05 August, 2016

Keepalive: Bioshock Infinite: Burial at Sea, Mad Max, Earth Defense Force 4.1 The Shadow of New Despair

written by Blain Newport on Friday, 5 August 2016

I realized I should be putting more pictures with my posts.  They're good for context.

Bioshock Infinite: Burial at Sea (4 of 5)

Bioshock is art deco and dead bodies.   Like the System Shock games it's descended from, Bioshock is about misuse of technology.  System Shock is more about our systems destroying us where Bioshock is about us using technology to control each other.  There's also a bunch of homicidal maniacs and weapons thrown in to make it a video game.

The Burial at Sea DLC for Bioshock Infinite is much better storytelling than the main game because it doesn't have to pad itself out to justify a $60 price tag, (see also the Minerva's Den DLC for Bioshock 2).  I don't really want to spoil anything, so I'll just say it does a nice job of looping back around to tie a bow on the series.

I've also been playing Mad Max. There are really good elements to that game.

Here we see Chumbucket, your mechanic more or less, repairing your car by the side of the road in the early morning hours.  The skies and dusty wasteland are very well done.

And here I am trying to get me and my dog to shelter before a huge dust storm hits.

The scale and sense of place are really good.  But the activities overstay their welcome and the game has bugs that go beyond standard open world jank.  Camps you liberate from bandits are supposed to provide income, but the amount changes seemingly at random.  My car's defense stat randomly resets itself to zero, turning my well armored death machine into a plywood joke.  And there are tons more problems and nuisances the really wore on me.  Like Yakuza: Dead Souls, I may not bother to finish this one.

I tried to rationalize the problems by saying that Avalanche also released Just Cause 3 the same year, so they didn't have time for patches, but the PC version of Just Cause 3 has been made more broken for many by subsequent patches, so it seems like Avalanche can't be trusted on PC as of late.

By contrast I've already finished EDF three and a half times on PC.

Here we see Red Rooster lobbing slow moving Air Tortoise missiles at distant robots who are lobbing arcs of neon pink death back at us.  This shot was taken on July 21st.  We also ended up playing with player Yourgrandma last night. :P

And here's an example of the sense of scale EDF brings both in raw size as the head of one of those ants is bigger than the player and in sheer numbers as the sky fills with enemy flyers.

I don't think an official review is even necessary.  EDF is a 5 of 5 for me, and I look forward to playing it repeatedly with all the people who jump in when it periodically goes on sale.

It is the apotheosis of Big Dumb Fun.

31 July, 2016

Keepalive: Soma, Outlast, EDF 4.1, Yakuza: Dead Souls

written by Blain Newport on Sunday, 31 July 2016

Soma (3 of 5)

DISCLAIMER: I cheated my way through Soma.  I used a mod that made the monsters blind.  They could still find me by sound and in certain scripted sequences could chase me, but that was it.  After Penumbra Overture, Penumbra Black Plague, and Amnesia: The Dark Descent, I've had enough of playing hide and seek.  It doesn't help that Metal Gear Solid V and Dishonored spoiled me by putting many more stealth tools in the tool chest.

That said, Soma was a good experience.  The setting is imaginative.  The puzzles are decent.  The production values are impressive.  Philosophically the game is at its best when it's putting the player in difficult situations and letting them decide for themselves what's ethical.  I don't think it actually makes any points other than people are dumb, which isn't news.

I'm similarly cheating my way through Outlast, but thanks to many quick scripted sequences, I'm being forced to hustle a good bit more than in Soma.  Outlast doesn't seem to have any philosophical dilemmas, but it's a solid scare fest so far.

I've been playing a fair amount of EDF.  I leveled my Ranger and spent some time working on my Air Raider and Wing Diver.  The Air Raider really needs co-op play to shine, and overall I've been happy with the players I've met online.

I'm in part three of four (I think) in Yakuza: Dead Souls.  It replaces the good but not great brawling with okay shooting and replaces human enemies with zombies in a fanciful "what if" story.  Ultimately I kind of don't care about the story.  And the mechanics / enemies aren't particularly great either.  The tragic tone also takes some of the fun out of things.  I don't know if I'll finish it.

Looking on Wikipedia I saw that Dead Souls came out only a year after Yakuza 4 and a year before Yakuza 5.  I think it may have gotten squeezed in the middle, resource-wise.

24 July, 2016

Review: Yakuza 4

written by Blain Newport on Sunday, 24 July 2016

Yakuza 4 (3 of 5)

I enjoyed Yakuza 4.  The focus of the game was around having four different characters and telling their interwoven stories.  I liked the characters.  I liked learning their somewhat different fighting styles.  I played the game on easy because the engine's still pretty clunky and I don't want to bother retrying tough fights.  I just want to see what's next.

I don't really mean the story, though.  It was alright.  It tied into earlier games in nicely unexpected ways.  And it felt easier to follow than previous games which is an achievement for having multiple protagonists and timelines in the mix.  But women are treated poorly, and there's a tremendously bad plot twist.

I more wanted to see what random nonsense would pop up on the streets.  The street level crime wasn't as varied or interesting as previous games, but there was still random stuff that I did enjoy, like working at a dojo to train fighters or helping some homeless guys take care of some stray cats (though the actual game play parts of that line were mostly tedious).  I could go on, but that'd spoil the best stuff in the game.

It's got enough rough edges that it's hard to recommend (except to Japanophiles I suppose), but I enjoyed it.

19 July, 2016

Attention! Earth Defense Force 4.1 Is GO!

written by Blain Newport on Monday, 18 July 2016

I've only run through the first mission as all four classes and played the second mission online.  But so far everything works fine.  It even runs at 60 frames per second on my old GeForce 660, though we'll see how that holds up when things get crazy.  From what I can see on the steam forum, people seem pleased, except for people with AMD Phenom II processors who are experiencing some crash bugs.

There aren't as many options (no field of view control, no fancier types of anti-aliasing, etc.) as PC gamers might want.  The menus are clunky.  High resolutions don't do the art assets any favors.  But a real EDF game exists on the PC.  The world is a tiny bit better today than it was yesterday.  Thank you Sandlot.

The game is $35 for the first week, then goes up to the suicidally high price point of $50, so grab it now (or wait for the winter sale).

17 July, 2016

Keepalive: Journey, Tales From The Borderlands

written by Blain Newport on Sunday, 17 July 2016

I don't really know why I dropped Yakuza 4.  I suppose when a game has multiple acts the places between are natural stopping points.  And the last act of Yakuza 4 features Kazuma Kiryu, the most known quantity since he's the protagonist of the first three games.  Plus the Yakuza games all sort of drown in their own melodrama near the end.  I'll get back to it when I want to wander the Kamurocho again, but there's no rush.

Earth Defense Force 4.1 should be out tomorrow.  They're still not taking orders and the Steam page is so bare bones it doesn't even name the four classes...  please don't suck.

Journey (4 of 5)

Journey is an game for PS3 by thatgamecompany.  You are randomly paired with other people online as you explore ancient, somewhat alien ruins.  It's pretty and atmospheric.  There's not a huge amount to it, but it's a good experience.

Tales From The Borderlands (3 of 5)

TFTB is an adventure game from Telltale set in the world of Borderlands, a series of first person shooters from Gearbox.

It sucks being smarter than the characters in an adventure game.  Watching them keep secret or blurt out information you know they shouldn't (and knowing almost precisely what the consequences will be) is bad enough in other media, but games ostensibly give you control, so it's particularly galling.  That happened in Life Is Strange.  But it was worse in TFTB.  At some level it's not about being smarter as much as knowing story-telling tropes.  But it undercuts the experience regardless.

That aside, TFTB is about what I expect from a Telltale game: pretty good writing and characters, player decisions that I want to engage with but are mostly cosmetic, and mediocre QTEs.  I knew all that going in and got what I expected.

15 July, 2016

Review: Life Is Strange

written by Blain Newport on Friday, 15 July 2016

Life Is Strange (3 of 5)

Life Is Strange is an adventure game that lets you rewind time to change your decisions.  I really enjoyed some of the theatrics / drama, and the puzzles were mostly good.  The time mechanics allow crazy things to happen.  But ultimately the characters are a little forced / random, and the ending blows.  But there were parts of a great experience in there.

14 July, 2016

Attention! Earth Defense Force 4.1 for PC releases in FOUR DAYS!

written by Blain Newport on Thursday, 14 July 2016

Steam page

I will be buying the game (but not the DLC.  I want to earn my weapons) as soon as they let me.  I will report back if it's a good port or not.

I love EDF.

I love the spectacle.  EDF plays out on a gigantic scale.  Giant ants come swarming over buildings.  Streams of silver space fighters are released by mother ships.  Giant robots tower over the player.  Player weapons knock down sky scrapers and send giant spiders pinwheeling into the air.  Fights can level city blocks.

I love the weapons.  EDF has crazy weapons.  Some are inaccurate.  Some are dangerous to the user.  Some fire in high arcs that make it challenging to hit.  Some require laser guidance from another player to reach their full potential.  Learning the weapons and how to best used them is it's own game.  And different map and enemy types make those choices meaningful.  A down side of that is that sometimes you just don't have the right kit and have to start a mission over.  But it's a puzzle and finding a solution, especially when it's highly unorthodox, is uniquely rewarding.

I love the nonsense.  EDF knows it's a silly thing.  The friendly AI cannon fodder talk trash to the bugs, freak out, and say random stuff about getting steak when the battle is over.  Meanwhile news and military broadcasts play up the scale of the devastation and the importance of success.  It's a big goofy melodrama.

The controls are clunky.  The friendly AI repeat themselves too much.  Depending on what class you are there can be rough difficulty spikes.  And the game reuses maps like crazy.  But I still love it.


If the port is good I will be inflicting co-op on anyone who will let me.

10 July, 2016

Parade of Meh

written by Blain Newport on Sunday, 10 July 2016

I decided to try a lot of older games I wasn't sure I'd like, looking for a diamond in the rough.  It was just rough, but I at least got a good feel for what they actually were, not just their reputations.

I'm also still playing Yakuza 4, but I'm doing a lot of side content and wandering around, so it's slow going.  I just started the last quarter of the game.

Fuse (3 of 5)

Fuse has good qualities.  The graphics engine is good for the time, with scenic vistas and some nice lighting.  But ultimately it's a cover shooter based around combo-ing team abilities, and when playing with the AI, it's not that great.

Dead Rising (didn't complete)

The original Dead Rising didn't have combo weapons.  And the enemies are more lethal.  And the survivors are less intelligent.  You can make yourself stronger and overcome these issues, but even when I was decked out with three pairs of never-break mini-chainsaws, I wasn't enjoying myself.  At some level I feel like the game has a good rep and became a franchise because 360 owners were starved for first year content and Dead Rising was the only game (apart from Geometry Wars) that wasn't better on PC.

Golden Axe: Beast Rider (didn't complete)

Beast Rider is to God of War as Tootsie Rolls are to quality chocolate.  Beast Rider is a bland, poorly paced character action game with control issues, and very few of the things you do in the game feel satisfying at all.

Too Human (didn't complete)

Too Human is a character action game that's actually kind of nice early on.  It's got a unique control scheme which uses the right stick for melee attacks, so you just tilt the stick and flow around the battlefield.  It's relaxing.  Sometimes it's a little too relaxing and puts secrets and upgrades behind lots of walking, killing the pace.

Then it gets more difficult and it turns out the hit detection on larger bosses is problematic, advanced moves are kind of fiddly in general, and the tougher enemies are not more interesting to fight.  Plus it gets stingier with upgrades pretty quickly, which made me feel less rewarded for dealing with much harder foes.

It's got an interesting take on a far future based around Norse mythology.

Flower (didn't complete)

You are a flower petal.  Fly past other flowers to add petals and become a trail of petals.  Open all the flowers and move on to the next area.  It's very pretty to start.  But wandering around for five minutes because you missed some flower somewhere and can't progress at all kind of kills it.  I think I'd have liked Flower more if it had been less of a game.

06 July, 2016

Reviews: Transformers: Devastation, Dead Rising 3

written by Blain Newport on Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Transformers: Devastation (4 of 5)

I'm old enough to have had Transformers as a kid.  I watched the original show back when it was new.  So I may get more out of pressing right bumper to transform and hear that iconic noise than other people.

But as much of a kick as I get out of the nostalgia, I get more of a kick out of the feeling of control Transformers: Devastation gives.  Multiple times I found myself giggling with joy as I realized how much power and mobility the game allowed for.

In some ways the game goes overboard with options, with random weapon drops, four weapon slots per character, a weapon combining system, a random perk system / money sink, and experience points and credits.  Plus you have six different characters with subtle differences (except for Grimlock, the dinosaur robot, who is more distinctive).  At some level I don't care because you don't need to mess with most of it to complete the game on normal difficulty.  But it still seems like a lot of busy work and time spent in menus for an action game.

I suppose it was intended to distract from the fact that the game isn't long on content.  There's a city map you spend a lot of time in, a high tech map you spend a lot of time in, and a handful of set pieces, but that's about it.  And while you do fight a fair amount of named enemies, you spend a lot of time battling generic enemies and the named enemies are all re-used.

I probably would have felt cheated if I'd paid full price, but as it is, I had a great time.

Dead Rising 3 (4 of 5)

The Dead Rising games are games about killing zombies.
In silly outfits.

And, since the second game, using bizarre cobbled together weapons like this car battery sledgehammer combo.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, wandering around an evacuated downtown full of zombies is pretty amazing.  There's a hunting shop.  Let's get some guns.  I need food and I don't see a restaurant... maybe the gas station?  I wandered into somebody's house and am now wearing the basketball jersey they had hanging in the closet.  It's like the child's dream of getting free run of a toy store, only more violent.

It's kind of a shame when the gamey elements take over, but I like the other game that's in here too.  At some level I know it's just FnF (fight and fetch), but it didn't really bother me.  Between the weapons, vehicles, secrets, and learning the town, there was always enough to keep me feeling like an explorer.  Plus zombies.

01 July, 2016

Keepalive: Dead Rising 3, Yakuza 4

written by Blain Newport on Friday, 1 July 2016

In the first major section of Yakuza 4 the player controls Akiyama, a money lender and business person.  Akiyama owns at least one hostess club, a place where you can pay a lot of money to drink and chat with pretty ladies.  You can play a mini-game to manage and mentor the hostesses.  I didn't bother because it's creepy.
In the third major section of the game the player controls Tanimura, a young pretty boy cop who gambles while on duty.  He seemed like the type of guy who would go to a hostess club so I had him go to a club owned by Akiyama.  It sucked.  All the women seemed the same and had no facility with small talk.

I think it sucked because I didn't train them, which is awesome.

I'm in the last chapter of Dead Rising 3.  I feel like the game has an identity crisis.  It's trying to come across as more grim and realistic than previous games, but it's still Dead Rising, so I'm still attaching car batteries to sledge hammers and duct taping assault rifles to shotguns.  I'm enjoying myself.  Open world Dead Rising is really neat.  But those first couple hours where I was just messing around and didn't know almost any combo weapons were way more atmospheric than what followed.  I've seen multiple complaints about the gritty tone compared to the older games, but I thought that was kind of the best part, even if it was the least like Dead Rising.

28 June, 2016

Keepalive: Long Form Games, Dying Light: The Following

written by Blain Newport on Tuesday, 28 June 2016

I've been switching between a number of longer games lately.  Switching keeps things fresh, but drastically lengthens the time between write ups.  Currently I'm mostly playing Dead Rising 2: Off The Record with some Yakuza 4 thrown in.

It's not much of a spoiler to say that Off The Record is basically still Dead Rising 2, but I played Dead Rising 2 multiple times and this gives me an excuse to play it again.  I actually miss Chuck Greene and his daughter.  Replacing them with unattached Frank West lowers the stakes considerably.  Plus his camera mechanic makes Frank kind of a vulture.  On the plus side there's some new content.  Also, the game runs really well.  And the Steam integration even includes the ability to import your Games For Windows Live save file.  They got a lot of technical bits right.  I'm sad they didn't have the resources to do the same for Dead Rising 3, which by many accounts has performance issues.  I picked it up anyway to see how it behaves.  It'll go in my new PC hope chest if it chugs.

I started to play Yakuza 4 yesterday.  My character has just had a tearful reunion, and I was eager to see what came next.  But then some random guy in a yellow gi asked me to help his struggling dojo, so I took two young fighters (one trying to impress a girl and one trying to get some self confidence after losing his job) and trained them up to the point where they won local championships.  This was a fully fleshed out mini-game where you choose training activities for your fighters, upgrade your dojo with the prize money they win, and even go out drinking with them to learn what motivates them and build trust.  I'm guessing it shares underpinnings with the hostess management mini-game, but not knowing it was there still made it a ridiculous surprise.  The surprises are what keep me coming back to the Yakuza games.

Dying Light: The Following (3 of 5)

This is a random glamour shot at a scenic park.  You can see the tour buses parked below, the countryside, and Harran, the city from the original game.  The scale is awesome, even if I had to turn down the settings so much that everything looks all scratchy.

I enjoyed Dying Light a lot.  First person parkouring is still pretty great and makes many other FPS games feel stuck in the mud.  I'd forgotten how much I missed that freedom until I was stuck in a room with too many zombies and suddenly realized that windows, purely for looking / shooting through in most games, could be climbed through.  Oh yeah.  Like in real life.

Okay, so I still appreciate the core of Dying Light.  Unfortunately they added a buggy.  I'm not against the idea, but it didn't work for me.  The buggy sucks initially.  There are tons of obstacles on the roads so there's no feeling of freedom.  It's like they wanted the buggy to follow the same trajectory as the parkour.  It starts weak, but as you add abilities and learn the lines of the map, you gain satisfaction from mastery.  But starting from zero again was a drag when I already had maxed out parkour abilities.  The new abilities gained for the car didn't change the lines I could take through the map in interesting ways.  And, most importantly, I wanted the buggy to be a change of pace, and it wasn't.  It felt like the parkour but not as good.

I enjoyed The Following.  And even though the buggy wasn't great.  I'm glad Techland didn't just play it safe.

26 June, 2016

Keepalive: Steam Summer Sale, Retro Game Crunch

written by Blain Newport on Sunday, 26 June 2016

The Steam Summer Sale is on until July 4.  Since they don't do daily deals anymore, you can browse sale items at your leisure.  My method of choice is going to Steam DB and looking at the deepest discounts with user reviews of 70% favorable or higher.  I didn't look at anything less than 70% off because that was still well over a thousand games to browse.  This is a good problem to have, although I would absolutely love the ability to build a filter list to never show certain games after I've viewed them and decided they're not for me.

Retro Game Challenge (3 of 5)

This is Shuten, one of the seven NES style games in Retro Game Challenge, and the only one I finished.  That's odd because I'm not much of a shmup guy, but Shuten does a couple nice things.  Firstly, you keep the gold you grab regardless of whether you finish the mission, so you're always making progress towards upgrades.  And second, you have a sword that reflects enemy bullets, so if it gets too bullet helly, just lay on the sword button and let the enemies eat their own spam.

Most of the other games were okay, but either wore out their welcome or just weren't my cup of tea to start with.  But for $2 I got five hours of fun puttering around with them.

22 June, 2016

Review: Assassin's Creed Brotherhood

written by Blain Newport on Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Assassin's Creed Brotherhood (3 of 5)

ACB is not a bad game.  But it mostly just adds busy work.

The traversal mechanics are the same.  They're just as boring when you're scaling the umpteenth tower.  And they're just as frustrating when the character does things that make no sense, wasting the player's time.

The combat is mostly the same.  It seems easier, but it's been long enough that maybe I just forgot.  They add a bunch of weapons and tools you don't really need.

The main addition to the combat is the ability to call in trainee assassins with a single button press.  I didn't need it much, so I didn't use it much.  But a couple times when I was trying to tail or chase down a target and just needed some guards out of the way, it was pretty cool to be able to have my recruits jump them and get back to the task at hand.  It was less cool when they wouldn't despawn and I had to revert to an earlier checkpoint, but open world games are always janky.

They were also one of the sources of busy work as they needed to be sent on missions every ten minutes or so to get enough XP to level up.  As idle / incremental games go, it was pretty bare bones.  But I still became kind of attached, trying to make sure I didn't give my first two assassins (Paulo AKA Grape Face and Carlotta AKA Blondie) too many babysitting missions and being happy to see them kicking butt when called into to main game.

The other main source of busy work was the economy.  Buy businesses to get an income to buy more businesses.  Invest in businesses you already own to potentially make money but also to earn trade goods which you otherwise only get out of chests and off of one enemy type and are required to complete "merchant quests" to get some of the best gear, which you don't really need because the game isn't that hard.  Blah.

And don't take my statement that the game isn't hard to mean I want it harder.  My character often didn't respond as he should in combat, so harder combat would only add frustration.

To sum up, recruits were kind of cool.  The rest of the game was a dish twice reheated with a side of busy work.

20 June, 2016

Keepdead: God of War 3, Clive Barker's Jericho

written by Blain Newport on Monday, 20 June 2016

My first full Monday of not going to work... I breathe as a free man.

A free man who forgot to take the recycling out. :P

God of War 3 (3 of 5)

It was a bunch of big, dumb, bloody spectacle with the occasional boob for no reason.  It was okay.

I do enjoy their reimagining of Greek mythology and the ways the gods relate and behave.  They showed gameplay at E3 from the new game which will be Norse, so their treatment of that pantheon will hopefully be as interesting.

Clive Barker's Jericho (I gave it a 4 of 5 in 2008 and stand by that)

Jericho has a 63 on Metacritic.  I have a hard time reconciling that.  Yes.  It's a simple corridor shooter.  Yes.  It's a supernatural action movie, not a horror game.  Yes.  It's not Undying.  Yes.  It's only six hours.  Yes.  There aren't that many enemy types.  Yes.  It's mostly gray and brown.  Yes.  It has some QTEs.  Yes.  I got sick of Delgado sarcastically saying "That was easy" to the point where I wondered if the game was co-sponsored by Staples.

But it's fun to shoot monsters.  It's fun to use powers (most of them anyway).  I mostly like the characters, broad action movie stereotypes as they are.  And it's only six hours.  It's nice to be able to play a story beginning to end in a day.

Also, I feel sorry for a lot of the reviewers who never realized how great Jones can be.  Legionary enemies must have sucked for them.

(I had to download legacy PhysX drivers to get the game to work.)

Uncharted 3 (0 of 5)

The disc wouldn't read.  Apparently this is a very common problem.  Oh well.  I heard 2 was the best one anyway.

17 June, 2016

Keepdead: Uncharted 2, Infamous 2, Resistance 3

written by Blain Newport on Friday, 17 June 2016

I quit my job, so I started digging in on the old PS3 games I bought and never got around to playing.

Uncharted 2 (4 of 5)

Nathan Drake goes off in search of ancient treasure again. I got bored and stopped part way through Uncharted 1 because it just didn't move. Uncharted 2 moves pretty well, with traversal, puzzles, combat, and talky / atmospheric bits to maintain variety.

The set piece I've heard podcasters mention multiple times is the train sequence. There are actually multiple train bits, but the main one has you fighting your way from back to front of a train moving from a jungle up into mountains. You fight on top and inside as the train is winding its way to its destination. The gamer's natural enemy (helicopters) attack. There are a lot of games with train levels. Hell, Blood had a train level. But Uncharted 2's goes the extra mile. It's an impressive technical achievement that almost sunk the game.

My favorite bit in the game was the village wander. Nathan is following a man who doesn't speak a language Drake knows through the man's village. You can make Nathan try to talk to people to see if maybe someone else speaks English. You can pet bulls. And when you see kids playing you can make a funny face at them. I think the first bit is done through proximity and the others through button presses but with no prompts. The lack of UI makes these interactions seem more natural and spontaneous.

I petted two bulls. One of them was a little out of the way, and I wondered if I should back track and make sure I got them all. There might be an achievement. But that started ruining the magic, so I let the thought evaporate and pressed on.

Infamous 2 (3 of 5)

Infamous is an open world super hero game where you can complete the story as a good or evil character. Much as with Uncharted, I just couldn't push myself to finish the first game in the series, but the sequel was entertaining enough that I saw it through. Part of that was the way they parceled out new abilities. By the time I completed the first game's first zone (of three, if I remember correctly) I felt like I'd seen all the powers and didn't feel like just clearing a bunch of new territory of jerks was going to be much fun. The second game has you unlocking new powers or new variations on current powers throughout. It still drags a bit, and that's with me skipping tons of rinse and repeat side content. They even added a mission builder for players to make their own rinse and repeat side content. Not helping.

Infamous 2 also has train bits. You have to rescue some people from circus cage train cars.

Resistance 3 (3 of 5)

Resistance 3 is an alternate history game where the Tunguska meteor of 1908 carried a virus that turned people into high tech alien monsters. As the name implies, things don't go well for the humans, so you're a grizzled resistance fighter striking back at our alien overlords. (Breaking the pattern, Resistance 2 was the entry I couldn't finish in this series.) Resistance 3 is not a bad game, but it feels like a throwback. The visuals are good for the time, but the basic design feels like a PS2 shooter, mostly because there's no regenerating health. You have to find green canisters which sometimes drop from enemies. For being the most important item in the game, they're small and easy to miss, often being obscured by the corpse of the enemy who dropped them.

Resistance 3's train bit involves fighting off a bunch of jerks in jeeps and trucks (way too many to be remotely believable) while you try to escape on a train. I stopped shooting for a bit and realized that many of the enemies chasing us would just crash and die all by themselves. It was weird.