousands of generic troops at you gets very repetitive in all of its modes and falls short of other shooters, such as Call of Duty: World at War and Gears of War 2, that provide a better array of weapons , enemies, gadgets and varied multiplayer modes to ensure the experience rarely gets stale.
Make sure to visit our site to also view the game's video review, gameplay videos and images.