The saga of battle-weary fighters and their campaign against an invading, parasitic alien army continues with "Resistance 3," a first-person shooter that covers all of that gaming genre's basics but feels a bit redundant otherwise.
"Resistance 3" ($59.99, PS3, rated M for Mature 17+) is the third installation in the standout series from Insomniac Games. A ragtag but well-armed collection of human survivors in revisionist 1957 is trying to outwit and outshoot the Chimerans, big mean aliens of the usual glowing-eyed variety. There are bosses and battles and melee attacks and a good selection of weaponry. So the essentials are all there.
Still, I was left wanting more.
The graphics looked flat, and even the character movements, both in live action and cut scenes, felt corny and not up to speed with other top-shelf FPS titles. The boss battles were a little too easy even on the "normal" difficulty setting. Moreover, I felt I had seen all of this before. The debris-strewn city street battles. The ramshackle barn encounter. All of it.
Some of the close-quarters hallway and corridor battles weren't too far removed from a dusty old version of "Doom," and that is awfully long in the tooth as a gaming reference point. I even got my character stuck in a small attic with no way out. Only a seeming graphic glitch allowed me to finally walk through the shingled roof, only to drop back into the start of the level.
The best moments came not when I was crouching behind cars and taking sniper shots at a distant Chimeran outpost. Instead, they were the moments on a small boat defending against Grims, slimy-looking aliens that leaped aboard to rake at me violently with their long limbs. They are gruesome toothy beasts, and it is frightening when they are coming at you from all angles.
The Brawler boss was also a big task to defeat. It is a hulking beast, more than twice the height of my human protagonist, Joseph Capelli, a soldier who is partially immune to the Chimeran virus. The Brawler rushed at me and took vicious swipes with its huge fists, inflicting major damage. My best approach was to run backward and take aim at glowing-red heat plates on his body, damaging them and weakening his defenses before he thumped the life out of me.
But in between those flourishes of fun, there's a lot of routine running around while shooting and ducking and chucking grenades. It just felt a little pedestrian at times, without enough variety in the skirmishes.
Online play was fine. Team death match mode is best, as I entered a match with similarly leveled players online for a raging battle of humans versus Chimerans. The re-spawn times are quick and the action is brisk. Online features include a world rank leaderboard, private game hosting with custom settings and no glitches that I could detect.
"Resistance 3" is an average addition to an above-average games series. Two out of four stars.
Ron Harris can be reached at http://twitter.com/Journorati