Resistance isn't going to compete with RPG genre's best in this sense - nor should it try to - but it goes some way to reduce that crippling HD shooting gallery feeling. Finally, Resistance has qualities beneath the big, brash killing.
Big and brash is still very much in the mix, however. If you saw the first real chunk of gameplay footage from last year you'll know what we mean. Sailing through a flooded village, you're tasked with defending your little tug-boat from a relentless barrage of agile Long Legs. A mix of terror and awe hits as the heavy leg of a monolithic, mechanical Goliath crashes into the water. It's an impressive sight, one which lulls you into being won over by Resistance 3 just a little bit more.
Even without the spectacle, Insomniac's latest effort looks pretty spectacular. Water is a stand out feature in terms of eye-candy but the game world is nicely detailed throughout with solid textures.
It's likely to be trumped with relative ease by the likes of Battlefield 3, but at least Resistance is now the visual competitor it always should have been. A step up likely to be welcomed by fans who were disappointed when the PS3 FPS flagship failed to wow at the turn of the generation.
Equally impressive is the 3D, which is crucially crisp and a clear. What helps it though are those massive enemies that keep popping up. Remember that big mechanical leg we had a mini-rave about? It was made for 3D.
Variety and visual fidelity have been addressed as typical weak points for the series then and, thankfully, its relative strength (the killing) remains on form. Every piece of the armoury has been given a full-on makeover in terms of both sight and sound. The Auger, for example, is our particular favourite with a cool new hi-tech sight.
More significant are the weapon upgrades, which allow you to amp up a gun's alternate fire two-fold for more explosive results. For the shotgun and the Magnum, that's literally the case with the former causing enemies to go up in flames and the latter scattering body parts all over the shop.
Each upgrade provides a satisfying extra kick but, again, it's also a way of pushing that old variety button harder still.
On the other side of the barrel, Chimera intellect has been improved, but it's still not perfect. The alien foes are hardly space cowboys with the occasional (and we should stress occasional) bout of stupidity as they turn their back on you at key moments.
Resistance 3 is a very good shooter that improves on the key areas of the series that were lacking in the past. There's more variety in the eight or nine-hour campaign in every sense from weapons to environments to friends and foes that you meet on your journey across the US.
There's a greater feeling of depth, life and narrative to the tale and the gunplay is satisfying even if we do have to reserve some criticism for the AI, which still shows itself to be rough around the edges at times.
Insomniac isn't going to turn over the FPS genre this year by any stretch of the imagination - this is still the classic FPS formula with more polish and playability. Regardless, the studio has managed to increase the big blockbuster moments that slap your face for attention and tend to the finer details that will keep you engaged throughout all the bits in-between.
It might be too late for some players, but with the final segment of its trilogy Resistance has finally met its promise. It's still big men firing big guns at big enemies - but now there's a big chunk of depth below its surface, too.
- Graphically strong with some spectacular scenes
- Variety increased in every aspect
- Solid shooting returns with some punchy add-ons
- AI is still a bit dodgy at times
- Evolution not revolution