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Resistance: Retribution review

Control issues hamper the best PSP shooter to date


  • Easy to get to grips with
  • Full of memorable shooty moments
  • Creative weaponry


  • Dodgy
  • superfluous swimming bits
  • Controls don't work well on handheld
  • Cover system a bit unreliable

Retribution does the best it can with the PSP’s single analog stick. It maps aiming to the face buttons and indulges you with a generous amount of aim assist – but it still feels far from an ideal solution. It’s a shame really, because in every other respect this is classic Resistance: epic, explosive, and fast-paced.

Fitting neatly between the two PS3 titles, Retribution takes you across mainland Europe on a quest for revenge. James Grayson, a disgraced former Lieutenant and xenophobic cockney, is saved from a firing squad by the French Resistance and forced into a suicide mission in Rotterdam. Cue some casual racism – every other Frenchman is a “bloody frog” – as James juggles his objectives with his thirst for vengeance (his brother was a victim of Chimera conversion).

The game may struggle with the PSP’s crampy button layout, but you’ll be hard-pressed to find a more beautiful title on the system. The initially forgettable environments recall the monochromatic sludge of the first Resistance, rather than its brighter, bolder sequel, but the character models are superb. James looks full of character with his leather jacket complete with sewn-on badges, and each of the new Chimera types are great looking villains.

The change from first to third-person perspective is essential, for a number of reasons. Auto-aiming seems less offensive in a more distant view – you’d never get away with this much aim assistance in a true FPS – while the game’s snappy cover system would be ten times more fiddly in first-person. When it decides to work, cover is simple - unfortunately, you can only take cover when enemies are present, and sometimes not even then if James isn’t in precisely the right spot.

More Info

DescriptionThis incredible looking third-person spin-off of the PS3 series is a great game, but like many PSP titles, its main flaw is in the less than amazing controls.
Franchise nameResistance
UK franchise nameResistance
US censor ratingMature
UK censor rating16+
Release date17 March 2009 (US), 20 March 2009 (UK)


When he's not dying repeatedly in roguelikes, Tom spends most of his working days writing freelance articles, watching ITV game shows, or acting as a butler for his cat. He's been writing about games since 2008, and he's still waiting on that Vagrant Story 2 reveal.
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