Insomniac Games has moved on to much bigger and better things since developing the Resistance trilogy for the PlayStation 3, but I’m still rather fond of the alternate history exclusives. Launching its infamously expensive next-gen console alongside a game set in Grimsby was a bold move, but the Ratchet & Clank developer made the dreary England backdrop work, thanks in part to Fall of Man’s fantastic gameplay loop.
While I don’t remember much about the narrative outside of an alien invasion, the studio’s penchant for exciting gameplay gauntlets has stuck with me until this very day. Fall of Man in particular was defined by its old-school weapon wheel, and it really stood out in an era when Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare spearheaded the shift to more realistic loadouts consisting of just two or three firearms at a time.
Admittedly, the divisive Resistance 2 did fall into this trap, but the first and third games both possessed their own very unique identity. I was always impressed by the way in which the developer managed to replicate Ratchet & Clank’s gadgetry in such a different setting; firearms in Resistance allowed you to shoot through walls and bend bullets around corners – it was immensely entertaining, and the weapon wheel ensured that you always had a multitude of options in any encounter.
This approach to combat can be felt in the developer’s most recent releases; Marvel’s Spider-Man, for example, provides plenty of creativity once you unlock all of the superhero’s gizmos. But I think the Resistance series had some of the studio’s very best combat concepts: the Mutator in Resistance 3, for example, could be used to turn foes against each other in a bizarre biological twist. And the V7 Splicer from Resistance 2 could be used to cut through alien flesh with ease.
While the original game was defined by its dismal visual style, I think Resistance 3 had a very interesting look to it; Insomniac Games tried to capture the feel of grindhouse movies, with chromatic aberration and copious film grain. The problem is that the PS3 wasn’t really powerful enough to run it properly, resulting in a sub-standard resolution that looked like Vaseline had been smeared all over the screen.
Obviously porting to the much more powerful PS4 would allow the games to realise their full potential, and while they’re going to look dated by modern standards, there’s nothing quite like them on the console right now. It’s not unfathomable to imagine all three games running at 60 frames-per-second in checkerboard 4K on the PS4 Pro, and like other PlayStation exclusive remasters such as Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection, set-piece moments such as the Chimeran ship invasion should still shine.
Whether or not the platform holder would be interested in porting the multiplayer modes as well is up for debate, but I have extremely fond memories of Resistance 2’s co-op mode, which served as its own standalone campaign and was wonderfully designed. The second game also obviously offered competitive deathmatches for up to 60-players – a precursor to the Battle Royale craze, and a record playercount prior to the launch of Zipper Interactive’s underappreciated MAG.
Look, there’s no question that Insomniac Games has moved on since creating the Resistance series, but the trilogy still has some incredible highs – especially during combat encounters. The developer’s future may remain with Marvel’s Spider-Man and Ratchet & Clank, but let’s not forget its origins either. Activision lovingly recreated the studio’s Spyro the Dragon titles, and so surely Resistance deserves a place on Sony’s current console, too.
Would you play some kind of Resistance remaster on the PS4? What was your favourite game in the franchise? Did you somehow skip these sci-fi third-person shooters first time around? See through walls in the comments section below.