Something compelled me to create this write up. After reading and seeing all the hype orbiting these two flagship games (namely "Gears of War" and "Resistance: The Fall of Man" and actually trying them for myself - I simply must voice my opinion. And as is (seldom) the case (apparently), whenever I have something a little deeper to say - it winds up on Everything2.
Having completed the first draft of my write up, I must warn people that this is mostly a recollection of my experiences with each game and a comparison thereof. So if you've never actually played any of the games, I fear my words will only add to any existing confusion.
I am a PC gamer
at heart and only within the 2 last years have I paid more attention to console games and their (often ridiculously poor) PC ports. I've recently played such enjoyable games as Devil May Cry 3
and Resident Evil 4
or even Metal Gear Solid 2
. It's not that I haven't kept up with the gaming scene outside of the PC realm, I just rarely got around to playing them unless they were available on the PC. Point being, I'm versed within the PC version of the FPS genre which both Resistance: The Fall of Man
and arguably Gears of War
It should also be noted that I played both games in Co-op
mode. I played an approximate 2-3 hours of Resistance: The Fall of Man
on a large (42" at least) flat screen with crisp sound, and Gears of War
for about 7 hours on a much smaller home Tv set with passable stereo sound. I've only played Gears of War
recently, where as Resistance: The Fall of Man
was "enjoyed" by me almost more than a month ago, but I will still try to recollect my feelings and impressions concerning both games on a number of topics...
Although Gears of War
(which I will from now on refer to as GoW) and Resistance: The Fall of Man
(which I will refer to as RFoM) have their differences, there are many reasons why one would want to compare the experience from the two. Yes, GoW is 3rd person
and RFoM is not. But from a very (perhaps very, very) abstract perspective they aim at delivering the same kind of experience. An exciting action packed thrill-ride through their own unique universe promising next-gen graphics and excellent playability. Although I have not actually checked up on what each game promises, the marketing industry being what it is, I think it is safe to assume that they promise all of the aforementioned features and more. You can't swing a dead cat in a video game store and not hit a game with "State of the art
" or "Next Generation
" or "Unsurpassed
Now then... In short: GoW is set in a future alternate universe with aliens, it features an arguably standard 3rd person control scheme, some various weapons with a little dash of vehicle play. RFoM is set in a past alternate universe with aliens, it features a traditional 1st person control scheme, some various weapons and somewhat more vehicle play than GoW.
However... This is where the similarities cease, and the...
will commence... Having played both games, I personally believe that I can safely say, that one of the games is nothing more than a completely generic reiteration of a tried, tested and by now fossilized type of gameplay, where as the other is well deserving of all the praise I've seen associated with it. While not flawless, I thoroughly enjoyed most of the time I spent playing the other game.
So what's what?
I'm sad to say that Resistance: The Fall of Man is the game I'm referring to when I mention a completely generic reiteration. I'm not exactly sure where to start, because in my opinion there is no big obvious flaw in the game. Apart from the fact that it is completely devoid of enjoyment. Apart from tiny gimmicks, such as heat seeking bullets, nothing in RFoM excited or thrilled me. Before actually trying the game, I was personally very intrigued by the plot involving an alternate reality where aliens invade planet earth during the second world war and all hell breaks loose. But I simply didn't have fun when playing the game. Move forward, find enemy, shoot, shoot some more, move forward. Yes, this particular phrase can be thrust upon most FPS's, but only for the games that do not immerse the player, does this phrase become fact whilst playing the game. Apart from obvious differences, I would compare RFoM to Quake 2, with which I had an equally bland experience. There's nothing to keep you going, and I'm honestly having a hard time putting my finger on it. Perhaps because I really want to say something good about RFoM, or perhaps because all the things I would criticize can be applied to other games I enjoy. Maybe that's the problem, that every criticizeable thing that can be individually found in other enjoyable games, are now collected in one sweet package called Resistance: The Fall of Man. I have to admit I had a very hard time coming to terms with what (apparently many) people find so fascinating with the game. According to popular review sites, I am clearly alone with my opinion. The game is so tasteless and bland that... That I can say no more I suppose... But please... Wait with the crucifix until the end of the node :)
Although this is going to shoot me right up the X-Box 360 fan-boy flagpole for most readers, I must admit that Gears of War is a fantastic game. The controls are relatively easy to get used to, the gameplay is fast-paced fun and the characters are enjoyable. Dodging from cover to cover and blasting the baddies was throughly enjoyable. It it this type of game I sorely miss on the PC, especially since it's Coop fun. However, as far as I've gathered, there is a PC port in the works. The surroundings in GoW are pretty and fit the scenario in my opinion. The framerate does drop occasionally and sometimes it struggles to show the cutscenes (which are therefore probably rendered real-time in the engine). The surroundings in RFoM are pretty as well, but devoid of anything of particular interest. Everything looks like it's suppose to, yet still lacks something as well. I know, I know... Another criticism devoid of anything concrete. I'll try to explain as well as I can in...
Which we may as well move on to, since it seems I have nothing specific to gripe about. But I do, and I will now put to you - the reader - my final attempt to clarify things. Imagine you have a favorite genre, and for arguments sake let's just pick First Person Shooter
s. You have tried a fair amount of games within this specific genre and have slowly honed your senses on what in most respects comply with what others believe to be the good FPS games. Doom
1 & 2
, Half-Life 1
, Duke Nukem 3D
, Max Payne 1
(yes, yes, 3rd person
), Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay
, and the list goes on. Now then... Given this situation, someone provides you with Resistance: The Fall of Man
. A game which shares all of the generic qualities of a run-of-the-mill
... And that's it... Nothing new is put on the table. You're served the same meal you've tasted in countless other games. Additionally, if you are somewhat inept at a using a gamepad, the experience is only further destroyed. If I were to make an analogy I would compare it a little bit to work (which can also be fun). Each new task usually comes with one or two new twists which makes it unique and challenging. Then someone hands you a task which does not provide anything new and furthermore makes the repetitive task you are used to more awkward and frustrating.
Now then... I realize that I did not play very far into RFoM but I do believe that if I am not sufficiently entertained after 2-3 hours of coop play, there is something wrong and no amount of "upcoming greatness" can justify that. I am also aware that being a PC gamer, one is somewhat spoiled when it comes to the FPS genre. However, this does not excuse a game such as RFoM from adding something new to the formula, which I believe it fails at. In fact, I'm not sure it attempts it... Since I personally felt my critique of RFoM is rather flimsy, even though I firmly believe it is an absolute standard game - I thought I'd look at a review and see what they praise. Greg Kasavin from Gamespot writes:
What helps to distinguish Resistance from other first-person shooters is the quality of its weapon design, its enemy artificial intelligence, and its presentation. While these aspects of the game are not substantially different or vastly superior to what's been done before, they're right up there with the best of what such games have had to offer.
I can't exactly disagree with anything Greg writes (except for the fact that none of the mentioned features are very distinguishing), but I can tell you that it doesn't amount to any fun game play. Perhaps what it comes down to is this: I am well versed with a gamepad, but even more so with a mouse (which i used daily). Resistance: The Fall of Man
takes all the aspects of the FPS
genre and provides it on the Playstation 3
platform. Not being as able with the gamepad as with the mouse, the game feels awkward and often annoying. Traversing the landscape and ingeniously outsmarting the enemy feels ludicrous when I actually feel like I'm lumbering around not completely in control of what I'm doing. Any gameplay beyond the "locate, aim, and shoot" aspect is thin or non-existent. Hence, the game falls flat on its face for anyone whose seen it all before. Gears of War
heavily incorporates the duck and cover
aspect of combat which works extremely well. Dodging back and forth is a blast and given that I've only played the game once, I can vouch for the fact that getting into it is easy, at least if you've played video games before. Just to set the record straight, I did on a number of occasion also "lumber" about in GoW, but it seemed to matter less since the remaining gameplay functionality still added so much enjoyment.
I guess it comes down to this. If you've never played a First Person Shooter
before, Resistance: The Fall of Man
is well worth your time. I think... But given the state of FPS
games, it in no way deserves higher marks than just around 80%, and even that is being generous in my opinion. Gears of War
on the other hand, both for new-comers and experienced gamers is a blast. Easily something in the 80% region or higher...
At least, that's my experience concerning both games...
Addendum: I must admit I am puzzled as to the "A stranger on the Platform" soft link. First off, the PC platform is the host for multiple FPS'. In that respect (even though it may sound somewhat pompus) I believe that my taste is at the very least equally as refined as any one staying mainly within the console area of gaming. With regards to the gamepad issue - as I wrote, I am more versed with a mouse, but at the point of writing (and even more so now) I am quite experienced with a gamepad, so I'd say my abilities equal any regular player on a console. I can't really wrap my head around any other significant differences...