Resistance: Fall of Man PlayStation 3 review – 8/10

Resistance: Fall of Man (2006)

1951: as far as we know, the Chimaeran attack started in Russia but finally hit a pocket of resistance in Great Britain. The Americans send troops to assist but swarms of unexpected Chimaeran soldiers wipe out all but one: Sergeant Hale, you.

8/10

First impressions aren’t too great for this first person shooter that was generally hyped as being the PlayStation 3’s launch ‘killer app’. It looks and feels like a reasonably good-looking PC first-person shooter. It feels fine, appears to look only quite good and sounds, frankly, underwhelming. However, like the other hyped PS3 European launch title “MotorStorm“, it’s technical qualities shine through on the details and become more impressive as you immerse yourself in the entirely solid gameplay. I enjoyed this thoroughly and look forward to a sequel.

This game contains mild swear words and graphic and extreme violence, unpleasant scenes.

Classified 15 by BBFC. Suitable only for persons of 15 years and over.

The Quality of Resisting

Gameplay-wise, this title is thoroughly solid. The controls are responsive and beautifully balanced. They allow you to twitch fire, melee and long-distance target with equal aplomb. You can select your weapons quickly and use alternate fire and normal fire with ease. The controls are exemplary.

I completed the game on Medium and had a thoroughly good time with virtually none of the little annoyances that afflict many first-person shooters.

As a prime example of this take the cut-scenes. First time you see a cut-scene (this is tracked per user, too) you cannot skip it. Next time, you can; even on different difficulty settings or playing the game co-op or continuing a saved game. Additionally, there is frequently a few seconds of level acclimatisation at the start of a level where you look around before control returns to you. If you die and the level restarts, this little piece of business does not replay. You pick up where control was returned to you. Also when you die, you don’t have to press anything to get back into the action. The game fades in at the last checkpoint and you are good to go. There’s no lengthy reloading to wait for here either.

Finishing the game supplies the end movie, end credits and post-script movie. Then you can play through again with new, extremely funky weapons. This is a very nice reward and meant that as soon as I finished on Medium, I restarted on Hard. It even keeps count of how many times you’ve completed the game.

The second level is called “A Lone Survivor” and I was playing in co-op mode with this black soldier (the character in the game, I mean). Who also survived. I think he is my imaginary friend as he also disappears from the cut-scenes.

Artificial Intelligence: Possibly

While the enemies will frequently pour into your gunsights without any sense of self-preservation, they also frequently hide themselves away and force you to come hunting for them. Sometimes they will also distract and flank you. There are also a couple of more scripted moments where they will shoot and then leg it into the next room.

They don’t get stuck on scenery and they don’t always take the same route through maps to get to you. They use cover effectively.

Their weapon accuracy is also convincing. They hit you and miss you at about the same rate as an average human player though this balance continues even if you are running and jumping about like you’ve got ants in your pants.

Fellow soldiers tend to find their own way pretty well and use cover but to little effect. They get mown down by the chimaera so fast that there is almost no point to them being there. Essentially, they add a bit more action to the screen and more stuff to climb over. It takes great effort on your part to kill things fast enough to keep your men alive. That said, I’m glad they’re there.

The battle experience is entertaining and interesting and never marred by unnecessary deficiencies.

Graphics: Brown Call of Halo-Life 2

The graphics are super smooth, well-animated and feature some striking architecture. Nice graphical details include some excellent glass breaking and some objects, such as cars, which can be shot up nicely while not fully destructible. Wildlife in some places adds a nice touch. Environmental effects such as smoke, fire, heat-haze and mist are excellent. The character models are also good. Even the people, usually a major weak point in a lot of games, look more than convincing enough, even when talking. (Though they do suffer slightly from model makers current seeming inability to model and light the interior of the human mouth.)

The architecture is highly reminiscent of “Medal of Honor” / “Call of Duty” and “Half-Life 2” and the interior’s of “Halo”. Strangely, almost everything is painted as a shade of brown. This means that people’s skin isn’t skin-colour, for example. Tarmac is brown. Even grass is brown. Outdoors is brown, indoors is brown. Occasionally you’ll see a red telephone box but apart from that all the scenery is brown. This does make the health packs (bright yellow), weapon packs (camoflauge green), alien projectiles (orange and pale yellow), fire (firey firey colour) and blood (blood red) stand out. Being able to see where health packs are easily is very helpful.

Now this is being written before I have completed the game and so I don’t know whether the colour scheme has any story significance at all. Early on in the game, your character (Sergeant Hale) becomes infected with the chimaera virus but seemingly survives it. The only obvious sign early on is a yellow glint in his eyes. However, the world is brown before you get infected and it has stayed the same shade of brown ever since. It would have been cool if Hale’s eyesight actually changed during the game as the chimaera virus started to affect him more. So, for example, the first level (uninfected) could have been in colour and the world gradually turned to a more monochromatic appearance as you progressed through with, perhaps, creatures and people showing up in some subtle but enhanced way in a very weak infra-red heat-sensitive manner.

Now that I’ve completed the game I can reveal that the colour scheme has, in fact, SPOILER absolutely no story significance whatsoever.

There is some minor brown relief later on when you hit some snow-covered brown.

While the game is crystal clear throughout and you never have any trouble distinguishing anything, I would say that brown fatigue is a definite problem.

Perhaps the most remarkable level is set in Manchester with full-blown battle going on with scores of you and yours and them and theirs. The game never slows down or hitches at all despite a remarkable amount of action.

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