Resistance: Burning Skies is the PS Vita’s first FPS and the fifth Resistance game in the series. The series has been on a bit of a decline. Does this Resistance game break out of the slump?
The story is about Tom Riley, a fireman who gets wrapped up in fighting the Chimera when they attack the east coast. You start the game saving people from a fire right before the Chimera attack. You then get wrapped up in fighting the Chimera when they threaten to harm Tom’s family, who are eventually abducted. Tom falls in with a group of resistance fighters and ends up tagging along with Ellie in particular throughout most of the game. You will work your way through city streets, ruined buildings, over bridges and through Chimera facilities.
It plays out like other games in the Resistance series, as you must fight your way linearly from location to location. The story for this one is rather lacking compared to the other Resistance games. Tom does not talk much and other characters aren’t all that interesting either. Ellie is more interesting than Tom really. Ellie seems very smart and heck, even picks up a shiny blue cube and just slams it onto a gun to add a grenade launcher without even flinching. She apparently had never seen these cubes before but knew to do this anyway. She also seems to get information from the human resistance very quickly to share with you but you never find out why they all trust her or how she made her contacts. Ellie and Tom fight through many locations to become great heroes that other characters hear of. Tom even wears his fireman’s uniform for the entire game regardless of conditions. Maybe he thought it would act like body armor or something.
As for the controls of the game the basics are quite good. The dual analog sticks work well for moving and aiming. The shoulder buttons are great for zooming and firing. Where things start to break down is when the touch controls come into play. To fire a grenade from the Folsom Carbine you have to tap the screen, to throw a grenade you have to drag it from the icon on the screen to where you want it to land, to use a Bullseye tag you have to touch the enemy, and so on. These controls really slow you down when you have to reach over to the screen. The worst offender is the Auger shield, which requires you to touch the screen with two fingers and drag them apart to deploy it. This just pulls you away from the action too much and is cumbersome. On a side note, the game uses very corny retro looking cut scenes to introduce the alternate fire controls. I can’t decide if they are cheesy fun or just poor production value.
As expected the majority of the game is combat related. You can take advantage of cover, and you heal by avoiding being hit. You will fight a lot of Chimera and a lot of the same ones. The battles all end up kind of blurring together since so few have anything that makes them distinct. The boss fights weren’t too bad though often easier then one would expect. The only boss fight I had issues with was the last one. To kill the final boss you have to shoot little glowing targets on a huge Chimera. This is broken into two sections. The first one only has one really tough one since it is on a shoulder that keeps getting blocked from your view by the Chimera itself. The second half is hard only because the Chimera slowly destroys the ground you are standing on. The worst part of all this is that when you respawn you have to run down the same long twisting hallway and listen to the same radio conversation every time. It was a very poorly chosen save point location, and not the only bad one in the game.
I did try out the multiplayer a little as well. The first thing I noticed is that there seems to be stability issues in games since several I tried abruptly seemed to kick everyone out. The next thing I noticed is how basic it was. There are only three modes and a handful of maps. It is a portable system but I was expecting a bit more from the multiplayer.
The graphics for the game are good but not incredible. There is nothing jaw dropping but you will recognize the Chimera on sight and all the weapons. The sound is a mixed bag however. There are some nice pieces to the background music but it is under used. The sounds of the guns were bad and really bugged me. Many did not sound quite right and just didn’t pack the punch the weapons should have. The sound of the Bullseye was the worst. In the previous games it has a very distinctive sci-fi blaster sound to it but in this one it sounds like a plain old machine gun. I am not even sure how the production staff let this go out.
In the end I did enjoy playing the game but it was rather brief. The difficulty is a bit too easy and the weapons nothing special. The multiplayer is nothing to bring me back to the game either. I had fun with Resistance: Burning Skies, but not enough to recommend the game too highly.
Final Rating: 6/10
CBR Break Down:
Console Played On: Playstation Vita
Time to completion: 6 hours
Trophies Earned: 19/25
Price Bought at: $39.99
Current Price: $39.96 via Amazon
Recommend Purchase Price: $19.99
Why you should buy it: You just can’t get enough of killing Chimera and need a FPS for your Vita.
Why you shouldn’t buy it: You can’t stand touch screen controls or Chimera scare you too much.