I was impressed, to say the least, by Resistance Retribution when I finally laid hands on it this week. The graphically impressive third person shooter feels like a smoothed out sci-fi version of the Bend developed Syphon Filter PSP games – funny, being that that’s exactly what it is.
And when I say ‘smoothed out’ I don’t mean that in a derogatory way. The secret-agents of Gabriel Logan’s world are replaced with heartbroken and vengeful soldiers, while red-turbaned terrorists are swapped out for hulking Chimeran beasts in this portable sequel to the PlayStation 3 launch title, Resistance: Fall of Man, giving the game an appropriately dark atmosphere and entirely new vibe. It feels fresh, and the visual scope has been broadened by, quite literally, miles. Whereas previous Bend titles restricted players to enclosed buildings or close-combat outdoor situations, the expansive Chimeran architecture spans tons of loading-free space.
The game is gargantuan. Before I can finish complimenting the designer I’m chatting with, he says with a laugh “I was working on a level just the other day actually, that, honestly, makes this look like crap.” That’s a cunning statement considering the dude made the game.
But if he’s telling the truth, it’ll be a goal yet to be achieved by any other PSP game, including God of War: Chains of Olympus.
I stop playing to chat some more and I’m more than happy to explain how Syphon Filter: Dark Mirror was my first foray into online gaming, and how much I enjoyed Bend’s work. Thanks are given as I verbally high-five my new chatting friend and his spiffy new targeting and cover system, which both automatically do the dirty work in a clean and intuitive way that’s completely unintrusive to the gameplay experience. The story sounds like a stellar continuation of the PS3 title, and will coda in to Resistance 2 later this year. Everything about Resistance Retribution makes me excited to own a PSP again.
Then I’m told something that absolutely shocks me.
“The version you’re playing? It’s… it’s pre-alpha.”
For those not hip to the lingo, “Alpha” means “old as hell” when you’re referring to a game that’s coming out within the next couple months. The game was revealed at E3, presumably by the time it hit beta (stable and playable) so it’s reassuring to know that this game is so absolutely unbelievably fun in its alpha state – provided that the statement was true.
No matter how you slice it, Retribution will be wicked-fun come this holiday. Embrace your PSP again, because Bend is back in the game.