It’s October 2021 and Resistance: Burning Skies remains the most recent release in the Resistance series, which is kind of a shame. This game certainly isn’t as bad as I was lead to believe, but it sure isn’t great either.
After the third-person, cover-based shooting of Retribution, Burning Skies returned the action to a first-person perspective. With the Vita’s dual analog sticks this was a welcome return, although their proximity to the touch screen resulted in many unintentionally tossed grenades. As implemented, the touch screen and rear touch pad were more of a hindrance than a benefit.
As usual, there was a solid selection of firearms with unique alternate fire modes not seen in most first-person shooters. They felt good to use and offered fun variety, although the action wore thin as I mowed down hordes of Chimera in sparse environments. It wasn’t a particularly attractive game, but it ran well, and for someone who hasn’t experienced one of the numerous visually resplendent battle royale games on their phone, it was novel to see such a “good looking” game in the palm of my hands.
Set against the backdrop of the Chimeran invasion of North America, I was once again witnessing humanity’s first encounters with these violent aliens. This time, I assumed the role of an unassuming New York firefighter unwittingly thrust into the role of savior. The events that played out were rather forgettable, save for one: when the protagonist’s wife asked him to mercifully kill her. With little character development or buildup, the ensuing button prompt may just be the least emotionally resonant scene in any video game.
Honestly, the thing I’ll remember most about my time with the game will be shilling out ten bucks for a gosh-darned online pass. It’s not like I was dying to play the multiplayer, and even if I was I was out of luck. The online scene for this game has realistically been dead since what, maybe a couple weeks after it launched, if there ever really was one?
No, I bought that online pass so I could get the sole multiplayer trophy, thereby unlocking the desirable platinum trophy. Props to Sony for keeping the servers online, but uh, shame on Sony for having NEVER discounted the online pass in nearly ten years. Then again, in just the last two months there have been around fifty users of psnprofiles.com to unlock the platinum, which means they either bought the online pass or digital version of the game. That revenue is infinitesimal for Sony, but it’s still something.
This revenue is of no consequence to the now defunct Nihilistic Software, this game’s Novato, California based developer. Oddly enough, they’re perhaps best known for a game that never came out – StarCraft: Ghost. They worked on a handful of other titles during their decade long existence, but their follow-up to Burning Skies was the universally panned Call of Duty: Black Ops – Declassified, after which the studio shuttered.
And speaking of games that’ll never come out, it seems like even though Sony has now acquired Insomniac Games, there’s not much hope of another Resistance title, let alone a trilogy compilation. I always felt those games were rock solid entries in Sony’s lineup, and assume they sold decently. Then again, they do feel like a byproduct of the mid 2000s, when Sony was trying to find their own Halo, and anyway the first-person shooter market is VERY different nowadays. And so, Resistance: Burning Skies will remain a forgettable final entry in the once venerable series.