* Prices may differ from that shown
As I stated on my PSP review, I have often been left wanting when it comes to the games aspect of the console. Luckily, Resistance Retribution offers me hope of light at the end of the (very) long tunnel. Slick, understated and intensely entertaining, it is a must buy for your PSP trustees out there. This review will look at presentation and playability but won't focus on the story, both for want of not ruining it for you and for the fact that this info is readily available elsewhere for those who want it.
One of the key highlights of the title, the presentation is impeccable. Even the menus offer eye candy to PSP users, with ambient music blending with smart visuals to give you an instant feel of the game. To the right, the rather basic but sleek menu offers all the usual options while flanking it on the left is a beautifully rendered character model, moving and blinking while a French cityscape sits behind him and snow drops slowly on him. It really is impressive as far as PSP game presentation goes, and is only second to the high polish of Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops.
The presentation extends to pre-game cut scenes, with greatly detailed art is coupled with smart narration to offer you an insight into the story of the campaign mode. You always know where you stand, where you're going and why and this offers the game a flow unseen in other PSP titles. As you wait for the game to load (and my goodness me will you wait) a text 'diary' entry flanks the loading icon, and gives you more insight into the protagonist's feelings as you anticipate your entry into the action.
In-game cut-scenes are similarly stylised, with voice acting some of the best I've seen on the device. The audio is brilliant, and gives you a great deal of insight into the environment and atmosphere, with guns tearing enemies apart mercilessly and enemies shrieking maniacally as they approach. The graphics are also awesome. Nothing short of PS2 capability, they are truly stunning. Environments are varied and character models well rendered, an impressive feat for portable gaming.
One of the simpler games to play on the PSP, Resistance's control system obviously took a lot of thought to devise. Your character's movement is controlled by the analog stick while his sight is controlled by the buttons on the right (Triangle = up, X = down, Square = Left, Circle = right). This is a simple system to get used to and works well enough. Moreover, the aiming system is automatic, unless you turn this function off, making it easy to jump in and attack enemies with ease. One of the greatest features is the cover system: simply walk up behind a wall and your character will crouch behind it automatically. If you shoot, he'll briefly rise, only to crouch again once done. Tapping up on the d-pad zooms in on the target and works very well, offering precision shots. The HUD works well, showing what weapon is selected and how much ammo is left. As you progress, you earn skill points, which unlock goods.
The story mode is very lengthy, and even after numerous 40-minute-ish train sessions has yet to be completed. Thrilling, (largely) believable and gripping, I have found it a pleasure to play, and have never been bored by the script elements. For those looking for a greater depth of length, you can take the game online, a mode which works well and experiences very little lag. Being the first online PSP experience I've tried, I was pleasantly surprised with the results.
A brilliant portable title, and one of my favourites on PSP, this simple to play and rich gaming experience is a breath of fresh air to disillusioned PSP owners everywhere. At around £12 online, it comes highly recommended for those wanting to dust down their abandoned PSPs, offering one of the most lengthy game experiences available on the portable console.