Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Resistance: Retribution (PSP)

Go go PSP shooter.

Resistance: Retribution is the third game in a series that started on the PS3 with later 2006's Resistance: Fall of Man, one of the first good titles for the console. It was developed by Insomniac, the creators of the Ratchet and Clank series. This installment takes the shooter series into an over-the-shoulder view with a new character and new console.

Let's get one thing straight - The plot of the resistance series is fantastic. The game takes place in an alternate reality 1950's where WW2 never happened. Instead, a mysterious horde of monsters crawled out of russia and began an assault on britain. The first two games followed the story of Nathan Hale, a soldier who had been infected with a virus from the alien monsters known as Chimaera. The virus gave him newfound strength and hardiness, and was a better then average story for the generic super-soldier. Retribution tells the tale of James Grayson, a soldier who just about lost his mind when the chimaera had infected his brother and were in the process of converting him to their ranks. He went on a personal vendetta and destroyed 26 massive conversion facilities, breaking all military laws in the process. He was sentenced to death. A character from the Marquis - the european resistance movement - steps in to bail him out, with the hope of an assault on france and germany, taking out the conversion centers there.

The gameplay is fast and furious, which is good for a shooter. The controls seem a little clunky at first, but once you get the hang of the auto-targeting system it works great. It's another over-the-shoulder cover based game, and I was surprised at how well it worked on the PSP. Think gears of war portable. There's a good selection of weapons, too - Such as the rocket launcher that can pause it's rockets in mid-air to reposition their aim. You've got the Auger, which shoots through walls, your basic assault rifle with grenade launcher, a chimaeran gun that fires a vorpal blade that homes onto enemies and I'm sure there's a few more. The enemies are also quite memorable, with titanous mechs and, uh... Titans. Go figure.

The graphics are a spectacle for the PSP, as everything looks like late PS2 graphics. That's pretty good, for non-techy terms. Character models are fairly well detailed with minimal blurry textures. A few of the other textures are a little blurry, but that's understandable. Alot of the game is told through pre-rendered cutscenes which are quite frankly the best I've seen on the PSP. A few of the brighter colors are a little funky on my old PSP-1000, but I suppose I should upgrade sometime.

The sound design is great, with a fine selection of growls and roars for the chimaera with some pretty good gun sounds, too. The music is also quite good with a few creepy ambient tracks and some others that give you a feeling of the pure scale of it all.

Like I said earlier the controls keep up quite well once you've got the hang of them. The square, triangle, circle and X buttons act like a second stick with them moving your view about, and the control stick moving. There's a secondary configuration which switches them, which is handy. R button shoots, and holding L then pressing R uses secondary fire options. The D-pad controls everything else, from reloading with left to opening a weapon menu with right. Oh, and down is your use button. I can't seem to remember what up does. Huh.

Retribution is a fine installment for the series taking it onto the PSP as well as keeping the frantic action and plot intact. I would comment on the online multiplayer function but I'm having trouble getting my PSP connected to the internet.

Presentation - 8.7 A fantastic plot and some good characters keep it from feeling flat.

Gameplay - 8.5 Frantic action and entertaining weapons make retribution a Blast.

Controls - 8.1 I was quite surprised at how well they worked.

Sound - 8.0 Good sound effects and some great music liven up the game.

Overall - 8.5

brb, star wars galaxies


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