As Insomniac prepares Resistance 2 for its big November launch, we get a chance to play the recently released public beta, which consists of both the co-operative and competitive modes. Resistance 2 is the ambitious sequel to PlayStation 3’s launch title Resistance: Fall of Man with features like 60-player online multiplayer and 8-player co-op campaign, among other things.
Veterans of the first game will immediately notice that Insomniac have slowed down the pace of the game. Gone are the days when Resistance was known as a twitch shooter. Instead, Resistance 2 is much slower with a bigger impetus on close quarters shooting, while still maintaining the scale the first game was known for. Other changes made are the balancing of some of the weapons. The Bullseye from the first game feels more powerful, whereas the Army Carbine and the Auger are definitely underpowered.
Insomniac have also introduced a few new gameplay elements, one of them being the new berserker system, where players gain special power ups once their meter fills up. These power ups can be anything ranging from weapons inflicting double damage to players themselves taking only a fraction of the damage from incoming bullets. The other big change has been the newly introduced XP system, inspired by last year’s smash hit Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. Each player gains a certain number of XP for various tasks like reviving a fellow teammate or activating a switch or just pumping a few bullets into the enemy. Both these features are used extensively in the competitive and co-operative modes, with a levelling up system.
Featuring three maps – Orick, San Fransisco and Chicago – Resistance 2 lets up to 60 players slug it out simultaneously. The maps are large enough to accommodate all 60 players without feeling crowded. The maps themselves are cleverly designed, especially Chicago, which allows for both low and high level battles. Insomniac has also introduced a squad-based system where players are divided into groups of 5 members each, pitted against the rival squad. This not only helps keep the mayhem and madness of a large scale multiplayer shooter in check, but also makes you feel that you are just a small part of a larger war going on out there. A new multiplayer mode included in the beta is the Skirmish mode, where the objective of each squad changes dynamically as the game progresses. The multiplayer element also includes the usual deathmatch, team deathmatch etc.
Clearly the highlight of the beta, the co-op mode features only the Orick map and supports up to 8 players. The co-op is based on a class system and you are given a choice between soldier, special ops and medic. The soldier is your typical heavy firepower guy, who can take and inflict a lot of damage. He comes equipped with a railgun and the secondary fire unleashes a moving shield that comes up right in front of him. The spec ops is an interesting mix of power and accuracy. He comes equipped with a 3-shot burst rifle called the Marksman, which is fitted with a scope, making him good at long range shots. What makes him special is that if you ever run out of ammo, the spec ops can replenish it by dropping ammo packs. The third and final class is the medic, and unlike other games, medics here are actually powerful, making them fun to play with. The medic has a gun that can drain the life out of opponents and convert them into health packs. Using secondary fire, the medic can shoot at team members to heal them. Medics can also revive fallen comrades a lot quicker than the other classes.
Even though there is only one map included in the beta, a co-op session can last over 90 minutes. To add to that, the random mission structure ensures that each time you play is a different experience altogether. The difficulty in this mode also scales automatically depending on the number of players playing it. Combine that with the huge number of enemies filling the screen (around 50-70), some wicked AI, an MMO-style levelling system, and big boss battles and Resistance 2’s co-op mode might turn out to be something really special.
While the beta does suffer from occasional problems (some bugs and glitches), knowing Insomniac, most of them should be fixed before release. With just under two weeks to go for the game’s North American release, Resistance 2 is shaping up to be another excellent title in the growing PS3 library. Watch out for the full IndianVideoGamer review soon.