PSP Game Reviews: Resistance: Retribution Review

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Resistance: Retribution Review

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Graphics:

 

8.0

Gameplay:

 

7.9

Sound:

 

7.9

Control:

 

7.0

Replay Value:

 

7.0

Online Gameplay:

 

8.0

Overall Rating:       7.9

 

 

Publisher:

SCEA

Developer:

Sony Bend

Number Of Players:

1 Player (2-8 Online)

Genre:

Action

It's unlikely to find a first-party developer that boasts two superb first-person shooter franchises in their portfolio. When Sony launched the PS3 with Resistance, it also launched an all new brand that many knew would see sequels and spin-offs. Much like Killzone, which did not see the same caliber of success as the first Resistance, Resistance has also been given a PSP spin-off, but this one isn't a strategy game. Instead, it caters to the all new Gears of War fanbase that love to run and gun on the move.

Resistance Retribution takes place in 1950s Europe, and takes place between the events of Resistance and Resistance 2. You are James Grayson, a British Marine, and you come to find your brother at a Chimeran infection/conversion center. Even though it isn't a complete conversion, it's enough to make the mutation wild and rabid, and Grayson has to put an end to his own brother's life. The events send our character off the edge and Grayson abandons his troops in search of all other conversion centers. Grayson is successful in destroying a bunch of them, but is apprehended and sent to jail for his abandonment. Originally set to serve life, Grayson's expertise and help is needed by a French resistance faction known as the Maquis.

So you, an Englishman, have been bailed out by a Frenchwoman, and while you be feel a bit confused as to how you should feel about something like that, you'll take it. Once you begin Retribution you'll immediately notice something, and that would be the controls. Because the PSP only features one analog stick, that means Bend had to get a bit creative with the control scheme. You will move your player using the analog stick, but in order to aim you have to make use of the face buttons, X is down, Square is left, Triangle is up, and Circle is right - so think of their arrangement directionally. To be perfectly blunt, it takes a while to get used to these controls, and even when you feel like you're getting used to them, you're still not quite there.

There is simply no replacing the feel and precision of two analog sticks for such actions. You do have the ability to use an alternate control scheme where the analog nub is to aim, and the face buttons are for movement, but again, you'll still feel like you're missing the precision. Unfortunately for Resistance Retribution is that not only do the controls damper the game, but they also show the PSP's age and limitations. If you can get past the controls, you've got a solid third-person shooter for your handheld.

The game is setup much like a regular Resistance game is, allowing two weapons and grenades. Retribution's health regeneration works the same way as the other games, refilling only a certain quarter of your health bar, so you'll need to scour for health packs during missions. Because this is a third-person game, there is a cover mechanic to employ as well as an over-the-shoulder aim ability, much like Gears of War. I must address a complaint with the A.I. and it's that when you're shooting down the standard Chimera, you don't feel this sense that headshots are rewarding. It requires quite a number of bullets to shoot down one Chimera foe, and I'd have wished for fewer shots to take them down. On the other hand, there are enemies such as the Boilers, where the best and most immediate way to kill them is with a headshot - these top-swollen creature's heads explode if you perform a headshot.

The overall campaign experience is pretty nice once you get passed the controls, but Retribution also features a horde of other features such as the Multiplayer and PS3 Connectivity. For starters, the multiplayer is good for up to eight gamers local or online, with five modes: Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, Containment, Capture the Flag, and Assimilation. Assimilation, which is essentially a game of tag, is arguably the most fun. Now, as for the PS3 Connectivity, with the presence of Resistance 2 and Retribution, you can play through the campaign in Infected Mode (an alternate storyline, history, different weapons, etc.), or you can play it via Dual Shock 3. As cool as these options are, they'll also make you feel cheated. You cannot use the PSP Plus Mode or Infected Mode unless you have Resistance 2, which means that many will never get to experience these modes and features. It'd have been nice to at least let us use a Dual Shock 3 without having to always fire up R2.

Visually, Resistance Retribution looks solid for a PSP game. The game world isn't anywhere near as large as the console games, and certainly more linear, but the details the environments are made up of are nice. Textures are of proper quality, and so are the characters in the game. I've noticed that, even though the lip-syncing is predictably lackluster, the player animations are still very nice. In all honesty, having been spoiled by PS3 games and HD visuals, it's hard to love the visuals in Retribution. I do acknowledge that they are solid for a handheld, but still feel as if the PSP is capable of a bit more. Lastly, the framerate holds up well for the most part, with some dips here and there.

Retribution's audio features the standard bag of sounds you'd expect. Granted, through the PSP's speakers the action doesn't sound as exciting, but when using the PSP2000's A/V out feature, it's pretty solid stuff. There is a considerable amount of voice acting in the game, some good, some that could be better, but nothing that's terrible. In general, Retribution's audio does a good job at preserving the aural presentation of the console games.

Ultimately, Resistance Retribution is a great first effort, which is largely marred by a limitation of the PSP itself and not necessarily a fault of the game's design. If you can get over the controls and really get used to them, you'll find, what is essentially, a portable Gears of War. I do believe that Sony's forced implementation of the PS3 and Resistance 2 connectivity will make the gamer feel cheated, as those modes are too cool to not experience on the game as a stand alone product. There is a downloadable demo of the game out there, give it a shot before purchasing.

3/19/2009 Arnold Katayev

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Comments (24 posts)

OriginalSin
Thursday, March 19, 2009 @ 1:55:27 AM
Reply

Cool I might give it a try seeing I do have R2 so I will be able to use my Dualshock3 to play it... Might be pretty cool.

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Cavan
Thursday, March 19, 2009 @ 2:49:02 AM
Reply

gave it a shot, just couldnt get down the controls, and i swapped R2 for K2 so i wont be using the DS3, Nevermind.

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ed_winchester
Thursday, March 19, 2009 @ 4:08:27 AM
Reply

I played the demo and found the controls easier to get used to than expected. Infected mode and Plus mode sounds interesting and is something outher devs should consider in terms of PS3/PSP connectivity

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thepill
Thursday, March 19, 2009 @ 5:20:30 AM
Reply

I agree with this review, but with that being said, I LOVE PLAYING THIS GAME. I use my psp video cable, and play with my dualshock 3 on my tv. On the tv the graphics remind me of several ps2 games I've played. When playing with a ds3 the controls are great.

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cowboy828
Thursday, March 19, 2009 @ 7:12:51 AM
Reply

this might make people want to buy the ps3 and R2.
I like using my ps3 controller it rocks.
ands as feeling cheated I think that it wrong people who paid money for a ps3 an R2 should be offered limited stuff like this.
so all I have to say is tough luck and buy a PS3!!!!!!!!!!oh and R2!!!!!!!!!!

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Tim Speed24
Thursday, March 19, 2009 @ 7:34:47 AM
Reply

I switched to the alternate control scheme and within a few minutes was having a great time..... moving/aiming quite well.

I hope Sony does listen to its fans and installs a second analog stick on the PSP2. Just think of the shooters you could take on the go.....oh baby!

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tanner1
Thursday, March 19, 2009 @ 7:38:25 AM
Reply

I have seen 9.5, 9.3, 9.2 and a 9 for this game, who do we go with?

Last edited by tanner1 on 3/19/2009 7:38:46 AM

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RustEDalex
Thursday, March 19, 2009 @ 8:05:44 AM

I would of given this game a 8.5 or a 9, its definitely one of the top shooters the psp has even though the controls aren't that good

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pavlovic
Thursday, March 19, 2009 @ 9:33:10 AM
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I couldn't stand the controls in the demo, I think I'll skip this one

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raztad
Thursday, March 19, 2009 @ 10:09:29 AM
Reply

It is clear to me that Sony didnt mean PSP as a FPS o TPS handheld. IMO they took the second analog off in order to encourage devels to be creative.

What Bend (Dark Mirror and Logans shadow fame) accomplished with Resistence:R is the best you can get on the PSP for a TPS game. I dont think PSP is showing any age, on the contrary, it is very capable portable that only needs some creativity and NO more TPS or FPS. For example I loved KZ:Liberation, amazing and challenging game.

Futhermore, nobody is making TPS or FPS for Nintendo DS, because it is not suited for that, why to make them for the PSP?. I want more Patapons, Locorocos, KZ:L, amazing RPGs, LittleBigPlanets, MotorStom, action/adventures games. That is the way to go.

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Daedusian
Thursday, March 19, 2009 @ 11:47:10 AM
Reply

Wow thought the score would be higher, but Arnold speaks the truth!

I'll probably be picking this up as I am a HUGE fan of the series.. aaanndd I need something for my PSP. =)

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Cpt_Geez
Thursday, March 19, 2009 @ 12:13:42 PM
Reply

Resistance R plays smoothly using the dual shock 3. Thee controls take a minute to get used to if you play it on the psp itself, but its still a solid title.

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Vivi_Gamer
Thursday, March 19, 2009 @ 12:17:51 PM
Reply

I like Resistance 1 and 2, bbut i dont know if i really want to get this one, R2s story was a bit off, but i havent played my PSP in a year or so , it would be nice to have a reason to get it out from under my bed.

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Ogibillm
Friday, March 20, 2009 @ 12:02:54 AM
Reply

i gotta say i'm having a hard time putting it down. it's easily one of the best psp games, and the option of using the ds3 and the video hookup just makes it that much better.

i'd love to see that option on more psp games - GoW comes to mind, and both syphon filter games.

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Robertson99
Friday, March 20, 2009 @ 10:26:11 AM
Reply

Firstly, the controls aren't hard to get used to at all. I picked them up straight away and they are really simple. Secondly, the graphics are awesome for a PSP game, especially in the cut scenes! And thirdly, cheated that you can't use infected and plus modes without R2? Not really. Sony is a business, and what better incentive than to use options like that to boost the sales of other games and consoles? I got the impression that you don't like the PSP. This is easily one of the best games on it and a solid reason to play it again / buy one!!

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dier
Friday, March 20, 2009 @ 3:24:02 PM
Reply

Well, great review except for the fact that the author apparently didn't play the game (or purposefully changed settings which he didn't mention). The aim assist feature on the game is changes how you use the PSP controls entirely. It will auto targets that are within a rather large yellow section. This allows for very minor changes via the O,X,A,[] (this assist is disabled when using the DS3). Compared to every other shooter, this is leaps and bounds above them. I may not love the game, but not giving the readers all the info is bad form.

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somethingrandom
Friday, March 20, 2009 @ 5:54:32 PM
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Well Sony didn't leave them much of an option for controls, so I'll give it a try.

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MadKatBebop
Sunday, April 05, 2009 @ 1:08:24 AM
Reply

Best game Ive played on the PSP since god of war chains of olympus.

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jane
Wednesday, April 08, 2009 @ 9:51:07 PM
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Did you know you could "infect" your PS3 with Resistance: Retribution to unlock bonus content in Resistance 2? Check out the info at www.myspace.com/pspresistance, http://tr.im/hu8K

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jane
Monday, April 13, 2009 @ 4:16:36 PM
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What do YOU think about the Resistance Retribution featured weapon of the week? Check out what developers are saying at www.myspace.com/pspresistance http://tr.im/hu8K.

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WigSplasher
Saturday, September 19, 2009 @ 6:06:00 PM
Reply

i think i'm gonna pick this game up pretty soon... my psp's been collecting dust since last september and i've got R2 so i can infect it

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dannysam
Thursday, February 25, 2010 @ 7:04:45 PM
Reply

the game is really good but y the hell does he walk so slow i beat the game i would give it a ten

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inVersion
Thursday, April 28, 2011 @ 12:32:16 PM
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yay!

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inVersion
Thursday, April 28, 2011 @ 12:32:33 PM
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khv

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