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Game of the Month, September 2011

Winner: Resistance 3

Resistance is one of those rare series that looks generic and unimaginative on the surface, but holds so much more inside its gooey viscera. We know some of you have dismissed the series out of hand, probably thinking something like “Eh, it’s a brown FPS that shamelessly slaps aliens on top of a World War II game.” And you probably didn’t feel any differently when Resistance 2 dialed back a few crucial elements, alienating a chunk of its fanbase in the process. The third game, however, restores the series to full strength and dials up everything: devastating guns, amazing pacing, tremendous set-pieces, an involvingly moody story and a lovely sheen of polish. It’s an amazing game from a series that’s been kind of hit-or-miss up to now, and that deserves recognition.

The sheer variety in the environments and gameplay is staggering, and yields moments like a nighttime sniper battle in a forested gorge against cloaked enemies; a hectic train fight where crazed humans attack from trucks while a massive herd of giant alien spiders comes thundering over the horizon; a quiet and creepy boat ride through a flooded and foggy town; and an underground cat-and-mouse struggle against a giant monster known by the religious locals as Satan.

Above: Not Satan

While the game isn’t particularly difficult, it does manage to be extremely tense, thanks to a combination of close-range, claustrophobic fights and huge, open spaces filled with chaos. More importantly, it does away with regenerating health. Having to scramble for health packs instead of catching a breather behind cover makes combat much faster and more tense than what most modern shooters offer, and getting shot now carries consequences far more dire than a screen temporarily full of red splotches. It also helps that the weapons you're given – a broad array of futuristic death-dealers that level up and change their appearance with use, Ratchet & Clank style – are enormously fun and satisfying to shoot, with evolving secondary functions to help keep things interesting.

R3 also brings along a complete co-op mode that follows the main campaign, and offers some of the most fun FPS multiplayer we’ve played in quite a while. It’s epic in scope, tightly paced and pretty to look at, and packs in super exciting “oh shit” moments like they’re on clearance. This is the game that proves Insomniac hasn’t lost its touch.


Runner-up: Gears of War 3

The fact that Gears 3 didn’t win this award may surprise a lot of you, and will no doubt anger some of you, but when choosing between the two marquee titles of the month – both of which are awesome, as indicated by their 9/10 review scores – we had to go with the game that’s the best entry in its franchise. And that’s Resistance 3. Despite its occasionally underwhelming campaign, however, Gears of War 3 really is awesome. The heroes we’ve now followed and loved for five years are more believable than ever, while the enemies are bigger and more insanely unpredictable than ever. Some of the setpieces, especially in the first and last acts of the game, are epic – truly fitting of a trilogy conclusion. And if this award was handed out solely for multiplayer, Gears 3 would win the month easily, with so many generous co-op modes, it’s hard to know where to begin and when to stop.

(Oh, and while The Ico and Shadow of the Colossus Collection was disqualified from consideration for being a prettied-up re-release of two much older games, it still deserves a nod as one of the absolute best things to show up on shelves this month.)

Sep 30, 2011

105 comments

  • IChooseUAntistaMON - September 30, 2011 4:29 p.m.

    BIAS!!! ;)
  • keltar93 - September 30, 2011 4:40 p.m.

    But both of them are *better* than Halo Reach?!?! Cue Inception music
  • badgraphix1 - September 30, 2011 4:42 p.m.

    "(Oh, and while The Ico and Shadow of the Colossus Collection was disqualified from consideration for being a prettied-up re-release of two much older games, it still deserves a nod as one of the absolute best things to show up on shelves this month.)" That didn't stop Ocarina of Time 3D from getting runner-up for Game of the Month June 2011.
  • SunniDee - September 30, 2011 4:52 p.m.

    I agree i read the old game of the month, and they said Ocarina was better then shadows of the damned but since it was a remake they didn't give it first....conspiracy or did Sony not pay enough money?!
  • Fiirestorm21 - September 30, 2011 5:03 p.m.

    Sony didn't pay enough money...? Resistance 3 is their game as well. I don't follow your logic.
  • SunniDee - September 30, 2011 5:06 p.m.

    for both games and it wasn't serious the last part
  • shawksta - September 30, 2011 8:31 p.m.

    Ico and SOTC are just HD ports while OOT 3D was a full fledged remake, but your point still stands.
  • codystovall - September 30, 2011 4:56 p.m.

    Next month winner: Batman and the runner-up: Batman why: Because Kevin Conroy wills it. or Dark Souls
  • SDHoneymonster - September 30, 2011 4:59 p.m.

    Still haven't played any of the Resistance games - I bought the first one for about £2 a few months back, but it's sat on my shelf ever since. I have however just splurged on Gears Of War 3 and Team Ico, so it might be a while yet before it gets a look on. And that's before I sell my kidneys for Dark Souls...
  • simon-daniel-soto-vidal - September 30, 2011 5:50 p.m.

    This is a joke, right?
  • SPAZFM - September 30, 2011 5:57 p.m.

    Resistance 3 was horse sh*t just saying.....
  • kor2disturbed - September 30, 2011 5:58 p.m.

    I'm pissed off but I understand, gears 3 is arguably (not for me) the better game, but Resistance re is the best game in the series but, if Gears 3 is better it should have been picked. "Game" of the month goes to the best game of the month, not "the best game in the series that happen to come out this month" of the month.
  • kor2disturbed - September 30, 2011 6:02 p.m.

    Secondly I've played both (obviously) and can say that I didn't even finish Resistance 3 because I got too bored with it. Also The Binding of Isaac is awesome. Lastly I think you guys made the wrong choice.
  • IamTheBalance - September 30, 2011 6:09 p.m.

    I rented Resistance and it was back in my mailbox an hour later. Bad game is bad and this is coming from a ps3 owner.
  • kingsmikefan - September 30, 2011 6:11 p.m.

    I guess Microsoft ain't ponied up the dough? haha. just kidding (hate that I have to type that because fanboys lose their sh@t)...also, screw the fact I can't cuss on a comment
  • bitchassafriBLAMamericANTISTA - September 30, 2011 6:14 p.m.

    I WANT A RECOUNT!!! jk never played resistance, but i probably should seeing as i own a ps3. on a related note i totally just had sex!!! hahahaha hebrew letters on my recaptha like 5real! http://www.google.com/recaptcha/api/image?c=03AHJ_Vuv4sFH6gxnaI6yaGtRIWWf9ZcIYi96VmoWKB3StoodjR7dZBYugM9kK9UD8A4eOq8eF_kMP9LA3LY2zSjL6S7fBvR9nZlPXFT5NM1MCrZUbQEV-uungIeydl_Jbdf8uHiYPxAtURyT2M-Gdee4qkNujsjPrLw
  • Fetalspray - September 30, 2011 6:22 p.m.

    Sorry GR but this is bull, I have both games and Gears is just more fun and has more lasting appeal, Resistance is overly bleak, the characters aren't as interesting or likeable and Chimera are not as satisfying to kill. Resistance is boring and uninspired as a series and nowhere near as good an exclusive as uncharted. In short I couldn't disagree with you more.
  • Tranquilbez34 - September 30, 2011 6:34 p.m.

    I did not see this coming!
  • Pocotron - September 30, 2011 6:34 p.m.

    Funny to see a bunch of butt hurt people here. I remember when you chose Batman: AA over Uncharted 2, and for similar reasons. Coming into this, I totally expected Gears 3 to win. Glad to see R3 gets a little recognition. Just remember folks, just because you don't agree with someone doesn't make them any less wrong than you are!
  • Jacko415 - September 30, 2011 6:37 p.m.

    Boooo. I usually dont accuse anyone of this but you guys just wanted to standout and not choose the more popular one. Resistance is a lame and boring series and you know it. you're full of sh-t. Gears won. AND STOP F--KING CENSORING US! DID YOU GUYS GET BOUGHT OUT OR SOMETHING? CAUSE THIS IS STUPID! THIS IS THE INTERNET WHERE YOU CAN SAY WHATEVER THE F--K YOU WANT AND EXPRESS YOU'RE OPINIONS HOWEVER THE F--K YOU WANT! Nazis

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