Developer: Nihilistic Software
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Release date: May 29th, 2012
Available on: Playstation Vita
It’s a sad day to be a fan of the Resistance series. With the main trilogy finished up on the Ps3 we’re stuck with spin-off games to continue the series along. While the PsP entry Resistance: Retribution was considered really well done, Resistance: Burning Skies is no where close to that.
Taking place between the events of the first two games, Burning Skies puts you in the role of Tom Riley, a firefighter who happens to find himself caught in the middle of the Chimera’s invasion of USA. He gets swept up in the events and finds himself a member of a resistance group called the Minutemen. It’s here he’s tasked to recover mysterious devices called Grey Tech that allows the Minutemen to build more powerful weapons. At the same time he discovers his wife and daughter are missing so Tom also is forced to search for them. Eventually his work for the Minutemen and his goal of finding his family clashes and he needs to decide what’s more important to him.
In theory this should be an interesting plot. In practice the whole thing falls apart. Nothing ever goes anywhere interesting and the plot pretty much tries to play it safe as much as it can. You can pretty much guess most the important plot points long before they happen. The in-fighting between the Minutemen, the government, and Riley feels pretty forced and none of the characters feel like real people. By the end of the game I just couldn’t care about anything that was going on, and that really sucked since I’ve come to enjoy the Resistance games.
The game fares a little better through game play, but it’s extremely by-the-numbers. FPS controls work out really well on the Vita so that’s not an issue at all. You can throw grenades by hitting the grenade button on the screen, or by dragging them where you want to throw them. The melee button is also on the screen itself, with everything else assigned to the controller. The game has eight guns and you can hold all eight at once, but with the exception of one they’re just all taken from the console games. That’s not a horrible thing of course, guns like the cover ignoring Auger and the enemy tracking Bullseye are still a lot of fun. Each gun has a secondary fire mode that is used by interacting with the touch screen in some way. Most of them just involve tapping the screen, but there’s a few that require you to swipe or pinch instead. The worst is the Auger, which requires you to put two fingers on the middle of the screen, then move them apart. It’s difficult to pull off in the middle of combat and is awkward with the touch screen.
Throughout the game you’ll find cubes know as gray tech. You can use these to upgrade your guns. Each upgrade costs one cube, and is either considered a red or blue upgrade. You can have one of each equipped, and swap them as you want. The idea isn’t bad though none of the upgrades will really make you rethink your strategies and most are just little additions, like scopes for rifles or added ammo for each clip. Really though, you never need to rethink your strategies anyway. The game will pretty much be throwing similar enemies at you from the start until the end, and never switches the game up with any kind of unique scenarios. After a while the game stops becoming fun and just becomes repetitive until you finish it.
Burning Skies supports 8 player competitive play. The game only features regular and team deathmatches and an infected mode where one player is alone and every time he kills someone that person joins his team. Every kill you make gives you XP which lets you buy different starting weapons, but there’s little here and it’s doubtful if you’ll get more than a few hours out of it. By this point it’s also probably difficult to find a match.
Where Resistance: Fall of Man brought good things to the Playstation 3 in a time where it really needed it, Resistance: Burning Skies has only brought a mediocre game to the Vita. I’d recommend avoiding this one.