Crazed with revenge, Grayson goes on a lone revenge spree against his brothers murderers, the Chimera. The British army, none too pleased with Grayson's defiance, eventually capture him and sentence him to death. However, before he faces the firing squad, European resistance squad "the Marquis", who have heard of his heroics, ask for his help delivering a serum capable of wiping out the Chimera entirely.
Resistance Retribution occupies a 10-hour campaign and a full multiplayer mode.
Characters we cared about.To be honest, Resistance 2's characterisation was a little disappointing, lead-protagonist Hale becoming a short-tempered American military cliche, not entirely fitting with the events of the original game Fall Of Man. As for the other characters in Resistance 2, well we can't even think of their names. Resistance Retribution brings back narrator Rachel Parker who fills in the story between levels. Newcomer protagonist James Grayson is brilliantly voiced and delightfully likable despite a few throwaway lines ("I'm James Grayson bitches"). His interaction with Marquis soldier "Mallery" and love-interest Raine Bouchard adds a dynamic to the plot that ensures you care about the characters and what happens to them. It's not going to win an Oscar, but for a handheld game the character development is very impressive.
Resistance Retribution is extremely plot heavy, and all the better because of it. Taking you across mainland Europe, you'll see much more of the Chimeran invasion teased in Fall Of Man. The plot is moved forward via a number of devices, CG cutscenes, in-game cutscenes, journals, intel and conversation during gameplay. As you can see, there is a lot of story in this game. Often you'll find yourself playing shooters and not knowing why you're shooting — Resistance Retribution is never like that. You'll always know your objective, where you're heading and why you're doing it. And that's awesome.
Playing through the single-player campaign on normal difficulty will take you approximately 10-hours. Once you're finished with that you can replay the game and attempt to find all the hidden pieces of Intel, which fill in areas of the games plot. There are also "Trophy-like" Skill Points to be obtained by doing certain tasks. Unlocking these reward you with bonus weapons that can be used in the single player campaign. You won't be carrying just two weapons at time here, no, Grayson can carry up to 16-weapons at a time, all of which are selectable via the games excellent inventory. Finally, those players who own Resistance 2 on Playstation 3 will be able to "Infect" their copy of Retribution, unlocking alternative cut-scenes and allowing the game to be played with the DualShock 3.
Resistance Retribution is the best looking game on the PSP bar none. The environments are huge, the framerate never stutters and the character and enemy models are beautifully drawn and animated. Seeing Titan's on your PSP screen is breathtaking, and while the level design is totally linear, the Fall Of Man "doom-and-gloom" feel is present.
The pace of Resistance Retribution's campaign stays frantic throughout. As soon as the cover-pop-shoot gameplay begins to become the tiniest bit repetitive, Retribution will put you in the cockpit of a Mech or have you fight a giant aircraft.
Developers Sony Bend have done everything possible to make Retribution work on PSP. You use the nub to control the legs of James Grayson, and the face buttons to change aim. The viewpoint is now in third-person, allowing you to go behind cover and take out enemies with the generous aim-assist. Rockets can be fired, stopped in midair and re-fired if your aim is a little off, and the sniper rifle slows down time. All the same, it's not quite perfect aiming with buttons. This isn't the games fault of course, it's the design of the PSP system, but it may remain a problem for some. Personally we got over the controls pretty quickly, the aim assist works great and the context sensitive cover mechanic ensures the game is always well balanced. We did find the reload button (Left on the D-Pad) to be a bit out of reach during larger gunfights, though.
It took us just as long to complete the last few levels as it had taken us to get to them. That's because the developers sadly resorted to the "infinitely respawning" enemies tactic, forcing you to come out of your cover comfort zone and make a dash for the next checkpoint. The run-gun-and-hope mechanic becomes irritating, particularly because the previous levels are so well balanced and satisfying. We just wish Sony Bend would have opted for a shorter campaign rather than artificially inflating it with cheap tactics.
Resistance Retribution also includes a full competitive multi-player mode which we will explain in more detail when we've had more time with it.
The Resistance franchise returns emphatically, this time on the PSP. Resistance Retribution offers splendid visuals, cohesive storytelling and likable characters, all within a package that fits inside your pocket.
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