Hands On With Resistance 3 Single and MultiplayerS

It starts as a breeze.

It's almost lost amidst the clutter of a minutely detailed junk yard, the armed conflict of man versus alien, the spectacle of a floating space ship in the distance.

The wind isn't really noticeable, not at first.

But as the fight progresses, as I help a "rag-tag" band of humans fight back the advances of an invading force in middle alternative-reality America the wind picks up.

We save the junk yard, for what its worth, from the Chimeran menace, we push forward into another section of this bleak, yellow-tinged Oklahoman city.

Hands On With Resistance 3 Single and MultiplayerS

The wind blows, it begins to move things. At first it's the dirt, the shifting winds, the verging tornadoes, create great billows of dirt clouds. What started as a nice touch, a subtle environmental tweak, becomes a distracting force, making things feel more hectic, players subtly more anxious.

The winds blow equally strong in the game's story. In Resistance 3 you play as Joseph Capelli, dishonorably discharged after the events of the previous game, hiding with your son and wife in Haven, Oklahoma.

The game, due out for the PS3 in September, is meant to be a much starker look at alien invasion, examining how humanity is coping with the alien invasion. The theme, developers tell us, is heroic survival in a brutal world.

The winds of the short hands-on we had with the Haven level are created by a looming Chimeran ship, a craft that uses its ability to terraform as a weapon.

Capelli and his hiding family have been discovered, he is fighting not to defend his country, or follow order, but to protect his family.

His battle, and it seems the game, is a much more personal affair.

Gameplay feels heavier too.

Weapons seem to have more substance, more heft when they're fired. I empty round after round into enemies, leveling up a weapon through use and increasing its ability.

My favorite among the classic weapons is the Magnum, a handgun that has bullets that can be remotely detonated after you fire it, allowing you to explode enemies that you just wing.

Hands On With Resistance 3 Single and MultiplayerS

Multiplayer also has a pretty significant change in tempo, refocusing the experience down from the wide-open battles of 60 player firefights to mere 8 on 8 battles.

It is, they tell us, a much more intimate experience.

In action, that appears to be the case. They've also added a lot of neat tweaks to the experience, giving players both active and passive abilities that can buff characters and even give them new items or bizarre skills. Among the skills I saw were a sort of electrified hula hoop that damaged enemies when they tried to melee attack you, ammo and health drops, and even a riot shield of sorts.

Kill streams now grant skilled players the ability to do things like temporarily cloak, or transform as a Chimera into different types of creatures.

Limiting the player count in a given match did also seem to make it a more meaningful experience, one that granted me the ability to foster mini grudges and stalk specific players.