Resistance 3 (PS3)

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Resistance 3 is an immersive experience that will sink you so deeply into the role of Joseph Capelli that you’ll feel you have something to fight for, that you have something to lose. It’s an experience that builds on the previous instalments in the series, but manages to do everything better, on a much bigger scale.

For starters Capelli is a much more believable character than Nathan Hale ever was, a man who has chosen to leave the fight behind in pursuit of finding solace in the simplicity of family life, but must now embark upon a journey from Oklahoma to New York City, to do what he can to save the human race from the final push of the Chimeran onslaught.

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This sense of home-life is conveyed so well as the game begins inside the community of Haven. You immediately get the sense that these survivors are struggling to lead as normal a life as possible in underground tunnels, away from the prying eyes of the Chimeran troops. Life goes on, with residents sharpening axes, sewing and knitting, doing laundry and generally going about their daily chores. But if you take a closer look at the pictures that a child is drawing on the wall, a mural depicting the Chimera at war with humanity, you’ll realise that life is not that normal after all.

Before long you’ll be swept into a brief weapons training session at the underground range, and then forced to order an evacuation after the relative peace is interrupted when the Chimera discover Haven. From here on Resistance 3 boasts frantic pacing that just won’t let you relax, not even for just one minute. You’ll feel like you’re playing a part in an action movie, just when you think you’ve got a handle on the situation they change the mission, throw in new enemies and objectives, and take the action to another level, reminding you that you’re not completely in control after all.

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The environments are masterfully created, delivering a level of immersion that is unparalleled. As you wander the streets of Haven you’ll discover the stark contrast of the dark underground tunnels against the colours of the world outside. Even though the planet has been ravaged by the war waged between the humans and the Chimera, and the effects of this fight can be seen around you, you’ll still notice dusty yellow corn fields and the muted colours of a sunset, giving hope to the survivors. The fight takes place in derelict buildings and across war-torn streets, but you’ll still discern signs of a lost world with tenpin bowling alleys, forlorn Christmas decorations and other remnants of day to day life that lie scattered around you.

One thing that will immediately become clear to you is the large number of enemies that Insomniac Games has designed for you to face in your journey in Resistance 3. The action is intense and the experience of fighting so many different kinds of Chimera is both terrifying and invigorating. No longer will you be facing ordinary armed Chimeran troops, instead you’ll have to develop a strategy to combat the large variety of troops that stand in your way, ranging from hybrids to Longlegs and even larger enemies like the Brawler. There are even instances when you’ll feel the game heads in a Resident Evil or Dead Space direction, these areas present a welcome change of pace and add even more variety to the mix, ensuring that you’re never travelling on a linear path and never prepared for the different kinds of enemies you’ll meet along that path.

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Of course you’ll need an arsenal of weapons to defeat these enemies, and luckily you won’t be disappointed with what’s on offer. Whether it’s a couple of old classics, like the Bullseye, Auger or Rossmore, or new weapons that you’ll discover along the way, you’ll enjoy mastering each one to face different enemies and increasing the firepower of each with the new weapon upgrade system. It’s simple to change weapons during a gunfight thanks to the weapon-wheel, which also gives you access to any weapon at any time. And if all else fails, if you find you’ve been flanked or that you’re short on ammo, it’s always breathtakingly exciting to enter into an up close and personal brutal melee encounter with a Chimera.

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The sound effects and music of Resistance 3 are beautifully entwined into the game, providing a wonderfully atmospheric mood. The radio broadcasts and audio logs you discover along the way also help to recreate the story, giving you further insight into what the Chimera have robbed you of and the courage to continue on your journey.

Once you’ve finished the singleplayer campaign you’ll still have the delights of multiplayer to unwrap. Rest assured that you’ll be kept very busy with the different modes, including Team Deathmatch, Capture the Flag, and Breach. Most maps support up to 16 players at one time and will see the Chimerans facing off against the humans. You’ll be able to customise your profile, unlocking different skins and abilities as you level up from experience points earned in the different matches you play.

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You’ll be able to choose your loadout at the start of the match, customising your weapons to your play style. These choices include your primary weapon, grenade as well as special tactical abilities, such as a lightning shield, ammo beacon or doppelganger. The action is intense, addictive and exhilarating in each of the modes, while the maps are interesting and the gameplay is fluid. Even better news is that you can team up with a friend for online split-screen action in the multiplayer modes, and it’s available in both online and offline co-operative action in the singleplayer campaign too.

Resistance 3 will not disappoint with its epic battles, smart enemies, explosive weapons, engaging sets and action-packed storyline – it’s an outstanding first-person shooter that will rival the best 2011 has to offer and deliver one of the most excellent gaming experiences you’ll have this year. With an exceptional singleplayer campaign, offline and online co-operative play, and a range of multiplayer modes, you’re definitely get more ‘bang’ for your buck with this title.

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I don’t want to go into too much more detail about where the story takes you, or divulge any more details about the enemies you’ll face and which weapons you should use to slay them with. Rather discover that for yourself, because if you’re reading this, you are the Resistance.

Check back later this week for El33tonline’s in-depth review of the multiplayer campaign for Resistance 3, as well as a closer look at how the game plays with the PlayStation Move controller.