Saturday, June 9

More thoughts on Resistance: Burning Skies

I really want to like this game. Why is it trying so hard to break my resolve?
Allow me to explain. Resistance: Burning Skies follows the story of Tom Riley -- at least I think that's his name, the story is pretty much dead weight in my opinion -- a New York firefighter whose day goes from bad to worse upon answering a call-out to a factory fire and stumbling into the Chimera invasion. Solid premise, but you're thrown into the action straight away, and the little morsels of story you come across don't really form into anything compelling (or cohesive, for that matter). Cut-scenes are shown in a resolution that would be unacceptable for most smartphones, and support character models' mouths rarely animate in game. It's cut-price narrative in a full-priced affair.

As a firefighter, Tom carries a trusty axe with him throughout the adventure. Using the axe, players can initiate some fairly gruesome melee attack animations (which is good), but the sound will cut out half of the time; meaning the execution is less than convincing. In online multiplayer, melee kills make no sound at all if you successfully connect with your opponent; if you miss, you get a knife-swipey sound. In Resistance: Burning Skies, silence equals success. Issues like this aren't game-breakers, but there's so many little things wrong with this game, so many corners that the developers cut in order to get the product out there.

Online multiplayer is only possible if you've got a certain connection type that doesn't appear possible with my router/modem setup. Thankfully, I'm at my parents' place this weekend and managed to connect to a few matches. Unfortunately, all I really got for my troubles was a gold trophy. I can see potential here, but there's some huge problems with damage scaling and hit detection. Some examples include being hit (and killed) by an opponent's melee attack while standing on the opposite side of a long corridor and unloading an entire clip of a Bullseye into a tagged opponent with no kill to show for it. The maps I played on, however, were perfectly designed for the smaller-scale 4 vs 4 battles that Burning Skies is limited to. Patch this game, allow me to connect and we could have a time sink. In its current state though, I'll be lucky to be able to play it once every month.

Perhaps my biggest issue with the game though is the inability to save at checkpoints. If you're killed in the campaign, you'll find that the checkpoint system is fairly forgiving. If, however, you decide to quit out of the campaign to try multiplayer or use the Vita for other purposes, be prepared for frustration. You'll need to watch the unskippable level intro and make your way back to the point where you quit out. Players, beware!

All of these issues aside, I am genuinely enjoying Burning Skies. It's just a shame that the potential in this package has been compromised by a nothing story and a series of questionable design choices.


  1. What a sadly mixed bag, Trits. I loaded up Unit 13 last night, speaking of portable shooters, to find perhaps a system update had killed my data! Had to delete my profile and reinstall. That said, still a fine, fine game.

    Note that I played a ton of Resistance: Retribution online and it was magnificent. Sony Bend - portable developer demigods. Fingers crossed we get a Syphon Filter Vita reveal at Gamescom.

  2. I got a free download code for Retribution as a pre-order bonus (note: I didn't pre-order RBS). Might play through that again after I'm done with RBS. I imagine it'll be all the more enjoyable with two sticks.

  3. Sorry to hear about your Unit 13 save, old bean. I really should finish that game; if not for me, then for Ron.