Resistance Retribution Demo Impressions - January 27

With Resistance FOM being arguably the best launch game on the PS3, and its follow-up R2, having a mixed reception, will the series’ crossover to Sony’s portable be a worthy addition?

Retribution is set between FOM and R2 and bridges the gap in the storyline as the forces of Europe attempt to rid themselves of the Chimeran scourge. Players will take on the role of former British Royal Marine James Grayson, after the destruction of the Chimeran tower in London. Having been forced to kill his brother in a Chimeran conversion centre, Grayson joins forces with the European Resistance in order to take down all other conversion centres in a bid to avenge his brother. The demo picks up into the game (not at the beginning) as players assault a new Chimeran conversion centre in a bid to save one of their female comrades who has been captured. Assumingly this is done to show off lots of different enemies, as in the level you play you come face to face with numerous types of threat.

Gameplay is decidedly different in Retribution as the game reverts to a third person shooter to cater for the PSP button layout. This change may throw fans of the series off, possibly for good reason, as the controls are difficult to get to grips with. The face buttons are used to control aiming, the shoulder buttons are for firing, the analog nub is for movement, and the diagonal buttons are used to zoom, activate switches and cycle through weapons. This layout feels unresponsive at best and makes the game more difficult to play. However an aim assist which will lock on to the nearest enemy caters to aid this problem, although it sometimes makes the situation worse, locking on to the wrong enemy. There is no possibility to edit the controls in a way that will suit you, even though this might have improved gameplay. Grayson will also hug any cover that you are near during fire fights, popping up to take a shot at the enemy every time the fire button is pressed. This cover system works well, however there seems to be no way of taking cover if there are no enemies in front of you, which seems slightly strange. Furthermore, Grayson doesn’t have regenerating health like Nathan Hale in the other games, thus picking up health canisters is the only way to replenish your life force.

The third person viewpoint may not suit everyone.

As you progress through the demo you will encounter different type of Chimera, including Hybrids (foot soldiers), Titans (large melee enemies), as well as robotic drones, and at the end of the demo, a large robotic enemy. To aid you in dispatching these enemies you will have access to many weapons from the Resistance universe including the Carbine, Bullseye, Auger, Fareye and Laark. The full game will contain all the weapons from the Resistance universe thus far, as well as new, unseen hardware according to the developers. Graphically the game is mediocre, the PSP is capable of better than shown here, however that’s not to say that what’s on offer is terrible, just nothing special.

The main game will offer players the ability to use the Dualshock 3 controller, which may go some way in easing the control problems, but is not on show in the demo. Also, by linking Retribution to R2 via USB cable you will be able to play an alternate storyline for the game, called Infected. In this version, Grayson is recruited into Specter and infected with the Chimeran virus. He will then don a Specter uniform and his glowing eyes will make the other characters act differently towards him, ultimately altering the games storyline.

The enemies are still nice and epic.

The idea of playing Resistance on the PSP is tantalising, however the demo didn’t really showcase anything special. The control problem maybe a turnoff for most gamers, but hopefully this will be sorted by the ability to use the Dualshock 3, which will allow you to map the buttons to your liking. The story and the promise of eight player online multiplayer might provide attraction enough for people to look past the problems that the game seems to have. At the moment, Retribution doesn’t look like a standout title, and nowhere close to a hardware seller. The game isn’t out till mid March however, so the developers have time to tighten some screws and improve the gameplay, and you can expect a full review here on TGSN upon release.

- Alex Goodenough


Sony Bend