Resistance: Retribution Review


Just try and resist...

Title Resistance: Retribution
Rating M Mature
Publisher Sony Corporation
Release Date March 17, 2009
Composer Garry Schyman
Platform Playstation Portable (PSP)
Modes Single player, Multiplayer (8 players max)
Developer Sony Bend

This volume of the Resistance story takes place in the weeks after the fall of the Chimeran toiwer at the end of Resistance: Fall of Man.  The primary character is James Grayson, who is a British Royal Marine, who is forced to hill his brother Jonny inside a Chimeran conversion center.  After these events James goes AWOL and enters into his own personal vendetta agains the aliens and sets out to destroy every conversion center he can find.  Consequently, James is captured and thrown into a military prison for his disertion.

James is rescued from military prison from the Maquis (the European Resistance), in exchange for his help.  James reluctantly joins Operation Overstrike to retake the Europe from the Chimera.

After this lengthy story setup, James and team parachute into a war-torn area that’s overflowing with Chimera.  The first level serves as a training level, as the game pauses and shows how to perform certain maneuvers as the need arises.  For example, at the very beginning, you must escape downstairs, but a large chest is in the way.  The game pauses as you approach and tells you what you need to do to clear the path by pushing the furniture downstairs.  Once on the lower level, you must take cover behind an overturned table.  The game again pauses and informs you of its automatic snap-to cover system.  Other instructions on game dynamics appear throughout the level, like how to zoom, how to use the auto-aim feature (which is a godsend on a system with only one analog stick), how to switch weapons, and other actions.

The game is controlled like another popular PSP FPS: Syphon FIlter.  As a matter of fact, Retribution uses a modified Syphon Filter: Logan’s Shadow engine.  Shooters are typically controlled either with a mouse and keyboard, or with two analog sticks.  One stick controls movement, while the other controls freelook.  The PSP only has one analog stick, so that is assigned to movement.  Freelook is handled using the four primary buttons.  Special actions like jumping over cover and changing weapons and managed from the D-pad.  That leaves the Right and Left shoulder buttons for Primary Fire and Secondary Fire, respectively.  You can cycle through weapons by pressing the Right D-pad, or can bring up a quick-select menu by holding the button down for a second.

This compromise in FPS controls is the best that the PSP can do, but trying to hone in on enemies is very difficult.  Like the dumb kid in an AP class, the game adjusts its “grade scale” for the slower control scheme.  Enemies pretty much stay put, move in a linear fashion, rush straight for you, and the game employs a great “auto-target” mechnism.  There may be several enemies on the screen at one time, and an orange target appears over potential enemies, while a red one appears over the “active” target.  Once that enemy has fallen, the system then selects another target for you.  You can, of course, change your active target with a press of the D-pad.  You can zoom in with your weapon, but that forfeits the auto-targeting system, and you must hone-in on your enemy using the four main buttons.