Resistance had its fair share of critics. Consider the following statement: "Few knew who this Sergeant Nathan Hale was, why the American soldier with an impossibly generic face had muscled into Britain's fight for survival against the Chimeran menace. Or why it was thought a workable idea for him to be described in the third-person throughout a first-person game."
No, that's not a quote from Captain Rachel Parker, the distancing voice of exposition from Resistance: Fall of Man. It's just our way to point out how lame her inclusion was and why, in Resistance 2, her absence is just one of many brilliant changes that are set to make the sequel stand head and shoulders above the original.
It's going to be bigger to the point of qualifying as 'vast', deeper than a French poet drunk on laudanum and more social than an STD. And at last, the cookie-cutter hero, the infected American soldier Hale, will finally get to defend his own country after being overpaid, over-sexed (well, probed by aliens) and over here. Go on. Bugger off.
All guns blazing
Fall of Man was a PS3 launch title and with that came some benefits, namely if you were one of the first people to buy the new console, then you had bugger all choice of what to get with it should you have hankered for something to kill.
The decision was easy. While the online multiplayer modes offered ace 40-player action, the single-player campaign was mired by poorly realised restart points and a sucky health system that managed to combine the most infuriating elements of recharging health bars and collectible medical packs yet devised.
The Chimeran, as bog-standard mutant alien bad dudes, contrasted their sharp detail and design with settings that, although they were set in Fifties UK, might as well (aside from famous landmarks) have come from a PS2 Medal of Honor title set in Normandy.
It's still a decent shooter in many areas, but when viewed through the prism of more recent fare like Call of Duty 4 and even Blacksite: Area 51's depiction of aliens rampaging through urban dereliction, it's obviously not the game to continue to define the console. It's already looking to be greying at the temples and unable to keep up with the pace set by more modern titles, less than a year since its original release.
The next chapter
Resistance 2 starts just after the original ended. Nathan Hale, a man seemingly named by machines designed to grind out action movie hero monikers, had fought through the Chimerian invasion of Britain.
He'd rescued Parker, been abducted, tested on and had escaped from an alien processing facility as well as being tainted with an alien infection that enabled him to recharge his health and ended the single-player campaign surrounded by sinister masked agents who abducted him by helicopter and flew him to a secret base in Iceland.
While there's nothing wrong with Bjork's barren homeland, it doesn't really lend itself to a first-person shooter set on earth during the Fifties. You may as well set the game on the moon.
Thankfully a plot device has been used in which Hale's chopper is shot down, enabling him to make his way back to the United States where he joins up with the American resistance and settles into a special unit of hard nuts known as The Sentinels.
The game is set in a past where World War II never happened, since mankind had been too busy dealing with aliens to beat on each other. Without Hitler's rise to power there was no Union-free country for an America ravaged by the great depression to invest in either. Consequently, the Fifties' USA that Hale returns to isn't the opulent, future-looking postcard from history you'd expect, but rather one that has never recovered from financial ruin.