Resistance: Burning Skies Preview

Insomniac Games may have moved on from the Resistance franchise (with the PS3 release Resistance 3 being its last), but that doesn’t mean Sony is about to let the Chimera lay to rest.  The alien scum, who have overtaken America in the 1940’s alternate storyline in the first-person shooting series, will be making a return this May when Resistance: Burning Skies makes its handheld debut on the PlayStation Vita.  Unlike previous adventures on the PlayStation Portable, you’ll have two sticks worth of action to take control of this time around.

Resistance: Burning Skies, PS Vita

The game takes place in 1951, following the events from the original Resistance: Fall of Man.  The Chimera have begun their invasion of the United States shortly after dominating everywhere else, but a heroic firefighter named Riley has other plans and hopes to stop the invasion before it begins.

However, there are complications that Riley runs into amidst his battles.  Along with dealing with the Chimera, he also has to deal with top-level brass that are thinking of progress ahead of humanity.  So when he’s put into situations where he has to save lives, Riley puts himself feet first into combat situations, taking on Hybrids and other enemies while saving however many folks he can.

As we mentioned, Resistance: Burning Skies is the first portable outing to use both analog sticks, just like the PS3 trilogy.  That extra dose of control makes all the difference as you maneuver around corners and put Chimeran soldiers in your sight, using an arsenal of typical and high-tech weapons (such as the Auger, which shoots enemies through walls after targeting them through LED readings).  You’ll also be able to toss grenades, ideal for cooking a group of aliens in your path or causing a distraction.  (And if you’re close up to one, nothing beats bludgeoning them with a fire axe.)

Nihilistic, the PSP game developers who are taking over for Insomniac, have studied the series quite a bit and know exactly what kind of war-torn world Resistance is supposed to have.  The environments, while not as high level as PS3 outings, are very good for a portable shooter.  Also, the animations, particularly on the advancing Chimeran forces, are outstanding.  There were some rough spots in the demo we played, but Nihilistic still has some polishing they can do, as the game isn’t due until just after Memorial Day.

Likewise, the audio is top notch, with plenty of explosions, enemy howls and dialogue in between your rounds of shooting everyone like crazy.  Atmosphere is everything with this series, and Nihilistic is once again up for the job, at least from the demo we played thus far.

Resistance: Burning Skies will have a solid single-player campaign that will take a few hours, and perhaps even tie in some small bits and pieces to the other games in the series.  But one question we still had was multiplayer.  The team is supposedly working on it but isn’t set to reveal all the facts just yet.  Soon enough — and maybe even some support for Near, if you’re up for being social while you kill Chimerans.

Though Resistance 3 did come up slightly short compared to other games, it was definitely engaging and kept our interest going in the series.  With Burning Skies, that interest is still kept, especially with the promise of a lot more chaos (we’re eager to swing around that fire ax) and integrated gameplay features.  Here’s hoping that these Skies burn brightly when the game makes its debut May 29.