Edged out by: A Tom Clancy RTS? Awesome! It’s controlled entirely by voice commands? Uhhh…
Why it’ll have to wait: God, where to begin? There’s the lack of any recognizable characters (new or familiar), the dull military presentation (which both alienates and energizes certain chunks of the gaming public), the fact that it’s a console RTS (which have a reputation for clunkiness) and an almost total lack of Internet buzz. Yeah, we bet you can’t wait to find this under the tree.
Above: Honestly, we don’t see what the problem is – this screen looks like half of our notebook doodles from grade school
There’s also the fact that EndWar is a strategy game whose big selling point is that it can be entirely controlled by talking into a headset, which sounds about as exciting as feeling up a hot girl while wearing oven mitts. Voice commands haven’t been novel or interesting since the first SOCOM, and since then they’ve developed a reputation for being silly and unreliable. Never mind that EndWar’s voice input actually works brilliantly, or that it’s a damn sight better than using the game’s clunky menu trees – for many, just hearing “voice control” is a huge turn-off.
As boring as it looks, though, EndWar is far from a bad game; it just needed to be launched at a point in time where console gamers could be bothered to pay attention to it. And as we’ve already established, that time is definitely not now. But who knows – once the dust has settled on the current crop of shooters and action games, maybe a massively multiplayer voice-driven strategy game will suddenly appeal to you. Stranger things have happened.
Edged out by: At least three other first-person games less tied to console loyalty.
Why it’ll have to wait: We’re not going to mince words here: if you’re lucky enough to own a PS3 and an Xbox 360, then odds are that Gears of War 2 has temporarily trumped any interest you might have in developer Insomniac’s alternate-history alien-invasion shooter. If, on the other hand, you’re a PS3-only gamer, then you’ve still got Call of Duty: World at War, SOCOM: Confrontation, Fallout 3 and, hell, even Far Cry 2 competing for your time and money.
Above: Nathan Hale – hero, mutant and personality-free squinty-eyed sum’bitch
Make no mistake, Resistance 2 is an awesome game. Its single-player story is flat enough to have elicited a chorus of “mehs” from critics, but its unique eight-player co-op and 60-player deathmatches arguably make it the best multiplayer shooter on the PS3. And like with so many other PS3 exclusives, there’s an almost palpable feeling that PS3 fans are somehow obligated to buy it.
Of course, if you don’t care much about multiplayer or perceived console loyalty and just want to shoot your way through an awesome story, then Resistance 2 comes off looking like the underwhelming sequel to a launch game that wasn’t really that impressive to begin with. And even its alien mutants and giant monsters aren’t an easy sell when compared with the balls-out chaos of CoD:WaW (or, for that matter, the still-popular CoD4), the gore-soaked free-roaming story of Fallout 3 or the wide-open African countryside of Far Cry 2. Will you play it? Yeah, probably. Will you play it in any serious capacity before New Year’s? Maybe; maybe not.