In 2005, Sony announced a new IP called “Resistance” for a launch title for the PS3 and it was both critically and commercially successful. As any company would have done with a successful game is make a sequel to it which Sony did in 2007. Resistance 2 which released in 2008 was well received by critics but consumers were mixed reactions to it. In 2008 Sony announced a non-Insomniac Resistance game called “Resistance Retribution” for the PSP which released in 2009 and it was both critically and commercially successful. In 2010 Sony announced Insomniac Games last Resistance game which was Resistance 3 and it released in 2011 which it was both critically and commercially successful. In 2011 Sony announced Resistance Burning Skies for the PS Vita and it released in 2012 but it was getting bashed by the critics and the consumers but why? The other games were successful but why not this game? Here is my unbiased review of Resistance Burning Skies:
You are a firefighter named Tom Riley. He has a wife and daughter which you will see in the game and when you do it will probably raise a few questions due to the fact that it is confusing and they never explain it. In the first five minutes of playing, Tom will go from a firefighter to a soldier which is fine and all but where did he learn how to use an alien gun so fast? None of them learned how to use it but Tom learned it in like a minute. During this chapter you will get something called Gray Tech, it is something that you will need to upgrade your weapons. It is in several chapters so you will have to look carefully for them. Overall the first chapter is short and it will leave several questions unanswered. The beginning was fair but not good in any way because it is short, boring, and it was just predictable.
After finishing the first chapter you should know your job. Yep, go find your family which it doesn’t answer why he stayed behind in the first place. During the whole story you will get accompanied by a person named Ellis. What I gathered is that she is in the military. Yeah I know that’s sad but they never explained her backstory in any way and the same goes for Tom Riley. All I know about Tom is that he is a firefighter turned to an army person, has a wife and daughter and that is pretty much all I know. I would have loved a small backstory of Ellis and Tom because I want to know more about the character that I will be playing or going to hear through the whole game. Without the backstory, i just don’t care about them. I couldn’t have any type of connection with this character like I had with the previous characters and I could actually careless about them which is sad. The best part, you will know little to nothing about every character in the end. Every character will come and then go like the character never existed. Instead of talking about characters, let’s talk about bosses for a moment. There is only two bosses (wish they had more but two is alright), the first one is easy to kill and the other feels like he is impossible to beat (and I was playing it on the easiest difficulty) which I understand that he is the last boss and all but when I choose easy difficulty, he should be easy but no he was ultra-hard to kill. I got killed about 15+ times before I killed him. I still think Nihilistic did a good job with the bosses even though I was getting mad at it and I still think they should have added more bosses but that’s probably just me.
The ending was actually good but it needed to be slightly better but it is still good as is. I just wish they would have added the backstory to Ellie and Tom to the ending because that would have been awesome. The whole story length is actually decent because I thought it would only last three to five hours but it actually lasted seven plus hours which surprised me. The not so good part is that this game is only worth one playthrough because it doesn’t have a story that will bring you back to play it again after you are done with it.
Overall the story is fair. The beginning was not that good because it left questions unanswered that never got explained in the story. It did pick up from chapter 2-6 because of the shooting action but it was still predictable except two parts (which was actually unpredictable) but I won’t tell you that. Now what else is this game missing? Oh yeah, they are missing the emotional depth that the other Resistance games had. Yes this game has no emotional depth. There are spots in the game that I should have been sad but I wasn’t. It is sad really because I wanted to be for that part but I just couldn’t because I knew nothing about the person to care. I think Nihilistic should have tried to add emotional depth to this game because it felt like they didn’t even try to do that. The story is not bad but neither is it good but I think they should have tried a bit harder.
They did an ok job with the gameplay but it needs improvement
The good: Using the touchscreen for throwing grenades and use the secondary on weapons is a good thing because you can aim where the grenade/the secondary goes. Like there were three chimeras in a bunch, I will aim the grenade at the middle one and it will kill all three. For secondary on weapons, I will use the Bullseye gun as an example. If I want to use the secondary for Bullseye, all I have to do is click the chimera I want to target and it will mark him. Trying to find Intel’s and Gray Tech (weapon upgraders) adds to the gameplay and adds some replay-ability but not much. It is good to try to find Gray Tech especially because you need it to upgrade your weapons and make sure you use the Gray Tech wisely because I think there is only 15-25 of them you can find and there are a total of 64 upgrade slots. Using the touchscreen for the melee is good because there is no R2 and L2 buttons so putting it on the touchscreen is a good idea and they placed it in the right spot for quickly tapping to melee.
The Bad: Using the touchscreen to open doors is a pain because you need to be a certain distance away from the door to open it. They should have used the square button to open doors because it would have been way better. An option that should have been there is to enable the camera to aim. I sometimes need to turn quickly while aiming and the sensitivity is either to slow or to fast but if there was an option to use the camera to aim, it would have been good for me because I won’t need to worry about sensitivity. Other games do it but why not this game? Well it is a small feature so I won’t talk about it anymore. Here is a problem, having the down D-pad as the running button. I find it annoying that they choose that button for it. They could have done is quickly press L twice to run because I can get used to that but I can’t get used to the down d-pad as the running button. Well it is an annoyance but to make sure I won’t babble on about this I will continue. Hiding behind cover in this game is pointless because you always get shot by everyone and I mean everyone (the regular chimera, the medium class chimera, and the special chimera). I got killed twice being in cover and none of them had an auger and no enemy was by me but I got killed while hiding behind a bunch of crates. I think it is a glitch or that is how Nihilistic designed it but I don’t like. Now about AI’s, they are stupid, plain and simple. They would sit behind cover doing nothing to help me. The AI cannot even kill an enemy when they do try to help. Sometimes the AI would shoot the wall to try to kill the chimera or even stand in the middle of the battlefield doing nothing. I might as well not have a partner because it seems that they don’t do anything. At least your partner can’t die because if she could, you would be the 24/7 bodyguard to make sure she wouldn’t die.
Overall they did need to improve things especially the AI that can actually help you than do nothing at all. The rest really is to improve it but some of them should have been done especially make sprinting assigned to a different button than the bottom D-Pad. They could have easily implemented using the camera to aim though but nothing to serious. There is not much else I can say really. I do have to say if they implemented/improved the things I stated, the rating could have been better but it is still good overall.
Nihilistic didn’t do that well with the presentation. There was a lot of room to improve like the skies because it doesn’t look that good. I know it is a handheld game but other games did the sky better. The gun sounds are fair but it needs to be better because sometimes it sounded like I was shooting BB Guns. The fires look average because it seems like the color was washed out a little. The streets and the buildings look bad. It sort of felt like I was playing a ps2 game. They could of just spruced it up a bit and make it look like the Resistance 2 Buildings/Streets than I would have said the buildings looked good but no. The textures are horrible. It is not that good at all. The guns don’t look good; the people are poorly designed (which they look like clay/action figure type of look), it has Framerate issues (it can happen whenever it wants to), and it also has glitches which some of them are funny and some will probably make you angry. The one that may make you angry is when enemies somehow spawn behind you and they kill you. The funny one is when enemies run in midair or jumpers attach to air (they were supposed to attach to the wall). You will have a high chance on encountering 3+ glitches when you play this game.
You probably wonder if there are any good things that they did with the presentation, so without further ado, here is what they did right. The main menu is simple and fast to get to everything. Want to play single player? Just 2 quick clicks and you are playing. Want to play Multiplayer? Just click it and choose a mode to play on and bam you are playing (if you find people that is). Well it is quick and simple like any main menu should because it will be bad if it was confusing. The comic cutscenes are well presented. It had a small feeling that they put effort in this one and I will say good job to Nihilistic for this one and it is well deserved. The people may have designed poorly but the chimera was actually designed pretty well (all it needs is better textures) but overall the chimera was done well and another good job to Nihilistic. The game music was good. It felt like they were trying to copy the previous iterations music into this game and they did a good job.
Overall they didn’t do the presentation well but they deserved some recognition. I just felt that Nihilistic should have put a lot more effort to make the game look better especially since this game by a hair looks better than Resistance Retribution. I expected it to be better tbh. It had a streak going on which it had 82+ metacritic on all of the Resistance games and this game came in and broke that record. Who cares about the record really but it shows that Nihilistic dropped the ball on this one. They had a lot of room to improve the presentation and they didn’t take the opportunity to do that.
Shooter Genre Mastery: 5.5/10
Nihilistic did a fair job but not that good.
The Good: I do say that the attachments you can upgrade to are good. There are good action sequences and that is good because that is what shooter games should have a lot of because it would be boring if you would walk around with a gun and do nothing with it so Nihilistic did a good job on this part. The secondary on every gun is good; it really helps when there is a lot chimera in one area.
The Bad: There are only eight guns which is really dumb. For a shooter there needs to be more than 8 weapons especially since the previous Resistance games had more than that. I think the developer could have taken every gun in the past iterations into this game. How hard is that? Apparently it is hard. If you are going to choose the Shooter genre there needs to be a good selection and a variety of guns. The other problem is that there are only two grenades out of like 10 grenades from the whole Resistance franchise. Why only two? I would have chosen at least five of them which would have been way better. Was Nihilistic just being lazy? I swear they were because they had plenty of guns to add but they only chose eight, they had plenty of grenades to add but they only chose two. I am not saying it’s all bad but there is a very limited selection of guns and grenades to choose from. The aiming was ok but it needed to be better because the crosshairs seems to be transparent sometimes which makes it hard to know where the middle of the crosshair is because I try to aim for the heads and the reason I aim for the heads is that it kills them faster and it gets annoying when I can’t see the crosshairs.
Overall I don’t think Nihilistic is good on making the Shooter genre. The game felt like Nihilistic didn’t even know what to do or how to do it. They did some good stuff in this genre which I already stated them but it seemed like there were more problems than goods.
In the current world of gaming it seems that a lot of developers are tacking on multiplayer to games that should have one, adding multiplayer to a game that doesn’t need it or shouldn’t have one or making a cheap multiplayer tack on. Nihilistic falls under the cheap multiplayer tack on and it has an online pass which it shouldn’t have. If you choose the large game (6-8 players), it will take forever to find someone so the better option is probably choose small game (4 players) because it may find people faster but I don’t guarantee that but small game is more boring. Sometimes it is even hard to find a person in small games which shows that a lot of people just don’t care about this game’s multiplayer. When you do enter into an online match you may experience lag which could get irritating when you are trying to kill the enemy player or trying to run away from them and that shows Nihilistic doesn’t even care about this game anymore because if they did care, they would have fixed the lag by now. Sometimes when you are in the lobby and actually find people, the game will have issues connecting to the servers and kicking you out and state “disconnected from the server: connection with the lobby was lost” which happened to me five times in a row so I decided at the time to stop trying and come back to it later. There are multiplayer glitches which happened to me twice. The glitch was when I joined a game and when it loaded the map, I was a ghost to everybody. I call it the Ghost/Spectator Glitch because I could walk by the enemy team and they couldn’t even see me and I couldn’t even kill them which was really annoying because I really wanted to play online but the glitches and the lag is really killing me. Now onto a mode called “Survival mode” which 1 person is the chimera and the rest are humans. The chimera’s job is to kill/infect the humans to be on your team and it’s the human’s job to survive the whole game. The whole basis is great but there needs to be more people than eight because it goes way too fast. It took me only 45 seconds to infect everybody and I am not that good either and that is pretty sad. I love the mode but there needs more than eight people to make it last longer because 45 seconds is not enough time to have fun. Survivor mode is not good but not bad either which puts it in the middle.
On the good side of things is that there is a fair selection of weapons to choose from like Auger which can shoot through walls, Sw .A.R.M. is a rocket launcher that can penetrate heavy armor, and more good weapons but each weapon requires you to be at a certain level to unlock it and you need XP (game’s currency) to purchase the weapons, weapon upgrades, and grenades. The level cap is at 40 and it will take you forever to reach that level because trying to find matches in any game mode is a pain. Probably at some point you will get bored and quit unless you are that determined to get to level 40 and if you are that determined or even interested to get to that level, I say good luck to you. The team deathmatch mode is fun when you get to play it on large game because it is slightly boring with 4 players (2V2) and the same goes for deathmatch mode (Free for All). When you do find people, the competitive multiplayer is pretty solid when you don’t lag or have multiplayer glitches but it is solid nonetheless.
Overall Nihilistic just dropped the ball on this one. Past iterations of this game can support more people online than this game and that is sad. They could have made it support more people than eight people. I am not holding this game against the past iterations but some things you should like multiplayer when every Resistance game on the PS3 can support more than 24 people online and I understand that you can’t have that many on a handheld but I know it can handle 16 people. A game that has an online pass, it should have been done better than this. The multiplayer could have been a 7-8/10 if they would just fix the lag/connection issues and the glitches which are the three mains things that can break your online experience. I would be surprised if Nihilistic would ever fix the problems with multiplayer but I doubt that due to the fact that they are no longer making vita games and moving on to make mobile/IOS games. It’s sad how Nihilistic just dropped all support for this game so early. I couldn’t even review the maps due to the fact that I only played on two different maps and I don’t remember the names to them. I was practically trying to concentrate on connecting to online matches than paying attention to map names
Overall this is a fair game at least. There are so many problems though that I can’t believe it. I love the Resistance games but this game was the worst one so far. This game does have its goods but there are more problems (bad). It had a possibility to be the best FPS on the Vita but it lost that opportunity, an opportunity that Nihilistic could have been a great developer but that didn’t happen either. I say give it a rent because it is worth that but not worth a purchase to own (unless you find it for $20 or less than it will be worth it).
Shooter Genre Mastery: 5.5/10