Things are bleak in the world of Resistance 3. With a handful of armed comrades, the game follows a series of fights where the resistance forces are far outnumbered. Just when the enemy is cleared from the streets, drop-ships deliver more Chimera. When there couldn't possibly be more enemies on the way, there are. And with this ongoing state of unease, Resistance 3 looks to deliver a consistent atmosphere that permeates the campaign.
The dusty landscapes of Resistance 3's world feel like an old-fashioned Western set in the future. Wind blows down deserted streets making signs sway and every broken window, pile of debris, and remnant of the past indicate things aren't okay. Europe fell, the United States fell, and at the opening of Resistance 3, everything feels over.
It may be hopeless, but don't go out easy.
Compound the loneliness of the setting with the handful of humans left fighting for their lives against the odds. These are elements that make the world feel both believable and hopeless, while somehow leaving enough will to continue fighting .
Chimera are everywhere. They leap from rooftops, stalk through the streets, and fight to the end against the last remnants of humanity. Their ships fly through the skies and the persistent terraformer hovers in the distance. I only played a single mission, yet it depicts exactly what the overall game is about: survival.
Resistance 3's weapon wheel and progression system are a great touch in this darkly painted reality. As enemies are dispatched in different ways, the weapons grow alongside the kills. Kill enemies in certain ways and the weapons grow to reflect that. And with the small arsenal I brought to the fight, the guns all felt starkly different. But guns are only so powerful if there's no ammo to fill them -- yet another aspect of the game that sustains the emptiness of what's left.
As I look back at what I experienced in a single level of the game, evacuating an outpost called Haven, this all sounds extremely depressing. The odds are stacked heavily against the player and the game is, in fact, quite difficult. But it's that interwoven despair that makes Resistance 3 feel special. So often in games the protagonists have it easy. They're big, talented, and tough to kill. And while Resistance 3's Joseph Capelli may share some of those qualities, the odds are bad enough to consider surrendering. It's because of the atmosphere that even the strongest weapons in the world feel like child's toys.
As lonely as it looks.
We don't know how Resistance 3 will end, but seeing the few reinforcements on Capelli's side, and knowing that humanity could completely end, it's worth fighting for. When an ominous street sign blowing in the wind is enough to put a player on edge, the developers have controlled the atmosphere and created a tone to remember. When September 6th rolls around, I'll fight, but I know it's going to be a tough battle.