Insomniac boss Ted Price has a new favourite word, and that word is "scale". He used it several times during the Resistance 2 demo at Sony's E3 conference, and he's using it again now as he shows off more of the game behind closed doors.
Resistance 2, Price explains, again, is all about scale. There's the scale of the environments - no more poking around parochial old Manchester, now you get to explore the sprawling metropolis of Chicago and go Chimera-hunting in rural Idaho. The scale of enemies has increased, as demonstrated by the giant leviathan shown off in the press conference demo. There are more of them too. But it's not unusal for a sequel to feature larger levels, extra enemies and bigger bosses. The most impressive increase in scale is the multiplayer modes.
The first game featured co-operative play, but offline and for only two players. Resistance 2's co-op mode is online for up to eight players, and comes complete with multiple classes, character progression and persistent rewards. There's also a separate storyline. It's set around the same time as the single-player narrative, Price explains, and unfolds within the same environments. You and your team take on the role of Sentinels, soldiers who are immune to the Chimera virus. "So far it's all working really well," says Price. "We're not showing it here at E3, but we're finishing it up for the real game."
That is when they're not working on Resistance 2's competitive multiplayer mode, which ups the number of players who can fight it out online from 40 to 60. "It's been a real challenge for us," Price admits. "We wanted to put more players in because we saw there would be an opportunity there. But at the same time, we knew that wouldn't necessarily be the smartest thing to do.
"We knew it would be tough, because chaos can arise very quickly," he continues. "So we decided everybody would be broken into squads so you would have more organisation. Then we created a dynamic objective system which gives each squad orders. That keeps them spread out across the field, and they don't get bunched up with each other."
It's all about motivating players to stick together, apparently. "We're trying to promote a dynamic where you want to stay with your squad and accomplish objectives together," explains Price. "You get more points that way. The points allow you to win, and when you win your experience points are multiplied. That gives you better rewards and moves you up in the personal rankings more quickly."
A 60-player multiplayer mode sounds impressive, but not quite as impressive as it did pre-E3. Or more specifically, before Sony unveiled MAG, which will see up to 256 players battling it out. "That's going to be an awesome one to watch. Everyone will learn a lot from how they do it," Price observes. "But there are similiarities with Resistance 2. We have the same goal - which is massive battles with more intimacy."
Insomniac is also focused on offering a strong single-player campaign - one that improves over that in the original game. "We got a lot of feedback from the fans, from people who had plenty to say about Resistance - good and bad," says Price. "We took that to heart and we applied it."