Resistance: Retribution - PSP - Preview 2
For PS3 owners, Sony’s Resistance franchise has been one of the glowing standouts in the system’s library. The series, which provides an alternate history approach to WWII (where hostile aliens dropped down in the middle of the war, forcing us to advance in certain ways technologically to deal with the new threat), has been an intriguing and fun series for shooter fans, as well as one that has done well critically. Now, Sony is looking to bring the franchise to the PSP with their upcoming third-person action entry, Resistance: Retribution.
With development in the very capable hands of Sony’s Bend Studio (who also have the acclaimed Syphon Filter games for the PSP to their credit), there’s very little that can go wrong in Retribution’s development, an assertion even more solidified by some hands on time with the game’s demo. The demo took us through one level of the game, with the hero James Grayson infiltrating a Chimera conversion facility, taking out a host of enemies and taking on a boss at the end of the section. The brief demo showcased the game’s intensity, which is just as action-packed as the PS3 iterations of the series, as well as the solid control scheme.
As controls are often a sore spot for many PSP games (largely due to the single and somewhat overly-sensitive analog nub), Sony’s Bend Studio has done a lot to try to keep this issue from bogging down the gameplay in Retribution. The default control option lets you control Grayson’s movement with the analog nub and aim with the face buttons (par for the course for most PSP action games). What sets Retribution apart from other PSP titles is the fact that the game also blends in a handy auto-aim function that will automatically single out enemies within your targeting box, saving you from trying to focus in on a certain enemy and allowing you to take them out a lot easier. While only certain weapons allow you to do this (you’ll still be required to manually aim for sniper rifles and grenade launchers), this is a great improvement to an often overlooked issue with the system. Additionally, Grayson will take cover automatically should cover present itself, which is also a nice move to streamline the controls.
One big feature is the new PSP Plus element, which actually allows you to interface your PSP with your PS3 and play the game using a DualShock 3 controller (this requires a copy of Resistance 2 for PS3, as well). Although this sounds like a great touch, it was unfortunately not available in the demo.
One of the most striking things in Resistance: Retribution is the graphics, which are phenomenal. The character models are sharp and detailed, and the environments featured in the demo were atmospheric and captured the overall mood of the action. The lighting effects were superb as well, pulling off things that haven’t ever been done on the PSP’s hardware before. All in all, this stands to be the best looking title on the system to date.
Resistance: Retribution is shaping up to be a very worthy entry in the franchise, standing not only as a fine handheld entry, but also one that stands tall with the PS3 titles. After some time with the demo, it’s safe to say that Retribution will definitely be a title that PSP owners should be excited for.