Available on PlayStation 3. Up to eight players online. $59.99. Rated Mature for intense violence and strong language. ****
An important element of Resistance 2 is its lineage. The game's creator, Burbank, Calif.-based Insomniac Games, has a long and successful history of packing so much onto each of its games' discs, it's as if they are using a different set of rules than other game makers.
One of its first series, Ratchet & Clank, was light-years ahead of the competition technologically because of what it could do with the PlayStation 2 tools then available - even if the premise wasn't more than a better take on most of that era's platform games. When the third Ratchet & Clank title was released in 2004 and offered online play, it became more than just an epic adventure; it also had a multiplayer mode far more advanced than anything at the time.
So when the full power of the seemingly limitless PlayStation 3 is someday realized, you can bet Insomniac (which is now developing games exclusively for the PS3) will be the one to do it.
Case in point: the spectacular new release Resistance 2.
Set in 1953, the game imagines that an alien force has invaded our planet, laying waste to everything in its path, including American cities such as a richly rendered San Francisco. You and the other soldiers who remain must fight for survival against the evil Chimera.
An unparalleled first-person shooter with next to no load times; a class-based co-op mode (meaning players choose one of three classifications of characters and band together to fight) with a story line that is complementary to, yet independent of, the main adventure; and a multiplayer mode that can have 60 people on the same vast map at the same time are all on the one disc. In fact, there is so much to do, it's like getting three games for the price of one.
Resistance 2 has changed expectations of gaming, a level few titles can even approach.
The media notes boast that to unlock everything in the game, like completing the story and reaching the highest online rank possible, it would take 420 hours. That's 17 1/2 consecutive days with no breaks, playing in some of the smoothest environments with flawless controls and mind-blowing action. Although that would most likely kill more than just your social life and career, what a wonderful way to go.