Insomniac Games – the name is rather fitting, given the sheer amount of work that the development team has undertaken as of late. Not content with being one of the first studios to step into the foray of PS3 development, they have also split their work and resources between their regularly-updated Ratchet and Clank franchise, and the sequel to what many PS3 fans consider to be the spiritual launch title of the console, Resistance: Fall of Man. It’s with understandable interest that fans have been following the unveiling of the sequel closely as the developer has promised a lot more than was delivered in the first game.
The story picks up right where the first game left off, in the most immediate way possible: the epilogue after the credits acts as the intro to the second installment, and while we won’t spoil anything, it’s shaping up to be very exciting stuff. Greater immersion is promised this time around with the removal of a third-person narrator telling the story impartially, which Insomniac hopes will allow the campaign storyline to focus more on Nathan Hale and his squad in action.
Near the start of the game, Nathan will be recruited by an unknown faction comprised of special soldiers known as ’The Sentinels.’ Like Hale, they turn out to be resistant to the Chimeran virus. While we mentioned that the story picks up instantly after the first game, it’s not until a two year period has passed after Hale joins The Sentinels that the plot starts proper. While it’s unknown whether the group will survive, there are strong themes of bleakness at work in the game, so it’s ill-advised to lay your reliance on them.
CEO of Insomniac, Ted Price, is keen to stress the importance of the ’four C’s’ when it comes to Resistance 2. They are ’Campaign,’ ’Co-op,’ ’Competitive,’ and ’Community.’ While these areas of gameplay may seem obvious choices in which to lay the majority of developmental focus, what Price means by this is that he wishes to implement a greater connection between all four of these elements. For example, the co-op plot runs parallel to the main campaign and Nathan Hale’s story, while also serving as a bridge to the multiplayer elements of the title. In practice, the idea behind this approach is that the multiple elements of the game will tie together to give a more rounded imagining of the war for humanity’s survival.
Insomniac has also said that the single-player campaign is near enough completed in a development sense. When inquired as to how this was done so quickly, a new initiative was cited that aims to develop the gameplay first and as the primary focus, adding in art assets and effects later. What this means ,in simple terms, is that all the maps are running and the campaign (reportedly) is finished but the visuals are incomplete. In terms of co-op, we’ve been told that ’large portions’ of it are complete – exactly how much this refers to is unclear, but one would hope that Insomniac are not cutting corners with development to make these promises. At this point in time, it’s only possible to speculate but come Fall this year, we’ll be able to judge the title more accurately.
It’s pleasing to know that Insomniac are going the route of Capcom with the bosses in Resistance 2; reportedly, a robotic ’Goliath’ stands 150 full in-game feet taller than Nathan Hale and it seems that the developer is keen to show that more traditional boss fights can work well in the first-person shooter genre. Vehicles will also be back, and while nothing’s been confirmed, early screenshots show prominently placed jets. Insomniac has mentioned that airborne enemies and battles will play a role in the campaign but we can only hope that this carries over into the multiplayer.