Within the first minute of Resistance: Retribution, protagonist James Grayson transitions from a patriotic hopeful who puts his life on the line to save his people to an unforgiving recluse who spits in the face of his country. In this sequence, Grayson is forced to say goodbye to his brother. It wouldn't be fair of me to reveal the details of the scene, but I immediately felt sympathy for him.
The tight bond I developed with this character brought deep seeded hatred for the Chimera, an axis that I didn't develop an emotional attachment with in the first two Resistance titles on PlayStation 3. Sony calls Retribution a side story, but even as an accessory it delivers this series' most compelling narrative.
Developer Sony Bend has made two of my favorite PSP titles: Syphon Filter: Dark Mirror and Syphon Filter: Logan's Shadow. Like both of these titles, Resistance: Retribution offers outstanding gunplay that is carried nicely between frantic run-and-gun sequences, mech warfare, and underwater gunfights. Where the Syphon Filter games delivered mission dynamics that required intelligent solutions, Resistance: Retribution abandons any notion of pushing the player to think in favor of a fast-paced shooting gallery, where you are constantly bombarded from all directions. It retains the feel of the PS3 series, but also has an identity of its own. If you have Resistance 2, you can ''infect'' Retribution by linking the games together to get regenerative health, a magnum, and other beneficial boosts.
The intelligent auto-lock targeting system ably handles the onslaught, switching to the closest threat and quickly transitioning to the next target. If you feel that the lock-on is cheating, you can always turn it off, which the game encourages with enemy types that need to be shot in specific zones.
Retribution's solid gameplay package transitions into online play, supporting up to eight players. This experience includes all of the fixings found on consoles, including ranked and unranked matches and an extensive list of medals for feats like kills, kill assists, captures, and taunts. While offering only five maps, each is scaled perfectly for the action, allowing for high kill counts. I found that the auto-lock targeting sucks some of the fun out of the experience, as it really doesn't feel like much of a challenge, but more of a ''who started firing first'' affair. Regardless, there is some fun to be had in these matches.
Resistance: Retribution is a worthy addition to Insomniac's series. It adds an amazing story to the existing lore, and is a great standalone experience for those of you who haven't played a Resistance game before.