OK, so I’ve come to the conclusion over the past 10 years that some games age well, while others age faster than Sonic on speed, in fact thinking about it, Sonic is probably the best example of a series decaying rapidly over time, this is partially due to a mixture of changes within the genres of the industry, the preferences of the majority, emergence of new audiences (FPS Excessives anyone?) and the need to constantly reinvent to appeal to the next generation (No, not Star Trek fans).
Anyway I have decided to write a series of blogs (obviously length will depend on whether anyone cares to read them) looking back at some of the classics from the beginning of this generation and determine whether they have survived the passing of time gracefully or withered like a Christmas tree from the millennium.
First up we have Resistance: Fall of Man
. (I will be focusing on Single Player only)
This Playstation exclusive was released in 2006 as a launch title for the PS3 and was considered the “Halo” killer for the Playstation Brand at the time, with an average score of 86 on Metacritic and sales of just under 4 million (Vgchartz, about as reliable as Wikipedia) the game was a monumental success particularly in the FPS genre where only Killzone carried the most of the weight for the Playstation previously. It was lauded particularly for its excellent graphical presentation and its ‘tight’ control system.
The analysis is broken down into five sections, Game Play
– The gun play is truly what makes this game tick, the accuracy and ease of use of each and every weapon in the game is a joy to experience, this makes the game seem fair despite a few somewhat despicable tricks used throughout the campaign which some may justifiably see as “dirty tactics” (guns which can fire through blind walls for example). With such ease of use the game does a good job of empowering the player, genuinely making you feel like you can overcome any obstacle, this also makes deaths seem more justifiable as the player is given the ability to fight back just as effectively against the enemies. Unfortunately the melee attacks do not follow suit in battle, the hit detection is absolutely atrocious (Think Black Ops magnified by 5), I was able to melee enemies from ridiculous distances and to make matters worse so were they, on many occasions I could actually see the motion the enemy took to hit me. (How can you see the punch after you’ve just been hit by it?) This would often not be too much of an issue however in Resistance the power of the fist is indeed mightier than the gun, the amount of damage dealt by a mere blow is enough to knock at least 50% health off, this is particularly problematic in one of the games many open areas.
– Obviously this is where you would expect the game to suffer the most, however it has held up surprisingly well considering it’s approaching its 5th Birthday. The environments remain detailed and texture pop in is low which is also surprising considering some of today’s more ragged efforts (Looking at you Call of Juarez!) still struggle to cope with this issue. The animations are solid but explosions are unconvincing (Smoke, that’s all we get most of the time) and enemy/ally movement is laughable, often they will find themselves either stuck on the smallest of hills or embedded in the best 1950’s cookie cutter vehicles the game has to offer. Now this brings me to my biggest foible (if you will) the constant re-use of assets, backgrounds and textures, this is perhaps the largest drawback and is most certainly noticeable the longer you play the game, areas start to become very familiar in a boring sense and detract from the playing experience in the long run.
– Some of the design decisions taken in the game are questionable, pacing is extremely poor with checkpoints scattered in random places, and this is further exacerbated by the notification process used to provide information to the player; whenever the game needs to tell you something a message will appear in top left hand corner, this can vary from picking up ammo to reaching a checkpoint however, this text often disappears so quickly it is difficult to determine what it says, particularly in a fire fight. On several occasions I found myself wondering when the last checkpoint was and how far back I would have to go if I died. The biggest disappointment I found was the story telling techniques used, the game’s narrative is primarily conveyed through pictures and a narrator, there are very few actual cut scenes and as such it was very difficult to actually give a dam about the main character (so much so that I’ve forgotten his name already). The lack of a sprint button also boggles my mind, how the developers thought it was acceptable to create a FPS set in primarily open areas without giving the player the ability to transverse these areas quickly is beyond me.
– Unfortunately the controls in the game feel extremely outdated, triangle is melee which feels very unnatural and is easily forgotten ( I died several times running up to an enemy only to press the wrong button and change gun instead, unfortunately this doesn't quite pack the same punch), a click of the analogue stick is required to zoom (this is forgiveable as it was the norm when the game was released ) however in this particular game control in zoom is slow and thus requires the player to zoom out in order to regain any scope of the surrounding area, this leads to the player being forced to zoom in and out repeatedly and can be frustrating, particularly in a fire fight with enemies flanking (which they do, it’s about all they do).
– Although the game is almost half a decade old it is still fun to play despite its drawbacks, the gun play is excellent and this is probably the game’s saving grace as it overcomes the poor pacing, repetitive environments and control system to provide an experience which is still worthwhile today.
Resistance has managed to maintain its playability and fun as its level design and game play save it from what would otherwise be considered a slow and painful death as the method of storytelling, game mechanics and absolutely god awful control system feel extremely outdated in comparisons to their modern counter-parts.
Middle Aged, Heading Towards a Mid-Life Crisis
Explanation Of Rating
– The game has aged reasonably well however its decline is likely to continue and in another five years it is likely the problems which have surfaced now will be much more of an issue, this one is not immortal and will eventually die.