Resistance: Fall of Man

boyward - Staff Reviewer

Content at a glance:

GAME TECH INFO

Computer Platform: Playstation 3 (Sony)
Produced by: Insomniac Games / Sony
Price Range: $21-30
Learning curve time: 1-30 min.
Age level: Mature Teen to Adult
ESRB Rating: M (Mature)

Reviewed By: Phil Rownd (boyward)
STAFF REVIEWER

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆
Genre: First-Person Shooter
Christian Rating: 3 of 5 (average)
Gameplay: 5 of 5 (excellent)
Violence: 2 of 5 (heavy)
Adult Content: 3 of 5 (mild)

 

Fall of Man. Illustration copyrighted.


Resistance: Fall of Man puts players in post-WW2 Britain, in an intense and occasionally frightening war against vicious aliens. The alternate history story, along with some excellent creature design and inventive weaponry make Resistance one of the best first-person shooters available. It is violent and scary enough to warrant the M-rating, however it steers clear of the gore and pervasive profanity that plagues more offensive shooters.

Where the Chimera originally came from is uncertain. Perhaps the sequel (coming to Playstation 3 in November 2008) will give us more details on the story, but as it stands now, the year is 1951 and all of Russia and Europe have been wiped out by aggressive aliens called Chimera. Playing as American soldier Nathan Hale, you must stop the Chimera from spreading to the other continents, wreaking havoc on their military operations. The first hour or two is rather predictable, but after a couple of twists in the story you really start to wonder: what are these Chimera? How did they get here? Why is Nathan Hale so uniquely able to withstand them in ways that other humans can’t? Most of these questions about Hale and the Chimera will remain unanswered until we get Resistance 2, but there are enough twists here that I was hooked all the way through the closing credits.

Fall of Man

There are about a dozen different “strains” of Chimera, each of them terrifying and fascinating to behold. I’ll let the screenshots speak for themselves. Some of these Chimera crawl, some run, some stomp, some fly, and they all have their own method of wiping out humanity, so you’ll have to stay mentally sharp to figure out the best way to outfight them.

Nathan Hale begins the game with standard World War II weapons: a rifle, shotgun, sniper rifle, etc. Yawn. The first hour of gameplay is rather bland compared to other WWII-era games like Call of Duty. After that first hour, though, Resistance really comes into its own because you acquire alien guns. While some of the Chimera fight with their bare hands (or mouths, or stingers, or other strange parts of their body), most are armed with some really cool alien firepower. The developer, Insomniac, is known for their well-received “Ratchet & Clank” games, a series that put some crazy new guns into our hands. Insomniac’s knack for inventing ingenious new weapons has carried over to Resistance as well. Players will enjoy experimenting with the new “Auger”, a battle rifle whose bullets drill through cover until they find a target. There’s the “Bullseye” with which you can tag a target with homing fire. Imagine popping out to shoot a Chimera with the tag, then ducking behind cover and shooting straight into the air. With the “Bullseye” your bullets will home in on the tag. These new weapons allow the player to come up with some pretty inventive combat tactics. I also enjoyed the “Hailstorm”, whose shots richochet off hard surfaces and the “Air-Fuel Grenade” which releases a cloud of flammable vapor and ignites it. Each of the weapons has a secondary function as well, such as setting up a temporary shield turning the gun into an auto-turret. Between Resistance’s awesome arsenal and monster designs, this game belongs on the must-play list of gamers who enjoy shooters and can stomach the M-rated content.

I played through the campaign by myself, but Resistance does allow for 4-player co-op and up to 40 players in the Playstation Network multiplayer modes.

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Fall of Man

VIOLENCE
The ESRB has labeled Resistance as containing “Blood and Gore” and “Intense Violence.” There is no option to toggle any of these elements. Compared to other M-rated shooters, Resistance is more violent than the Halo games, but much less offensive than Bioshock and Condemned. I’d say it’s right in line with what you’d see in Half-Life 2 or Call of Duty 4. Men and Chimera shoot at engage in intense firefights and their blood stains the walls and ground. The amount of blood is never excessive, except when the “Menial” Chimera lunge at the player and savagely bite us in the face as blood spews out. During these moments the player shakes the controller to shake the Menial off or butt him in the face with a gun. We see some men attacked by “Crawlers”, beetle-like bugs, as watch as they crawl inside a man’s mouth. Most killed Chimera simply fall down and die, but three strains of Chimera (Leaper, Titan, and Angel) blow into juicy pieces when killed. When you get the M-12 Sabertooth tank or the Lynx jeep you can drive over the Chimera soldiers with your vehicle. The results of these hit-and-run encounters are a little bloody, but no more so than standard firefights. Mortally wounded Chimera roar or let out a throaty gurgle. [SPOILER: The game documents the Chimera “conversion” process, whereby captured humans are infected by the Chimera virus, cocooned, and physically transformed into the mature Chimera. The images of human bodies being shuttled through the various conversion stages is not gory, but may be disturbing to some players.]

Fall of Man

LANGUAGE
The ESRB has labeled Resistance as containing “Strong Language.” Speech Volume can be turned down or off, eliminating this problem altogether. Playing with the Speech Volume all the way up I heard “Sh**” seven times, and “hell”, “d**n”, and “a**” five times each. I saw the word “bit**” written once, and heard the word “bloody” spoken twice. I did NOT hear the F-word.

SEXUAL CONTENT
None.

SPIRITUAL CONTENT
None within the game, although there’s an interesting news story that followed the release of Resistance in the real world. Resistance and Sony received harsh criticism and legal threats from The Church of England because Insomniac used an extremely detailed model of the Manchester Cathedral for an encounter between Nathan Hale and the Chimera. The Church of England accused Sony of “disrespecting people of faith and the victims of gun crime here in Manchester.” In October 2007 the Church of England publicly forgave Sony and requested a “substantial donation” in order to help the church in “resisting the culture of gun crime and other forms of violence in our society.” Sony, for its part, has not edited the Manchester Cathedral scene from new copies of the game, or honored the church’s request for a donation. Who is right? Feel free to debate the issue on our forums.

POSITIVE ELEMENTS
Your efforts save countless lives. Your fellow humans demonstrate courage and self-sacrifice.

Fall of Man

I would not allow my children to watch a movie like “War of the Worlds”, nor will let them play this similarly intense and frightening piece of science fiction. This is a game for Dad to play after the kids are tucked safely into bed. It compares favorably to other M-rated shooters thanks to its unique weaponry and cast of monsters, and comes recommended to gamers who can stomach the intense battles, scary-looking aliens, and occasional strong language.

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Year of Release — 2006

[tags] 4 stars, First-Person Shooter, Playstation 3 (Sony), M (Mature), Insomniac Games / Sony [/tags]

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this Spotlight review are those of the reviewer (both ratings and recommendations), and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Eden Communications or the Christian Answers Network.

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