We're moving away from the military side of things," says Resistance 3's creative director Marcus Smith. "Humanity has had to change tactics. This is a game about survival."
To demonstrate, we're shown a demo of new protagonist Joseph Capelli wandering around a crammed school house that's serving as a sanctuary for an exiled township.
He's free to roam and explore as the stories of the inhabitants quietly unfold around him.
The area is rich in detail: we see a Chimeran flute, a child crying over a corpse and a cook reaching down for ominous-looking 'reaper bits' to add to his stew.
The demo resonates not because it's a major gameplay deviation for the series, but because it reveals a broader direction for Insomniac: they're designing a world that will make the player feel as though they've stumbled across it, rather than an apocalypse-skinned shooting gallery.
WHAT LIES BENEATH
Weeping children and broad human tragedy aside, we want to know how the thing plays. The combat demo we're shown is set on a boat driven by Malicov, and sees Capelli leaving Haven to rescue the population of a small village devastated by massive floods.
It's during this demo that everything clicks - the 1950s aesthetic, the grainy, Kodachrome colour filter and the scale. We pass a huge dead Kraken that's rotting and teeming with parasites, a mischievous nod to Resistance 2's first boss.
Although unfinished, the third instalment is starting to look beautiful, already showing signs of greater vibrancy and range of colour than its predecessors.
Later on in the level the whole thing blows wide open, segueing into familiar, large-scale territory. A mechanical goliath attacks Capelli and his crew. Drop ships land on all sides, releasing Chimeran Grims and a new enemy known as Long Legs.
It's an all-out assault on the trigger finger and senses. This is the Resistance we remember.
Our next demo starts with a stealth-type mission, and it's tense - Capelli and his team travel underground while keeping tabs on a death squad patrolling up above.
The mission ends in some inevitable firefight, but the first half is a welcome change of pace; a perfect example of how Insomniac are trying to mix up the formula for Resistance 3.
First impressions are promising, but we'll have to wait until late 2011 to see if they truly deliver.
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