Tuesday, 27 March 2007

Resistance Fall of Man - First Impressions (Warning: Spoilers!)

Well, its high time I made a contribution to this blog and, being a techno nut, it seemed fitting to start on familiar turf. Still, being an avid owner of a PC, DS and Wii it may seem odd that I begin with a game from the PS3. My housemate owns one of Sony's new wonder machines and I've had some extensive play on it, and yes I am impressed. Overall, I do prefer my Wii for the fun and novel aspect of it but the raw power of the PS3 is undeniable.
So, what is Resistance Fall of Man? Well, aside from being one of the launch titles its also probably the only next gen FPS that will have you running through locales such as Grimsby and Manchester gunning down a hoard of alien invaders. The game is set at the time of World War 2, however, in this world the second world war never takes place. Europe and Asia falls quickly to a species known as the Chimera, humanoid aliens with lots of eyes, big teeth and even bigger guns. You are thrown into the shoes of Nathan Hale, an American soldier bound for the UK in an effort to reinforce the resistance and get hold of a mighty secret weapon the Brits have built to deal with the Chimera. The first level throws you in the thick of it as you take on the aliens and your allies are cut down around you. Your foes use advanced weaponry, rifles that fire electrified steel slugs (that have a secondary homing ability) and 'hedgedog' grenades (basically high yield nail bombs). The first level feels very TimeSplitters-esque, rushing about gunning down a variety of toothy monstrosoties. Then the plot thickens. In a rather gruesome cut scene, you become 'infected'. What this means I'm unsure of as of yet, but you apparently are showing Chimera traits and your eyes now have a strange yellow glow to them much like the invaders.
I've mentioned 'alien invaders'. This brings to mind flying saucers brining down baddies from a far odd world. Actually, these invaders are invading from Russia. Yes, as the plot unfolds it becomes apparent that the Russians have been dabbling in experiements a la super soldier stuff. The result is the Chimera, modified humans with an agenda of their own. Like humans, they are smart and adabptable but their new form makes them tought and dangerous. They appear to have something of a 'hive' mind, and one of the big things about this game is the enemy learn. In the first few levels, they are plain stupid. Later on, they will have picked up on your frequently used tactics and may well exploit them.
The game handles like a blend of The Matrix, Resident Evil and Star Wars. At one point you find yourself in a 'conversion' facitility, where people become Chimera. The chambers with newborn Chimera having cooling tubes fitted into them (because apparently their metabolism is dangerously accelerated) is very reminicent of Neo's awakening in his wee pod of goo in the real world of the Matrix movies. While ground locations are very true to the timeline, the Chimera buildings are distinclty advanced and look remarkebly similar to the Death Star's generator room, complete with catwalks and pitfalls. Finally the Resident Evil aspect. This game does indeed play on your mind and you do find yourself feeling pensive and chilled about the going round the next corner. You generally hear enemies before you see them, and aside from the run of the mill gun totting soldier Chimera, there are lesser worker drones who can do nought but bite you and strange bugs wich cling to your head like the facehuggers of the Aliens films. Theres a sense of panic as what can only be described as a mass of teeth and claws charges for you while you desperetley try to reload your empty weapon.
All in all, this game is grand so far - and we've found that playing it at night with the lights off adds to the atmosphere. I'm a Nintendo fan, but I salute this effort on Sony's machine.

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