PAX 08 in Review: Resistance: Retribution

Friday, September 5, 2008
Retribution is the PSP title and first expansion of the Resistance series beyond it's mother console. Taking place in Europe rather than the US, the game focuses on what's been going on in the wake of the Chimera takeover. Details beyond that are still hazy, but so far, the story seems interesting enough.

The controls for most console shooters these days require the use of two thumbsticks. The PSP only has one, so a little ingenuity is required. The four buttons on the right of the handheld take over the job of aiming. At first, this system feels unnatural and strange. Before long however, it feels like second nature. The developers say they're all big fans of Goldeneye (who isn't) and to some degree the controls feel similar.

Targeting is accomplished by aiming your reticule near the brackets around each enemy. Get your reticule close enough and there's a small amount of auto aim that keeps you aiming at fast moving enemies. There's a fine line this mechanic walks between making the game too easy, and not giving enough help. Luckily, the mechanic is well tuned enough that it, like Johnny Cash, walks the line.

The most surprising bit of information the developers were willing to share was that the game is still pre-alpha. Sure the game looked a little rough around the edges in a few places, but to have a game this polished and functional pre-alpha is unheard of. There are plenty of final releases that don't have anything near the polish and poise of Retribution. If this is a sign of things to come, the future is bright indeed.