It’s no secret that the Vita hasn’t sold as well as Sony may have liked. After Uncharted and Wipeout, fans haven’t had much to get their heart pumping. Thankfully the latest entry in the Resistance series gives us a reason to pick up our expensive paper-weights and proves that a FPS can work on the Vita

Resistance Burning Skies is the first in the series not to be developed by Insomniac and instead is being created by Nihilisitc, thankfully they haven’t got much wrong here. You play as Tom Riley a New York fireman who inadvertently gets involved in the Chimeras first bite at US invasion. After the Chimera attack and kidnap your family your only desire is to find and rescue them, unfortunately nothing is ever as simple as it sounds.

Expect all the usual Chimera monsters

Burning Skies promised to deliver a true example of what a FPS on the Vita is like and for the most part it’s been successful. The dual-analogue stick allows for slick and precise firing and moving, while the touch screen allows you to pick and throw grenades rather accurately and the usual d-pad and buttons allows quick navigation around the rather simple if not bland menus. Saying that it’s not perfect, numerous times my thumb slipped and I ended up wasting grenades or trying to axe my way through a horde of Grims or worst Steelheads. This usually resulted in a serious case of death. Double tapping the rear touch screen to sprint was also uncomfortable and unnatural and contributed to a number of my avoidable trips to the underworld. Even on normal difficulty I found myself overwhelmed, but whether that’s due to clumsy controls or just a sheer lack of ability is yet to be seen. Annoyingly those deaths were always backed by poor checkpoints, in one case I’d completed the majority of a boss only to get killed and not only have to start again but also return to about 3 rooms previous.

Bosses are huge but not really threatening

Nihilistic have tried to reinvent the series but have thankfully kept the majority of what made Resistance great.  The weapons for example are fans favourites; you’ll see the likes of the Bullseye, Carbine and Auger. They all have the secondary fire which is usually activated simply by touching the screen and the enemy you wish to fry. They’re slightly overpowered but who doesn’t love huge, powerful and deeply disturbing weapons. Like the previous game weapons can be upgraded, but unlike before they don’t upgrade by simply using them, you’ll have to find special ‘grey tech’ which allows you to upgrade certain aspects, such as clip size, damage and range. Thankfully there was enough hidden around to upgrade all my weapons substantially.

The Resistance series has never reached the visual glory of previous shooters like RAGE and Killzone. Even so the visuals here aren’t what we were expecting; they’re satisfactory but compared to the likes of Uncharted, Wipeout and Gravity Rush there is better on the Vita. Environments are like a children’s colouring book, one level may be blue, the next red and finally grey and they’re lacking crisp and coherent detail. The character models are strong and although a little rough round the edges it’s a solid start to show what the Vita can do with a FPS. Hell it looks better than the first Resistance on the PS3.

It's not visually the strongest game on the Vita

At around 7 hours the game is relatively short and sadly forgettable, for a series that’s been driven by high quality and emotional story telling this was severely lacking. I knew what I was supposed to be doing but I was never emotionally involved or connected to other characters. At points I was just walking down corridors firing at the same old adversaries and following orders that were barked back to me. And sadly the bosses were too predictable and easy to bring down as well.

Once you’re done with single player you can tackle the online mode, where up to 8 players can participate in the usual deathmatch or team deathmatch modes. There is also a survival mode which pits humans against the Chimera where the winner is the last human standing. Although the servers were a little hit and miss to start with the games were entertaining. Add the customisable loadouts, levelling system and typical leaderboards and FPS shooter fans will feel right at home here and could easily lose hundreds of hours to it.

Even though Resistance Burning Skies isn’t going to be the Vita saviour that many predicted it’s certainly not a bad game. It controls magnificently bar a few hiccups and if you can forgive the few graphical issues you’ll have a blast popping Chimera’s heads all over again. Sadly the story is forgettable at best and there were just a few too many screen pops and glitches to get a great score. However Burning Skies proves that the Vita can easily deliver a FPS experience without the need for a controller. It’s what those dual-analogue sticks were made for.


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