Being a fireman is hard work, not only do you have to fight off fires, but in the case of Tommy Riley, you also have to take on a city full of Chimera. The fires are bad enough, in this particular story they are everywhere. But why fight a losing battle trying to put them out, when you can pick up your trusty axe, find a huge range of firearms and take it to the alien invaders who are responsible for igniting the flames.
Before we go on, it’s worth mentioning that this preview covers the first three levels of the game, I was told that the code would self destruct once the three levels were over and the game duly delivered. Given that this preview is based on software which is not the finished article, there was quite a few bugs and also a distinct lack of detail in some of the graphics. That’s not to say that the game doesn’t look fantastic, it’s just that it doesn’t seem that the finishing touches have been added yet, something that will no doubt be rectified by the time the full game gets here.
So back to the game, the story is one of hope. Tommy Riley is a hard working fireman with a wife and child, however all is not well. The Chimera are invading New York and soon into the game he is separated from his family, there is only one thing for it, fight back. Picking up his axe and numerous other weapons, Tommy goes out to fight the enemy and they better watch out because he is a pretty good shot.
Playing an FPS on the Vita is a brilliant experience, the dual sticks really make a big difference, as you’d expect. The sticks however aren’t the only thing which makes the experience a great one. Developer Nihilistic Software has continued the trend of integrating touch screen controls, giving the player some innovative ways to take down the enemy. These uses can be anything from cocking a bow with numerous explosive arrows, to firing the grenades from your weapons launcher. You can also throw other, numerous grenades using the touch screen, all of which feels very intuitive and far from fiddly.
Speaking of weapons, Burning Skies is full of them. Holding down the triangle button brings up a weapons wheel which carries all of the arms you have on your person. This allows you to quickly change when you are running low on bullets or if you need a certain weapon for the scenario you find yourself in. Weapons range from your standard guns, now familiar with the Resistance series, to the aforementioned Shotgun x Bow, which not only packs a punch in the bullets department, but also has a pretty devastating effect when firing its arrows upon the enemy.
To mix things up even more, a new Gray Tech element has also been introduced. These small cubes allow you to add up to six special effects to your weapons. When you find a cube you simply select the weapon you’d like to upgrade and which effect you’d like to use. You can assign six cubes to each weapon, although you can only use one effect at a time. There are numerous improvements which can be had with the Grey Tech such as improving the reload times, an increased clip size or even more damage. It’s a great feature and one that’ll have you hunting down cubes on each level.
As you’d expect from a Resistance game, you’ll face all creatures great and small on your way to saving New York and getting back to your family. The enemy ranges in size and type, whether you are facing Patrol Drone, Leapers, Hyribs or something a little more fierce, such as the Executioner. All of the enemies look fantastic and will do their utmost to take you down, which can include tactics such as sniping at you from a distance or running straight at you in numbers.
It’s hard to say how long it’ll take to play through the main game proper. There are six levels to unlock according to the trophy information and the three I played through took around three hours. There is also the multiplayer aspect of course, although I was unable to test this out. Based on what I’ve seen, I’m pretty sure that there will be enough packed into the game to provide value, and whose to say that content isn’t missing from the version previewed.
Resistance Burning Skies is certainly shaping up to be a great first FPS for the PlayStation Vita. With a little more polish this certainly should be a hit amongst PS Vita fans. It’ll be interesting to see how the finished article looks, but Burning Skies is already a game that I’m looking forward to playing through to completion.
Resistance Burning Skies is released for PS Vita on June 1. You can pre-order your copy from ShopTo here.