Enough Predictable Sequels, it’s Time For Sony To Bring Back Resistance

Resistance deserved better. The first game was a PS3 launch title that took place in an alternate history where World War 2 never happened, the Nazis replaced by an unstoppable race of alien creatures that were slowly but surely taking over the entire world. Insomniac Games created a shooter that leveraged the absurd creativity pioneered by Ratchet & Clank and the gritty, military action seen in games like Call of Duty and Medal of Honor.

At the time it was incredibly unique, establishing a shooter franchise that would see Sony through an entire console generation. It never reached the blockbuster status of Halo, but it fared a damn sight better than many of its contemporaries – including the likes of Haze, Legendary, and Turning Point: Fall of Liberty. All these years later, Resistance remains a competent series that I’d love to see make a return, given it would be a breath of fresh air for a genre that has long surrendered itself to monotony. Aliens are cool, that’s basically it.

The first game maintains a special place in my heart because of its United Kingdom setting. Unlike other blockbusters it isn’t just restricted to London, Resistance: Fall of Man decides to venture all over the country, having us fight aliens on the streets of Bristol, York, Cheshire, and even good ol’ Grimsby. Before Tory austerity there was Chimera infection, and I’m still unsure exactly which one is worse. Either way, it was a novel approach to the shooter template that wasn’t afraid to take us to locales that would appear bland in any other title, but Insomniac was able to craft them into bright, imaginative levels only occasionally brought down by a dull and drab colour palette. I just assume everything in 1951 looked like that.

Regenerating health, two weapon loadouts, and other staples that became commonplace after the release of Modern Warfare were nowhere to be seen. Despite its status as a next-gen launch experience at the time, Resistance was bitingly old school in almost everything it did. You had a huge arsenal of weapons at your disposal, each of them sporting a secondary fire mode that ensured they were all useful in distinct situations. Your traditional military rifle could fire grenades, while the Bullseye could ping enemies with a targeting beacon that allowed bullets to travel around corners and kill aliens within seconds.

It was like Ratchet & Clank’s approach to mechanical design was transplanted into a first-person shooter and it felt so enjoyable to play, even if difficulty spikes and rather pedestrian level design throughout the campaign meant that Resistance never quite reached its full potential. Yet you could see the innovation bubbling away at the corners of Insomniac’s overall vision, something that carried over to its duo of sequels that each weren’t afraid to try new things.

Resistance 2 was the boring one. Maybe that’s a little harsh, but it did the expected thing and saw Nathan Hale and his big bald head make the jump to America where everything was bigger, better, and more explosive than ever. The UK was lost, so it was time for the Americans to show us up and save the world. They didn’t, all of the aliens still took them for a ride, but the sequel was able to present a level of scale and execution that showed how Insomniac was getting to grips with a console that was infamously difficult to work with.

A few years later saw the release of Resistance 3, which remains the series’ best and most ambitious game. Much like the first game, it wasn’t afraid to try something new in a genre that far too often stuck by the same strict ideas. Our new protagonist is Joseph Capelli, a military man who murdered an infected Hale to close out the last game. He’s a gruff white dude, but has a family to save alongside feelings and all that other schmaltzy shit.

The plot follows Capelli as he travels across the country to stop The Chimera from using a terraforming machine that is slowly dooming our planet to oblivion. We’ve basically lost the war at this point, with much of the campaign being a desperate struggle to survive as opposed to destroying the alien threat once and for all. It’s a smaller, more personal journey that has you fighting your life as a normal citizen instead of a soldier armed to the teeth, and the changed gameplay and less fantastical approach to almost everything reflects that.

All three games are completely different, which is a testament to a trilogy of shooters in a generation where homogenous dudebro military blockbusters were increasingly common, and why it would be so welcome to make a comeback today. Sony doesn’t have a shooter in its repertoire right now, with the majority of its first-party line-up consisting of narrative blockbusters or open world epics that follow a very similar formula. We know what to expect from the company nowadays regardless of quality, which is both a blessing and curse.

I’d love a Resistance reboot, although part of me fears it will end up being a live service that fails to capitalise on the focused, story-driven campaigns that made its progenitors so damn good. Sure they had multiplayer, but literally nobody ever talks about those, I’m not even sure the servers are still up and running. With Insomniac busy dual-wielding Ratchet and Spider-Man, why not farm the IP out to a different studio, one that isn’t afraid to put their own spin on the property while staying true to its edgy, experimental roots. Just give me another shooter where I can fight aliens on the streets of Swansea and I’ll sign right up.

Whether it be a linear campaign with explosive set pieces or a more experimental experience like Wolfenstein or Deathloop, Resistance has the foundations to be morphed into something entirely unique that doesn’t have to abide by current trends. It can usher in a new formula for modern shooters or harken back to the past in familiar yet welcome ways – there really is no wrong way to go about a reboot like this and that’s the best thing about it. Bring me a fun, cheesy, and self-indulgent shooter like nothing else we have right now.

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