Big men firing big guns at bigger enemies. Let's not pretend that the FPS genre's appeal has much more than this simple trio at its core.
Sometimes, that's all we need - a little bit of trigger therapy on a stage that's rigged to go up in a monstrous mushroom cloud. We like 'big'. We like 'bang'. And we love 'kaboom'.
The original Resistance rode the coat-tails of all three, but occasionally did so unconvincingly. Smashing in as the PS3's first FPS, it was the huge set pieces that first caught the eye, with the odd monolithic extra-terrestrial meat-head making Insomniac's blockbuster ambitions clear.
The problem was that while Resistance was big on the outside, it was measly on the inside. As shooters go, it worked fine but, with artificial intelligence that lacked, erm, intelligence and gameplay plagued by repetition, there was a distinct lack of any real substance. Grey skies, grey guns, grey enemies... grey gameplay.
With Resistance 2, Insomniac worked out how to open the colour palette in Paintshop and turned the Big-O-Matic up to 'Really Big'. All plus points, but with more average FPS gameplay (aside from impressive multiplayer offerings), the all important FPS core was still a little bit washed-out.
Resistance 3, then, arrives to a nervous toot on the kazoo rather than a fanfare of hype. Killzone 3 has already done a nice little bit of business for Team PS3 as far as the FPS 2011 battleground is concerned, and with the likes of Modern Warfare 3 and Battlefield 3 just around the corner, Resistance 3 is by no means the most anticipated shooter of its release window.
The best way to approach Resistance 3 is with the rest of its franchise out of mind, to an extent. [RESISTANCE 2 SPOILER COMING!!] Since old-school action hero Nathan Hale got shot in the noggin at the end of Resistance 2, change is afoot in man's last stand against the Chimera - and, thankfully, that extends beyond the game's roster.
Joseph Capelli - the man who popped a cap in Hale - takes on protagonist duties but things are looking bleak. It's four years since Resistance 2 and Earth is now more or less Chimera Town, with only a few dregs of the human race left hiding in dark pockets.
Capelli's on-trend with his family in Oklahoma until good ol' Dr. Malikov pops his head around the door. He's been tinkering with Hale's corpse (it's all above board) and it turns out that his blood cells held the key to reversing the Chimera disease. "And I'll do you one better," says Malikov in not so many words, "I've only gone and created a bloody cure!"
And so the tent poles are pitched as Capelli leaves his family to travel with Malikov to New York on a journey that instantly sets the game up for more variety. We're treated to an array of environments for one thing, each with their own unique atmosphere.
The eerie silhouettes of creeping trees in a twilight blue forest is distinct from the heavy fog you'll peer through as you battle through a flooded village. Even the cubby-holes human of human survivors have avoided the cookie-cutter treatment. While, some have set up camp in an admittedly clichéd urban wasteland, another sanctuary is set up in a crowded school, which has a completely different feel and almost a real sense of life.
As you stumble across your fellow man at various intervals, you get the impression that a real world is going on (or caving in) around you. The effect of this living, breathing environment has started to creep into the FPS genre, with games like Metro 2033, and it's something that gamers are only going to demand more and more.