Lets not waste anymore time, I’m already late to the party – Resistance 2 has been released for almost a month in the US, but European and Australian gamers have only managed to get their copies a handful of days ago.
Resistance 2 isn’t a single player game with online multiplayer tacked on, nor a multiplayer game with a single player campaign added for good measure. I wont make the distinction, because Insomniac haven’t either – Resistance 2 is a game; and in this day and age a game consists of both online and offline content. We’ve past the point where online functionality is an offshoot hidden in it’s own menu, it’s just taken Resistance to tell everyone. In fact, launching R2 initially displays three menu options; Campaign, Cooperative and Competitive – with only the campaign confined to a single player experience.
I was with a friend when I made my purchase and took it home, we decided to cut our teeth in co-op; we’d get a grip on the game before taking it online. While our time in co-op lasted longer than initially planned, our time offline did not – hitting that ‘Play’ button had us kicking ass as part of an eight man team. It doesn’t sound that exciting when put in words, but it was pretty amazing to be thrown online without even realising.
I had to force myself to stop the addictive multiplayer to play the single player campaign, it was the fact that I would be writing this that motivated me to do it. I’m glad I did.
As the campaign starts, a quick intro about Hale and his involvement in Fall of Man runs and as the screen fades the cliché text this is his story is displayed. It took me a moment, but I understand why Insomniac put that there – everything from Campaign, Cooperative and to a lesser extent Competitive is part of the Resistance narrative; cooperative tells the story of Specter Team, and the campaign tells the story of a single individual, Nathan Hale.
I wasn’t expecting any real ‘wow’ moments from Resistance 2 – I’ve seen the trailers, I know to expect some big enemies. In that regard, I haven’t been disappointed. But it was my introduction and first encounter with the Chameleon that really blew me away.
Following two teammates into the dense forest, we locate the other ambush survivors – or more accurately, their bloody remains.
‘What happened here’ one of my accompanying soldiers ask. I examine one body, cut clean in two; Cyborg Ninja is the only response that comes to mind.
We continue along the trail, I follow close to one soldier as the other scouts ahead. Control is gently removed from my hands and my weapon lowers; a cutscene is triggered. The scouting soldier turns to face us. A shimmer surrounds him, a beast materialises behind his back and his body contorts – two pairs of wolverine like claws already extend though his gut. The beast isn’t large, but is certainly strong, without effort lifting my teammate and throwing him to its left and right. Before the pieces hit the ground the enemy is gone, shrouded in invisibility.
Control is returned to me, my remaining teammate doesn’t dwell on what has just happened to a 3rd of our trio – ‘I’ve lost visual!’ –his total focus is the destruction of the enemy and his own survival.
Cautiously we continue. An unnatural noise echoes through the forest, assumably that of our stalker, created to unnerve it’s prey; It works.
I follow behind my sole companion – I stop when he stops – I move when he moves.
We turn a bend. A shimmer speeds head on toward the solider, fading into full visibility just long enough to tear the man’s abdomen open. Shit – It’s too quick or I’m too slow, I don’t have time to get an accurate shot off – but I can’t dwell, I see the beast materialise, sprinting toward me. I unleash both barrels of the shotgun into it’s chest and the creature drops.
I have saved my own life. But now I’m alone; and can still hear that eerie sound.