A lot has been said of Sony's Resistance: Fall of Man in the months since it launched in the US last year. Of note is the fact that new downloadable content is already being tipped for April. Resistance is a game that we're sure will see a sequel in the next two years. Ultimately though, that decision rests with you, your wallet and what you make of this one.
Fall of Man's World War setting and huge set-pieces immediately make you think of Activsion's Call of Duty. But throw a couple of spaceships, aliens and futuristic weapons into the mix and Sony's first-party shooter starts to tread down a slightly different path than the screenshots would have you believe. As you progress locations become more varied and the visuals step away from the war setting, moving closer to classic science-fiction.
Story-wise it's straight out of an 80's BBC sci-fi series, only much better looking and without the flares. US and British forces team up to save Europe and Asia from next generation Bird Flu known as The Chimera, which is a virus that converts other life forms into more Chimera. The virus has gone mainstream and it's up to you to stop it spreading any further.
An obviously important element to any shooter is its arsenal and Fall of Man gets off to bit of a slow start. You begin with nothing more than a WWII machine gun before getting your hands on the Chimera's Bullseye. As you'd expect further on down the line, the weapons become more ambitious, powerful, ludicrous, useless and essential. Once we got access to all the weapons, we found ourselves relying on the same few (Bullseye, Carbine, Rosemore, Laark).
The others we'd only whip out when ammo ran out for the others. Each weapon has a secondary fire, some of them work and some of them don't. We suspect that some of them sounded better on paper. Auger is a funny one. Primary fire allows you to shoot zie enemies through walls while secondary fire brings up a shield that protects you from bullets. The reticule turns red even though you're staring at a wall but that means you can still hit them. Was Insomniac playing Red Faction during development? Ultimately though, you're equipped with enough firepower and ammo to have a good enough romp.
The other important element of an FPS is what you're shooting and we're sorry to say Resistance's enemies become very samey, quite quickly. It's not until the later levels that you begin to see a bit of variation, but the AI fails to stand out above everything we've seen before too. Enemies stand there shooting you even though they're taking hits themselves. They don't run, duck, or hide when being shot. They just stand there waiting to become a part of the game's history. Several hours in and you'll still be shooting the same Chimera over and over again, but that's the plot, right? A few of the game's bigger enemies will give you the willies though.
Sporadically placed throughout the campaign mode are vehicle sections. They're few and far between and unfortunately don't work as well as in other shooters (Unreal, Halo). You'll get to drive a tank and jeep and an alien vehicle. They all work fine, but we would have liked to see them implemented a bit more into the game rather than them just there to break up shooting.
On the multiplayer side, there's split screen co-op and an online mode that utter carnage with support for up to 40 players. We've jumped in and out of games this big and we can see why Bungie says allowing more than 16 makes for a mess. It's fun for a while but the lack of direction by either team's members can be frustrating at times.