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E3 06: Resistance: Fall of Man - hands-on

We finally got a chance to play Insomniac's PS3 shooter Resistance: Fall of Man, and it's not as dramatic a departure from the cheery Ratchet & Clank series as it looks. Set in Britain in 1953 - in an alternate history where World War II never happened - it casts players as resistance fighters against aliens, called Chimera, who've wiped out much of humanity.

The game itself feels like a standard first-person shooter (although with a lot more rattling and destructible environments a la Black), although it looks much prettier than what we're used to, and the grayish tinge to everything gives it a bleak, industrial feel. But while the perspective and look are different, Ratchet's DNA is all over this one, from the joyfully versatile weapons to the easy-to-use menu that lets you pick a new gun.

The guns themselves include both conventional-feeling firearms and bizarre alien guns, and we were able to spend some time with four of them: A shotgun, an assault rifle (with attached grenade launcher), a "Bullseye" and an "Auger." The first two are self-explanatory, while the Bullseye can fire a tracer round into enemies as its secondary function. That tracer then draws the gun's regular bullets to it like a magnet. By shooting into empty space, you can also create a cloud of swirling bullets that you can then move around the room to kill enemies. The Auger, meanwhile, can shoot through walls (meaning that you don't have to give up your cover to fire), and can also create stationary shields to block enemy shots. Finally, your fighter carries two types of grenades: regular ones and something called the "Hedgehog," which bounces up and explodes with deadly quills after it's thrown.

The bad news is, the Chimera have these guns, too, and they know how to use them. The aliens themselves range from standard (if really ugly) humanoids, to little skittering bug-creatures to tall, tough, lanky horrors. In the early version we played, they were still of the fairly dumb "run around and shoot" variety, but the developers tell us that the final game will feature much smarter characters, able to use cover and react to their environment as you change it.

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