Resistance 3 Hands-On Multiplayer Preview -- The Train YardBy Nikole Zivalich - Posted Apr 13, 2011
I know what you're thinking, "Didn't we just write an amazing preview for Resistance 3?" Yes, we did but now we have another one for you and this time we have sniper rifles and multiplayer!
Resistance 3 is its own story, unique from not just the other Resistance games, but also most games. The Chimeran army has won. The United States has been taken over. We lost. The game starts out in a bleak world that most games don't touch. You play as Joseph Capelli, a former soldier who is now in hiding with his wife and young son. He has given up. There isn't anything left to fight for other than the safety of his family. One day, a man named Dr. Malikov approaches him with a plan to take out the Chimerans. Capelli doesn't want to go, but his wife convinces him, so he leaves on a journey to save mankind. I'm crying right now. While the single-player portion of Resistance 3 takes place on American soil, the multiplayer maps are from all over the world.
Before Insomniac let me get my hands on the multiplayer, they showed us a level from half-way into the game called Mt. Pleasant, Pennsylvania. The level was covered in hills, foliage, and a new enemy called Sniper Hybrids. These new enemies use, as you may have guessed, sniper rifles. When the announcer was telling us about this enemy, I initially thought there was a bug in this build, since I couldn't see this enemy at all. Well, it turns out the game was working just fine, they just decided to give the sniper a cloaking device, and a damn good one at that. Their only giveaway was when they were ready to shoot you, their rifles red sight was visible. So if you want to live, don’t look for the enemy, but rather where the red laser ends (and hopefully it’s not at your head).
One of the game's producer initially didn't like the cloaking device. He thought it made an already difficult game more challenging. After his devs convinced him otherwise, he realized how interesting it was and the cloaked enemies stayed. As a result, the game’s difficulty does appear to have been ramped up though, and the dev who was playing for us was a testament to this. Apparently, it was his level, and he still died twice before his producer made him turn it on casual for the sake of the demo.
This level also introduced us to a new gun, the Dead Eye. It's the same sniper rifle the sniper hybrids are using; you just have one too. Like most of the guns in the game, it has both a primary and secondary fire mode. The primary is a sniper shot, but the secondary is a slower, more powerful attack. The Dead Eye is just one of the elements that give each level "its own flavor," their words, not mine. The Mt. Pleasant level had a blue tint to it, so if it was a flavor I guess it would be blue raspberry. This particular setting is a rugged forest level, but the game also has typical battlefields, boss battles with hurricane winds, and yes, boats.
As your solider makes his way through the trees, he takes out sniper hybrids as he sees them. The dense foliage made it hard to see, even on the giant monitor. After several heated gun battles, the level moves into mines. This is where another new enemy is revealed: the Shield Drone. Not surprisingly, they use shields to protect themselves and other enemy AI. Weapon upgrades will be available in the game, and incendiary shotgun ammo seemed like the right way to get rid of the shield drones, and it was.
The AI in Resistance 3 has been reworked from the ground up. AI in past games would be programmed to guard a specific area and only attack you once you entered it. The AI in RES3 is far less territorial and has instead been programmed to have a "job." Enemies will evaluate where you are as well as the layout of the level, and then they will hunt you down.
In addition to a rich single-player experience, RES3 also includes a deep multiplayer component. In our previous multiplayer preview,, we saw the map called Prison. For this event, we schooled fools on Train Yard. Set in an abandoned train yard in Columbia, this eight-on-eight Team Deathmatch match was more enjoyable than I thought it would be. Train Yard was much smaller than Prison, a feature I appreciated as I spent most of my time during Prison trying to find someone to shoot. In Train Yard, it wasn't hard to find anyone, a teammate or a Chimera. Within minutes of playing, I was familiar with the controls, D-pad for weapons/specials, R1 to shoot, and push down on the left joystick to melee. Humans and the Chimera have their own unique perks. For instance, humans can activate shields and the Chimera can summon scorpions.
The smallish map is full of rooms along the perimeter and a big open space in the middle, littered only with the husks of train cars. If anything, this map reminded me a western shoot-out, except the cowboys were weird aliens with backpacks. Usually, when I play a multiplayer game, I try and find another game to compare it too. But this game doesn't fit my staples. Your time on the battlefield matters more than in a Call of Duty, but teamwork is less important than in a Battlefield. I'd say Resistance 3's multiplayer plays like Resistance multiplayer should. I didn't feel like anyone was over-powered, but I still felt like we were all having fun. The only foreseeable problem I could think of for this map is its size and layout is easy to remember. Before the five-minute warning, I already had a favorite place to run to. Multiplayer can get boring if everyone playing knows the best spots, so we'll just have to wait and see how that works itself out.
Resistance 3 is shaping up to be one of the must-have games for the PS3 this fall. Judging by my experience with multiplayer, I may have to dust off the ol'headset and get ready to challenge my friends. Storywise, Res3 is darker, but there's still the faintest sense of hope in there too. Everyone knows the Star Wars rules for trilogies. If Resistance 2 was Empire Strikes Back, then Resistance 3 will end happily with Ewoks. Maybe there won't be ewoks, but we'll know for sure in a few months. Resistance 3 is set to release exclusively on the PS3 September 6.