Developer: Insomniac Games
Release Date: November 2006
If there were no World War II, how would the world be today? The team at Insomniac decided to ponder this scenario in their upcoming launch title for the PlayStation 3, Resistance: Fall of Man. Picture Great Britain in 1951, and in your mind's eye, you'll probably see nice cafes, tea parties and quiet civility. The truth is that the world is just not a happy place, even in this alternate history, where WWII never occurred. An alien force has attacked the planet; Asia and most of Europe has fallen, as has Britain itself. The Americans have not been sitting idly by, though; they have sent an invasion force to retake Britain but were unsuccessful in their attempt. This is where Nathan Hale comes in; he's a U.S. Ranger and a survivor of the American liberation force that was defeated in Britain.
The aliens, known as the "Chimera," are threatening to bring all of humanity to extinction. These creatures are very gruesome and are certainly a departure for Insomniac, who brought you the fun-filled Ratchet and Clank. Of course, these ugly aliens aren't merely eliminating the human race from outer space; they are also fighting on the ground with their advanced weaponry. Insomniac has brought in a wide range of weapons that fit the era and given them a bit of a twist of what might have been, including some very cool alien weapons that players will love. Each weapon will have three different firing modes. There are weapons that can shoot through walls, but my personal favorite is the one which tracks a target, so regardless of which direction you shoot, it'll seek out the tagged target. Tracking allows the weapon to shoot balls of energy at the target, and if it hits a person, he's as good as dead. It's great to use while taking cover, as it can produce just as much shrapnel as a grenade.
Cover isn't something that you can completely depend upon in Resistance, since the environments are completely destructible. This means that you could be hiding behind a nice box and have it blown up right in front of you. The glass that you're looking through can be broken in the most amazing way; one bullet doesn't just shatter the glass but instead breaks it into a bunch of dynamic segments. Destroying things in the environment may sometimes be the only way to get through a level, as was shown in the demo.
We were also shown some basic level layouts, as well as indoor and outdoor environments. These levels will be modeled closely after real-life areas from Britain during that time period. The tunnels were modeled after existing tunnels, and some buildings that would still be standing had WWII never occurred. Though lighting is what really gives the environment its great feel, the dynamic lighting was clearly exploiting the power of the PS3, especially with the battlefield level, where your AI teammates and aliens were battling it out full force, with dust and smoke obstructing your view as you and your team fight to survive.
Amazingly, the AI is helpful, and while they won't kill everything for you, they won't get in your way, either. Resistance is still in its early stages, so there's plenty that can change here. When I played the demo, I did notice that the AI wasn't getting in my way. When the Chimera attacks a teammate, you have the option of letting them die or saving them to allow them to help you later; it's all up to you and your confidence when facing large numbers. This gives you the freedom to not have to constantly check if your team is still alive, because as long as you live, you win.
Due to the popularity of co-op multiplayer, the team at Insomniac plans to implement such a mode. At the show, this was unavailable but we were able to see full multiplayer deathmatch running at full 60 fps with up to 32 players. It was really fun, though getting owned by the testers in Santa Monica was humbling.
At this stage, Resistance: Fall of Man is looking quite promising and is really showing what the PS3 can do. It will feature great multiplayer maps and a really in-depth single-player mode which will reveal the story through cinematics and an "interesting narration," according to the developer (who refused to divulge any more information). Some gamers may want to invest in an HDTV to ensure that they have the best possible graphics to enjoy this one. Look for Resistance to ship with the PS3s this November.
Ricardo Chimal also contributed to this preview.
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