Resistance Fall of Man was the first game I owned for the PS3. It was a launch title, so I’d imagine a huge percentage of early adopters had this as their first game too. It was a pretty good game on paper, but the execution was a little flawed looking back at it. There were a further 2 games made in the series, along with a shitty game released for the Vita that we will pretend never happened. The games in the Resistance series took some ambitious steps and achieved a lot of amazing things for a new franchise. 30v30 multiplayer, 2 player co-op for the entire campaign, skyscraper-sized bosses. The series went in a lot of cool directions and the execution was fantastic for the most part. The fact that it is currently a dead franchise is a sad end for it. Resistance was a much better game franchise than people gave it credit for.
The PlayStation 3 was notoriously difficult to develop for, particularly in the early days. With that in mind, Resistance Fall of Man was a pretty good game. Most of what made the game good were factors that make Insomniac a good developer. The game was fairly solid, with minimal bugs, had an interesting story/setting and had a lot of crazy ass weapons. The game was a good “First Try” and had lots of untapped potential. The game was fun and it was a good attempt at trying to break into a crowded Sci-Fi shooter market, in a time where everyone wanted the “Halo Killer”.
Resistance 2 was where things started to kick into gear. This game was absolutely nuts! From boss fights against 50 story monsters, detailed coop game modes and competitive multiplayer that supported up to 60 players in 1 game. Every shortcoming that the original Resistance game had, got resolved in the second. It still had some flaws, but it was crazy in a good way. The boss fights were intense with the scale being like that of a JRPG! The weapons were as crazy as you might expect from the Ratchet & Clank developer. Shooting through walls, spike grenades, homing bullets and various other crazy weapons with 1950s flair.
Resistance 3 was a massive drop in the level of madness we had seen in the second. It was like the developer decided to ditch the insanity and opted to try and make a solid shooter that did everything right without going too crazy. It was a fantastic game but it didn’t do much to make it stand out in the crowded market. I have good memories of this game because it was one of the few games that supported 3d. It was also one of the very few PS3 games that supported online co-op for the entire story mode. The story was good and the game was a decent length. No bugs, great weapons, diverse and clever enemies. The game was the most solid of the 3 Resistance games, but this almost felt like they had given up. It seems as though the developer may have been forced down this road. Part of this was likely a hardware issue. It would be difficult to build a game crazier than the second on the PS3. It felt as though there may have also been a demand from the market, or at least a perceived demand. People wanted a solid shooter that would rival Halo aka “Halo Killer”.
Resistance was a successful series and It received good reviews all around. The 3 games scored 86, 87 and 83 in order of release. This is by no means a failure, in fact, its a massive success. So why are there no new Resistance games? That is an answer I would love to hear from Sony. Insomniac moved on and that’s fine, but Sony owns the IP. Why don’t they make more? The franchise was/is so underappreciated.
Part of what hurt the Resistance franchise is that it never tried to be the Halo killer that Sony fans wanted and expected it to be. This was in the height of the console war when it was more about beating the other team than appreciating games. Sony gamers wanted Halo and instead, they got a WW2 Sci-Fi shooter. That doesn’t mean it was a bad game, but it didn’t provide enough ammo for the war. That’s not to say it is the developer’s fault or even that it is a bad game. Resistance was just released at the wrong time. A time where the console wars were in full heat and people wanted something that they couldn’t have. Resistance was a fantastic franchise that was never fully appreciated due to the stupidity of the console war.