Resistance 3 does not renew the idea of Vorganger – but extends it to the present day
The first part of the computer game "Resistance – Fall of Men" appeared at the same time as the console for which it was programmed exclusively as a "system seller": in 2007, on the PlayStation 3, you could return to the 1950s and see a world threatened not by the hydrogen bomb, but by mutants. The game got into trouble due to a religious background sequence and was patched by Sony. In the second part, the story was further paid in 2008 – the co-op mode was continued to the annoyance of many players. Now, in the third part, religion plays a role again – and fortunately for one or two players at a time.
The story of Joe Capelli takes place four years after the end of the second part: Capelli killed the hero of the first two parts, Nathan Hale, after he was infected with the virus of the aliens and began to mutate into one himself. This brought Capelli the dishonorable discharge from the army, because heroes are not killed. However, Hale served the good cause even after his death: From his blood Dr. Hale was able to create a new life form. Malikov developed a serum that would protect humans against the transformation into Chimeras – the name of the invaders. Stupid only that now only 10 percent of mankind was left and the aliens seem to be successful with their invasion also on conventional way.
Malikov tracks down Capelli, who in the meantime has settled down with his wife Susan and his son Jack, because there is a new task for him. The aliens have started to terraform the Earth. Gigantic air-conditioning systems in orbit, linked to stationary towers on the ground, will cool temperatures worldwide. New York is reportedly already buried under ice and snow. Malikov now asks Capelli to save humanity from cold death and figure out how to stop the terraforming process. Together with Susan (and referring to Jack’s future) he gets Capelli to take his Bullseye off the hook again and head for the Frozen Apple.
The new gods and the old god
Compared to its predecessors, "Resistance 3" stands out neither positively nor negatively. The story is completely linear, the typical alien shooter ingredients are all present: From a diverse arsenal of weapons to informative and cheering cut-scenes to hard-to-kill boss opponents. As in the predecessors, the third part of the series impresses with sometimes enormously rough opponents. One feels at the final sequence of Frank Darabont’s film "The Mist" recalls when Capelli, on his way to New York, travels by boat through a half-frozen, foggy swamp and stumbles upon so-called "Goliaths" – that is, aliens about 50 meters in size and several feet in height, which are actually almost impossible to defeat simply because of their coarseness.
This rough draft makes sense in the narrative superstructure: Such monstrosity-like features, like the terraforming station in New York that appears in the last game sequences, make one think of Lovecraft’s Cthulhu, that Damon who came to earth from outer space ages ago. And indeed, some of the aliens in "Resistance 3" have tentacles like Cthulhu, as does the "The Mist" monster. Against so much subterranean abbotry only true faith helps and so here and there in the cut-scenes and the conversations of the characters the faith in God is interspersed to provide the remaining humanity with a guiding principle for the battle. That didn’t work for "The Mist"; it does for "Resistance 3".
"Fight or die"
The slogan for such a holy war against aliens is "fight or die" and the parallels of the game plot to real existing religious wars are not accidental. The fact that "something happened" in New York City, as it says at the end – meaning the inevitable collapse of the terraforming tower – gets a strange connotation in 2011, 10 years after a huge skyscraper was destroyed in an act of war in New York City. Here – as usual in science fiction – fantastic plots are mixed with contemporary fear images of Western culture to help banish the evil symbolically via computer games.
The sentence "The sun is shining and the temperature is rising" heard on the radio in the final cut scene is by no means to be understood as a reference to any kind of real existing climate warming, but the image of the sun is part of the metaphor of the good, the divine; a metaphor of light that has always been known in Christian mythology. There are goals with higher priority than the creeping greenhouse effect.
Planes, Trains Automobiles
So, in the third part of "Resistance" we are at best dealing with a good-looking but in both game plot and discourse processing quite typical alien shooter. The game takes up subjects and settings that are currently being negotiated everywhere – above all, of course, those surrounding the perennial topic of the apocalypse. The game world is in shambles; so saving anything manifest from human culture can hardly be the ie. The furiously staged trummer landscapes – above all a snow-covered New York, as one has not seen it since Emmerich’s "The Day after Tomorrow" – show clearly that after the invasion a total new beginning must be on the plan. In this respect the plot resembles most apocalyptic science fiction of these days.
However, there is an original sequence in the last third of the film: when the hero, who had initially undertaken his odyssey by flying and boating, finally finds a steam locomotive-powered train with which he completes the last leg of his journey, passing through an area made unsafe by bandits. The opponents change from aliens to murderers and scavengers, there are Werster-like shootouts and some rough splatter sequences spoil the otherwise rather xenophobic events. Dr Feind – the standard message of the 50s paranoia SF – is to be found just also in the interior. The game is building up qualitatively, at least as far as the scenarios are concerned. For the fourth part, which will certainly not be long in coming, "Resistance 3" strikes the necessary narrative bridge. But unfortunately not much more.