Few games open with the drama of Resistance 3. Set four years after Resistance 2, the third Resistance game puts the player into the shoes of Joseph Capelli, who ended the last game by killing the hero. The Chimera aliens have conquered America so Capelli and his family now eke out a fearful existence with other survivors in a ruined Oklahoma town.
After a tour of this downtrodden existence, a Chimera patrol arrives and the ensuing battle captures everything that is great and wonderful about Resistance 3. It’s not just the varied aliens or inventive weaponry that energize its first-person shooter action, but how these opening moments convey the sense of humanity reduced to the level of rodents.
There’a a real sense of vulnerability that comes from both the knowledge of your defensive position and design choices; having to seek out a medikit in a world of automatically recharging health is another blow to the confidence.
Following a pyrrhic victory in Oklahoma, you face a road trip across alien-infested lands to New York. Along the way there are several moments of blistering action that are downright superb, but too often Resistance 3 feels padded out. The story’s awkward segues seem designed to chain together disparate stages and there are too many dull trudges through locations packed with zombie-like aliens that serve only to stretch the campaign out.
The multiplayer action is competent but never excels and initially it’s a dispiriting slog as you start with such a weak weapon that you are no more than cannon fodder for higher-level players with their superior armaments.
Resistance 3 may have the hallmarks of a top-tier title and at its best it very much is, but the moments where it opts for quantity over quality make it a patchy experience.