There have been several alternative history games as of late, Turning Point and Damnation to name but two but before these games there came a game that I would like to think paved the way for them. I also feel that it might have also shut the mouths of those that said there are no good games for the PS3 at the time of release. Nevermind Motorstorm there was also a top notch shooter, set in an alternative 1950's timeline. It's name Resistance Fall of Man.
PLOT: Never mind fighting an invasion, it's already happened and mankind is in retreat. The Chimera arrived in droves and after attacking the soviet block, they swept like wildfire throughout europe. They hit the shores of England sweeping all before them like locusts. The Americans throw their weight in behind the beseiged British Isles and they stand shoulder to shoulder, because if England falls, surely the USA must follow.
It doesn't help that humans if not killed, are turned into Chimera themselves by a virus. To stop these beasts, the top brass decide that the best way to destroy the enemy is to get to understand them. So US soldier Nathan Hale is selected to become a test subject, a hybrid between human and chimeran. But time is running out for both Britain and alas Nathan. The virus is killing him slowly but surely. Imbibing chimeran medicines can slow it down but only for so long and the more he takes, the more chimeran he becomes. But fight he will, for there is always the chance, albeit small that a cure can be found.
GAMEPLAY: The fact that this game is based around England is in itself a refreshing change. From Manchester to Liverpool and the nation's capitol, the battle rages and rages is an appropriate term. Don't think of this as being an 'on the rails' shooter, far from it. True it's no sand box game like Just Cause 2 but you can find more than one way through a battlefield, and trust me you will have too. The Chimerans for the most part will come straight at you, but they come in large numbers. You do have squad mates with you and they will do what they can to support you before they become overrun or fall under a hail of alien laser bolts. But tread carefully as units will wait, and snipers are posted in key positions. Then there are are the landmines. These, known as hedgehogs are deadly things indeed. Like cherry bombs they will rise to a certain height then detonate, filling the air with razor sharp spikes. You will hear a warning noise, like a rising whining sound. Hear that and ignore at your peril.
Like most shooters you can add alien tech too your aresenal, from an alien carbine to the deadly Auger rifle. This can go through walls when charged up, and it's lethal at medium and long range and devastating up close and personal. The Bullseye is worthy of mention as well, with it's secondary fire option of tagging an enemy. Once tagged all subsequent rounds will strike the tagged target, useful indeed. There are others but I'll allow you to find them for yourself.
Controls, standard for a shooter, left stick moves, right stick turns, R1 fires and R2 fires alternative fire mode. I don't need to go through this, as it's now formula for any shooter these days.
GRAPHICS: Nicely detailed but not brightly coloured and this is perhaps it's only flaw. It's all kind of bland almost sepia to be honest but it does suit the mood of the setting very very well indeed. Sure it's a sci fi game but there's something retro in it's style as per Fallout 3 but this is no bad thing.
Physics: Rag doll physics as enemies sail through the air due to explosions as per normal. The enemy reacts well to physical side effects from blasts and shots hitting the target. Smoke and fire are nicely rendered indeed, and it all adds to the genetal atmosphere of the game although with the intensity of the firefights means you won't have time to study or admire the scenery.
MUSIC: Dramatic, sweeping and suits the game down too the ground. It's cimematic and I'd love to hear this soundtrack by itself through a decent hi fi system.
Voice acting. Spot on and nicely delivered. Nathan has a droll sense of humour that comes through if you take time to listen too it and for once the air isn't full of profanities as the soldiers around you fight and die. Lip synching is nigh on perfect though facial expressions are somewhat inaminate it has to be said. It's an older title so bare that in mind. We can expect great expressions these days thanks to L.A. Noire and Red Dead Redemption and even Mafia 2 does well in that score but lack of facial expressions does not mar the game for me.
Multiplayer: The usual modes are here but where it excels and still has people occupying the lobbies, is up to 30 plus players battling it out either competitively or co operatively with no sign of lag, drop out or pop up. As said all three games have an active online community. The same cannot be said even for the legendary Halo series. I could not get a match the other night on Halo Reach for love or money. On line is fast, furious and brutal, try it for a great challenge. It also plays a very nice two player co op campaign I should say.
As said there were some that criticised the PS3 for not having any decent titles on release (mostly the X 360 community it has to be said) but this and Motorstorm must have opened eyes. This game has survived now for three incarnations on PS3 and one on the PSP and I hear that resistance 4 is on the cards already. You can't say that for many modern launch titles. It's a great game, now on budget price and I still play this bad boy too this day. I am now playing all three from time to time, completing the first and notching up the difficulty. It's hard but rewarding and the game grabs me as much as it did when I first obtained it. This is a classic that could in my opinion rival Halo for longevity. X Box lovers, do yourself a favour, drag yourselves away from Halo, find a PS3 owner and ask to try this. Will Halo prep you for this? Sure it might but be aware it's not as forgiving as Halo one and two but not as impossible and unplayable in single player as HALO O.D.S.T (that's my opinion by the way). This is a great game, a great series and only number 2 provided a slight stumble on the way. It's now a budget title but by God, it will deliver in spades if you want excitement and intensity.
I'm off now for another go either online or single player. There are some Chimeran's waiting to chew on some human lead.
SCORE a solid 10.