Resistance 3 Multiplayer Beta Impressions

The Resistance 3 public beta kicked off a little over a week ago and despite the current matchmaking issues we were still able to get online to tussle with some Chimera scum. To put it simply, the Resistance franchise has taken a large turn with its latest installment – with many of the changes being for the better.

The Resistance 3 beta contains two game modes, the ever popular Team Deathmatch and Chain Reaction. The former is what players have come to expect from online shooters, with players fighting until one team reaches the kill limit – or time runs out. Chain Reaction features a neutral command point in the center of the map and the two teams battle over the spot until one side captures it, pushing the other team back to their fall-back flag, and then back again to their first.  There are five command points in total and the objective is to capture them all, in succession, until one team is left without a command post. Neither of these game modes are new to the genre, but they do work well – due to Resistance 3‘s lowered player count.

Even for franchise veterans there are a lot of new things to get used to – with the smaller player count being the most obvious. While the lowered player count does allow for more concentrated action in Resistance 3, it also opens the game to a simple but frustrating problem – spawn proximity. There were plenty of times when players spawned close to enemies or even see an enemy spawn right in front of them – though the latter is much rarer case.

Another new addition to the franchise is killstreaks. The killstreaks themselves are very creative  and just about every one has a faction that it is tied too. For example, a three killstreak grants human players a combat shield (similar to the shield from the Wraith in Resistance 2) while a Chimera player would receive the cloak ability. That said, the individual killstreaks could use some balancing. The cloak ability in particular makes it impossible to see a player – even while running. In games like Halo: Reach and Killzone 3 similar abilities were countered by a radar jam or diminished cloaking when moving. It’d be helpful to see something similar implemented in Resistance 3 – as players get a very unfair advantage when using the cloak ability, especially considering it is a low-tier killstreak.

Resistance 3 Multiplayer Beta Impressions 2

One thing players will have to get used to is the weapons in the game. All of the signature Resistance weapons have undergone huge changes – the Bullseye now sports a holographic sight and suffers from heavy recoil when firing – additionally, the Marksman starts-off without an iron sight, though one can be added later. As such, guns are customized through a weapon upgrade system. As players advance through the ranks they will earn skill points – which can be used to purchase new weapons, upgrade old ones or buy passive/active abilities. The level of customization somewhat makes up for the rather sparse weapon selection – though it would have been nice to see weapons like the Auger included in actual weapon selection, not just a killstreak. That said, for players who reach level 12 the Mutator is definitely a weapon worth unlocking – a classic Insomniac-style weapon, the resulting death animations are not at all like any of the other weapons.

As mentioned earlier, players also choose their own passive and active abilities for their loadouts. These range from a bubble shield to a player’s body exploding into leapers upon death. The abilities themselves work wonderfully – and unlike the aforementioned killstreaks do not suffer from as wide a spread of imbalance.

Resistance 3 Weapon Wheel

Luckily, with all these changes Insomniac has chosen to once again include custom control options. Players can map buttons however they want – though the ability to choose between holding down a button to aim or simply clicking it would have been a welcome addition.

Overall, the Resistance 3 multiplayer is a huge departure from previous Resistance titles. The smaller player count brings with it a large amount of changes that will take some getting used to, though when players finally find the groove of things – it becomes a fun experience that should make some waves when Resistance 3 launches later this year.

Are you happy with the changes Insomniac has made to the multiplayer?

Resistance 3 lands September 6th, 2011 for the PS3.  The beta is currently open to SOCOM 4 owners but will open up to PlayStation Plus subscribers soon.