Landing with another dose of the retro-50s alien invasion tropes that the series is known for, Resistance: Burning Skies marks the first dedicated FPS to appear in the PS Vita’s burgeoning software library. Unfortunately, what should have been a shining performance showcasing the versatility and power of the console is instead something of a mixed bag.
The good first, then: it manages to be a solid shooting experience, proving that the Vita can undeniably deliver when it comes to the mechanics of the genre. Twin sticks give the necessary range of view and movement, while the touchscreen allows quick implementation of secondary features such as targeting, drawing shields or reloading certain weapons. A reasonable selection of firepower is on offer, diversified further with customisations that can be applied. Switching between weapons is a simple and speedy affair, great for the more frenzied moments when you’ll need to switch tactics to more easily defeat the numerous forms of the invading Chimera. Aesthetically, Resistance looks good, but not great – we’ve already seen better looking games on the handheld – though this rough edge is smoothed by appropriate period touches, such as tutorials in the form of film reels.
The flipside though is that the story is a mish-mash of vague missions, never presenting more of a hook than a clichéd quest to find your family and kill a few Chimera en route. It’s linear to the point it might as well be on rails, and with minimal opportunity for exploration the game is reduced to little more than a shooting gallery. Some quirks of the control layout frustrate too, such as awkwardly double-tapping the rear pad to sprint. Online multiplayer is disappointing, with no real surprises in its selection of modes or challenges.
Resistance is competent when it should have been outstanding. While Empire readers may appreciate its nod to the ‘Red Menace’ sci-fi paranoia films of the 1950s, as a game in its own right it’s decidedly lacklustre.
Reviewed by Matt Kamen