Game Review Hub: Resistance: Burning Skies
Genre: First person shooter
Platform: PS Vita
Developer: Nihilistic Software
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Estimated Length: 8 hours
Rating: 4 out of 5
Portable consoles are not exactly the first place people look to find a great first person shooter. That being said, Resistance burning skies on the PS Vita is a step in the right direction for portable shooters. While it still has some problems, I was surprised to find that the basics are all fairly well done and it winds up being a forgettable but capable experience.
If you have played any of the previous resistance games, then you basically know what to expect from this game. The game starts off by introducing some new characters to the series, who are getting their first taste of alien invasion. The protagonist is trying to evacuate his family, who then get captured by the Chimera, and he pursues a mission to free them from their evil clutches. Alltogether the story is pretty bland and poorly demonstrated, though I have to say that some of the voice acting was surprisingly good.
The part of the game that surprised me most was the controls. The Vita makes is surprisingly easy to play an FPS with its 2 thumb sticks and good shoulder buttons. One of the big concerns that I always have with a new console is that all of the early games will force in features which take advantage of the new hardware, to the detriment of the game. Resistance has its share of touch based controls but I found them surprisingly intuitive. I think that they work well because they are limited to non-essential controls, such as opening doors by tapping and loading a crossbow by swiping across the screen. I found the touch screen very responsive and never had a problem using any of these features. I dare say they may have even added to the experiance.
The visuals in the game are not bed, but definitely not the best looking Vita game I have played. Some of the textures are a little flat up close but the environments look pretty good. The guns themselves look pretty good and the character models were slightly better than ps2 era quality. I did have a few sounds issues, such as effects cutting out and a few times my gun did not make any sound while firing, but not often enough to be distracting.
As far as I am concerned, the best part of any resistance game is the crazy weapons. In addition to some of the cool guns from the other resistance games, such as the auger which shoots through walls, this game has a 4 barrel rocket launcher, a fire axe and a shotgun crossbow combo. The most fun I had with this game was experimenting with new weapons. A new feature added to this game is the ability to upgrade your weapons with items collected throughout the campaign. Most of these upgrades are pretty standard things such as better accuracy or bigger clips size, but its a cool addition an it helps you tailor your guns to your play style.
The biggest thing standing in the way for this game is the lack of variation in the enemies. Most of the combat takes place against a few waves of the same 2 enemy types. The AI seemed to come in 2 flavors, stand in place and shoot, and run at you and shoot. There are a few boss like enemies that you will encounter, and a few proper bosses which were pretty cool, but it was not enough to keep the combat really interesting. The only thing that keeps it moving is the variation in your weapons and the different environments.
The game also has multiplayer which requires an online pass. I poked around a bit and found it to be the standard multiplayer fps, with a few different game types and upgradable loadouts. I endedup playing 3 rounds, 2 of which ended with the server dropping me off, and I gave up. The one round that I did finish was fine but there was nothing interesting enough to make me want to come back.
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Resistance burning skies is a great step in the right direction for portable shooters. The controls may not be as comfortable as a dualshock or xbox gamepad, but they are easy to get used to and even bring something new to the table by way of touch controls. While the size and scope of the campaign is not up to par with console games, it is still fun to play and a decent entry in the resistance series. I hope that this game encourages developers to do bigger and better things with portable console games, because in the past they have not been very good.