Checking Out Resistance: Retribution

I hung at Sony's swanky booth (there were blue lights and white shag carpets, ooh!) to take a look at the just-announced Resistance: Retribution for PSP, coming in Spring 2009. I got to pick the brain of assistant producer Caley Roberts to find out more about the title.

Nathan Hale doesn't feature in Retribution at all — instead, we've got a new character named James Grayson, a Private in the British forces.

Backstory on the game is that Grayson's brother, an RAF pilot, gets shot down, and Grayson goes in to look for him — and finds him on a table, the Chimera's newest conversion project. This means, of course, that Grayson's got to kill his own bro, and this makes him into a vengeful Chimera-slaughtering machine. He goes AWOL on a rampage, gets bagged for treason, and that's where the game starts.

Raine Bouchard of the Maquis helps Grayson get out of prison, and he joins the Maquis in a time when the Chimera are running low on bodies and are experimenting with new conversion methods. According to assistant producer Roberts, "inner strife and turmoil" drives the story.

Developer Bend Studio has built it on its third-gen PSP engine — by the way, these are the guys responsible for the Syphon Filter titles Dark Mirror and Logan's Shadow. Roberts admitted, though, that the Syphon Filter difficulty ramp wasn't suitable for everyone, and that Resistance: Retribution is being designed to be more accessible.

Roberts said the "aim assist" feature is not an auto-aim — there's no way to permanently lock on and stay that way, but the target window will find enemies in view and target them generally, with the player free to switch between enemies. In other words, you only have to aim a little bit Cover is automatic when approached, and tapping the trigger button will make the player pop out and fire automatically. Whereas Hale regenerated, Grayson is a normal man who needs health packs to recover. They've made them red to match the health packs so that they stand out.

It does seem like the control design is easier to deal with, probably an item of value when dealing with a shooter on the PSP. One standout item about this title? The graphics are incredible, vivid and alive with specular light. Seriously, stunning.