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Resistance 3 • Page 2

Beige turner.

The weapon set on offer in this brief demo is drawn from familiar favourites. The Bullseye, Auger and Marksman all return, and seem to have retained their secondary fire functions from the previous game. Also present is the HE .44 Magnum, easily my favourite weapon in any FPS ever, combining the joys of Dirty Harry stopping power with the impact of a sticky bomb.

There are still eight empty weapon slots to be filled by the full game. Since there's a new levelling-up system that can evolve your weapon's abilities as you play, it seems likely that Insomniac's passion for inventive mayhem will be indulged once more.

What stands out from this fierce little skirmish is just how much freedom you have to approach the battle in your own way. The map is small, but packed with nooks and crannies. Most buildings can be entered and explored to find new vantage points, while an ammo crate for infinite reloads keeps you focussed on the centre of the map where the action is hottest.

In one memorable moment, I used the Bullseye to tag a Longleg as it hopped from roof to roof. Then, as it leapt directly over my head, my tracer rounds followed its arc and exploded it into a messy shower of blood and meat in mid-air.

It was one of those instinctive, immediate moments of gaming satisfaction, all the more enjoyable because it came about through my own reactions to what was happening rather than a scripted moment.

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The smoke and particle effects are some of the best of this generation.

There's been a tendency in recent years for shooters to force feed players with pre-planned "cool moments", as if developers don't trust us to make their game look good. Resistance 3 seems to represent the opposite, with a large chaotic situation in an open environment and a toybox that lets you create your own action movie moments through ambient play.

And then, once the Chimera have been dealt with, out come the big guns in the shape of a Hulk. This Kong-style monstrosity proceeds to rampage around the level, his attention flicking from one human to another.

He stomps and crushes. He rips up chunks of tarmac and flings them at your head. He fires projectiles and emits blasts of flame. He's terrifying, and suddenly your souped-up arsenal doesn't seem quite so powerful.

Hulk doesn't follow any set pattern so fighting against him is an exhausting experience, putting you on the back foot and forcing you to reevaluate and reconsider your tactics on the fly. Watching other people on the different demo pods at Sony's PlayStation Experience press event, it soon becomes clear that there are lots of workable strategies for bringing him down.

Some use the Auger to identify the weak spots in his armour and chip away at him with technical precision. Others take to the upper floors of the surrounding buildings and tackle him with grenades and precise sniper fire, leaving the unfortunate NPCs to maintain the pressure and soak up the heavy damage.

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That's going to leave a stain...

As for me, I use my trusty HE .44 Magnum and peppered the lumpy great brute with explosive shells, detonating them all at once for the proverbial MASSIVE DAMAGE before scrambling to the ammo crate to restock.

Finally, breathlessly, the beast falls and the demo ends with Capelli taking the first steps on a journey that will take him from the wastelands of Oklahoma to the ruins of New York. There, presumably, he'll find some way to balance out the enormous odds stacked against us.

With maybe 20 minutes of playtime in its demo version, it's hard to draw too many conclusions about what we can expect from Resistance 3 when the full game lands in September. Multiplayer is still a mystery, as is the co-operative gameplay.

For solo players, however, Insomniac seems intent on offering the best of both worlds - the pace and action of classic FPS titles of old blended with the freedom and customisation of more modern entries in the genre. Whether they can pull it off over a full campaign remains to be seen, but this small but savage taster packs a serious punch.

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