Preview: Resistance: Burning Skies
Tom Riley isn't your typical first-person shooter hero. He's not a super soldier. He's a New York firefighter – more used to swinging an axe than wielding a gun but he's tasked with saving Earth in Resistance: Burning Skies, a shooter for Sony's new PS Vita.
Set in the early days of a chimeran invasion of Earth in 1951, Burning Skies comes from Californian game developer Nihilistic Software (Vampire: Masquerade Redemption, Marvel Nemesis: Rise of the Imperfects) and is the fifth Resistance game (three appeared on the PlayStation 3 from Ratchet and Clank developers Insomniac).
I recently got a chance to play through the first three levels of the game, which utilises the Vita's front touchscreen extensively.
In the first part of the demo Riley and his squad are heading to what they think is a routine fire, but he ends up having to rescue a colleague trapped in a burning power station. After smashing through a door with an axe (done by swiping across the screen), Riley comes across a lone chimeran soldier, kills it and takes its weapon.
It's here that we see that the portable version using some of the weapons from the PS3 version. The Bullseye has the standard firing mode but also secondary fire – bullets that follow an enemy no matter where they go, even behind cover. All you have to do is tap on an enemy using the front screen then pull the right shoulder button to fire. The touchscreen is also used to throw grenades (touch the grenade icon then drag to where you want to throw it), smash doors using the fire axe and re-load the game's crossbow (swiping back on the screen loads the explosive bolt).
Judging from the small part I played, Burning Skies is a linear game – there's no chance to explore the game world outside the pre-determined path – and the dialogue is a bit cliched at times, but Resistance Burning Skies has promise, with some nice set pieces.
While visually Burning Skies didn't knock my socks off (at least when compared to its PS3 brother), developer Nihilistic has done a good job of capturing the feel of the Resistance universe, complete with "boss" battles. What feels right is using the Vita's twin thumb sticks to control the camera and Riley's movement.
We'll have to wait until later this month to find out whether the game captures the Resistance feel for the remainder of the single player campaign or turns into another formulaic FPS.