Insomniac Games CEO Ted Price announced earlier this week that the studio will no longer be making Resistance games in the series. Insomniac released the primary 3 games on the PS3; the PSP game Retribution and upcoming PS Vita game Burning Skies were developed by SCE Bend and Nihilistic Software, respectively. He clarifies this info in the video above.
Resistance: Fall of Man was a launch title for the PS3 and got a nice bit of positive reception. It felt like a game that qualified as a PS3 title, in addition to being just a great launch title. It had an alternate history in which an alien species invaded the world and the narrative explaining the adventures of ranger Nathan Hale kept things engaging. Resistance 3 was led by Joe Capelli, who wasn’t well received in the storyline after events of Resistance 2, as he was dishonorably discharged in R3’s prologue.
The news of no more Resistance from Insomniac is disappointing considering what a great development studio Insomniac is. However, sales numbers might be a point Insomniac considered very much, and somewhat disappointing reception of R3’s ending. Also, Overstrike is primed to be their next big hit; I’m really interested to see what that game is going to be like.
The game apparently only sold 180,000 copies in its first month (all but 5 days of September), debuted at #7 in the NPD rankings and failed to reach the top 10 in following months. This was one of Sony’s big games in 2011 (though not the biggest considering Uncharted 3). R3 got a head start on Xbox 360 exclusive Gears of War 3, but so much fanfare about that game put Resistance in the passenger side for September. In an era littered with FPS games, unless you’re Call of Duty or you put forth as huge a marketing pitch as Battlefield 3 did, you’re going to have trouble finding commercial success. I wonder if Insomniac felt that they could only squeeze so much out of the series, and perhaps picked an ideal time to move on.
I’ve played all 3 Resistance games, the first two as recently as a month before R3, in much anticipation of that game. It feels cliché to write all of these next few sentences, but Fall of Man was really intriguing because of the idea of an alternate history and the exploration of all the different elements, including Nathan Hale’s slow transformation into a Chimera. Resistance 2 made the scale bigger, but the problem with it was it took away those great moments in Fall of Man where it was just you versus Chimera, not knowing where they’d crawl out of. It did improve upon the controls and modified some key weapons for the better, but they had to kill off Hale before his Chimeran transformation was complete.
Resistance 3 was kind of a mish-mash of the first 2 games. Fighting with a small group of fighters had a feeling similar to what you see in Half-Life 2 with the… wait for it… Resistance, which really sold me on giving the series a chance. They made further improvements to the guns, making the best versions of the Bullseye and the Auger among others. I give Insomniac a ton of credit for improving their FPS mechanics each game and fine tuning multiplayer.
Resistance 3’s ending is pretty conclusive. Spoilers: humans win. I just didn’t like how it was implied rather than shown. They mention the rebuilding of the Statue of Liberty, but why not the Golden Gate Bridge or other significant landmarks? Also, the final chapters were a drag compared to either the middle chapters of R3 or R2’s final chapters. If the series does continue from Sony, I don’t know what more they could do. Burning Skies takes place in 1951, the same time as R1 and R2, 4 years prior to the events of R3. There’s been rumors of God of War 4, something that quite frankly I’m not sure I want, and the same might apply if Sony were to try and pull that on us with whoever takes development of future Resistance games.
I picked Resistance 3 as my favorite FPS of the year and I do think it’s the better of the FPS exclusives on PS3. Certainly, I felt R3 was a street-date purchase. This news gives me no reason to want to trade in the games, though I’d be concerned right now that Resistance’s best days are behind it. I worry the same way about this as I do Halo, which Bungie left in Microsoft’s care after finishing Reach.