RETROspective REview: Resistance: Fall of Man – It’s not futile, it’s just bloody hard

It’s old – not only is Resistance: Fall of Man set over sixty years ago, but having been released way, way back in the dark ages of 2006 it’s also the oldest RETROspective review we’ve done for the current crop of consoles.

The whole point of the RETROspective section is to open our readerships’ eyes to the games of yesteryear that may have slipped under the radar but make an excellent bargain, some of which we’ve only just discovered for ourselves. And if you are a relative newcomer to the PS3, there is a very good chance that Resistance has completely passed you by.

Straight off the bat Resistance: Fall of Man is an odd combination that can best be summed up as the illegitimate child of Call of Duty and Halo: it’s set in an alternate 1949 timeline in which the Earth has been invaded by a strange and vicious alien force known as the Chimera. You play the all-round American badass that is Sgt. Nathan Hale, sent over to the UK to retrieve a weapon that could stem the tide of the invading horde.

Resistance is a notable title for several reasons. First of all, the entire single player campaign can be played through in surprisingly effective split-screen co-op, which is very handy because the campaign is rock hard. The online competitive modes were notable for their support of up to 40 players with little-to-no lag, not that this will necessarily tempt current gamers.

But for it’s current asking price, the game makes a challenging and enjoyable way to spend a quiet weekend with a buddy battling alongside you. There is also even four-player split screen for those who fondly remember their Goldeneye days.

Graphically the game is most definitely not going to awe you, and neither is the sound, although it’s all pretty good put in it’s historical context. But what may still awe you after all this time is the sheer amount of carnage that gets thrown at you.

This is an old-school FPS with no rechargable health bars and checkpoints every two minutes. You will fight for every scrap of health and you will die many times. Play it through in co-op and you will find yourself glued to your teammate’s screen screaming “No not that way! Don’t die don’t die! NOOOO!” Personally, I consider that a good thing. But consider yourself warned.

One of the things I liked most in Resistance were the locations and level designs. Set in various parts of 1949 England, the game actually faithfully recreates certain locations (so much so that there was even a court-case involving Manchester Cathedral and the excessive violence that takes place within), and the blend of oppressive sci-fi and in WW2 Britain actually still stands out amongst the crowd. Levels are also big and geared towards the staging of some epic set-piece battles in which a great many of your fellow soldiers will fall around you.

Resistance 2 went down a very different path and decidedly divided critics. Whilst I thoroughly enjoyed the game, despite it’s flaws, I am hoping that Resistance 3 injects some of the same sense of scale and war that was only present in the series’ first title.

Another thing that stands out in Resistance is what the series has now been most praised for: it’s array of weapons. You get an interesting line-up of human and Chimera weapons, each with a primary and secondary mode. Some, such as the Auger which can see and shoot through walls and throw up a shield, are absolute genius. This is a game which relies on picking the right tools for the job.

Bottom Line:

It’s old: it looks it and it feels it. However, even five years on, Resistance: Fall of Man is a still an epic and rewarding battle which is an absolute bargain for anyone who hasn’t picked it up before.

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