Despite numerous comparisons both for and against, the Resistance series isn't of the impeccably high quality that graced the Halo series and the Gears of War games. Of course, being an exclusive Sony first-person shooter it would always be subject to such expectations against its Xbox peers, and while it's clear that Insomniac's third FPS has grand aspirations, it doesn't quite reach those giddy heights at the top of the shooter genre. However, enough judging it on other games' merits; Resistance 2 isn't going to change the world but nonetheless it's a solid and well-designed shooter with some great weapons, oppressive and varied enemies and some superb multiplayer modes.
Once again you step in to the shoes of Lt. Hale; survivor the the British assault depicted in the first game and at an advanced stage of Chimeran infection. Two years have passed and Hale has been assembled with three other infected soliders to form the Sentinels; an outfit designed to use the 'benefits' of the virus to execute special operations whilst keeping the mutation in check using inhibitors. At the front line of the US defence, the Chimeran forces attack the nation - the last human stronghold - seemingly for nothing more than global domination. Under the command of 'Daedalus' - a former infected US soldier, and successor to the first game's Angels - the Chimera systematically break through US defences and beat back the human forces. The characters are a little hackneyed but the plot is quite interesting - plus, there's a sort of unexpected twist and cliffhanger at the end, paving the way for the third in the series.
Like Fall of Man, Resistance 2 is a strictly linear affair, with exciting and explosive set-pieces guiding the way. Level design is interesting, ranging from '50s small-town America to vast alien facilities and space ships, but it's a real shame the campaign can no longer be played with a buddy, online or off. There is a slew of engaging boss fights and the enemy designs are suitably vast, encouraging different tactics in a firefight. One element clearly lacking though is decent enemy AI, as they frequently run past your allies to attack you only.
The multiplayer is strong, incorporating a range of options, modes and providing a very slick, lag-free experience. There is also a co-op 'campaign' allowing for two players offline or up to eight online to duke it out against masses of Chimeran forces across small levels, although these levels are a little uninteresting in their design, and are essentially grind-fests. The competitive multiplayer is a definite positive though, and still has a thriving community.
Resistance 2 is a strong, solid first person shooter which can comfortably sit on the second tier of the genre on the PS3. It offers a very complete package, with the only really obvious omission being the lack of campaign co-op. Like its Sony cousin, Killzone 2, Resistance 2 isn't going to re-write the first-person rule book, but if you're after a solid, linear, complete first person shooter, this is an enjoyable albeit not envelope-pushing example.