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Published June 11th 2012
The Playstation Vita is the first handheld gaming system with 2 analog sticks, with this ability First Person Shooter gameplay is now able to be optimized for a handheld. As such the first FPS game has hit Vita, Resistance: Burning Skies is another game in the Playstation exclusive Resistance franchise. Known for being the child of Insomniac Studios (Rachet and Clank, Spyro the Dragon), this game is taken over by developer Nihilistic Games. Resistance is known for being a flagship franchise for Sony, but do the new developers pull it off?
Burning Skies feels like a game that has been rushed out for consumers, the game has many technical problems that ruin your chance of getting attached to the game. Some of the more major problems of the game involve audio, which can cut in and out during most enemy encounters when too much is happening at once. Along with the fact audio for your weaponry sounds weak, some of the worst audio recording for weapons has made their way into Burning Skies. The weapons feel like they lack power which affects your ability to enjoy shooting, when your main premise is based around shooting this is a problem that cannot be overlooked.
Resistance games in the past have been known for a strong narrative involving the Chimera (Alien species invading Earth), Burning Skies shows promise with the narrative in the opening scenes but then does little from that point on. You play as Tom Riley who has lost his wife and daughter in this invasion; you are then set out on a journey to reunite with your family. Apart from the acknowledgement of the story at the start you barely are told anymore through the games short 5 hour campaign. Even the cut scenes in-between chapters do not explain anything regarding your story up until the very end, this makes you feel disconnected from the narrative and to be honest, I forgot what his objective was during the game. These cut scenes I spoke of are also very poor, pixilation and poor sound quality make them forgettable and a chore to deal with before more gameplay.
Multiplayer is also included which I played for a very short time; most of the time was spent in the lobby trying to find a game. This is a basic multiplayer, nothing special, no invite system, it is forgettable. Burning Skies tries to be creative with the controls incorporating front touch secondary fire, this feels awkward to use especially when trying to throw grenades. The drag and drop method does not work in an intense fire fight and will cause you trouble than it's worth, also the double tap back touch sprint mechanic is barely responsive. You will eventually decide to walk the entire game because trying to sprint and fail will get you killed, these ideas are unique but feel tacked on.
Burning Skies is a functional shooter, is shows us FPS is capable of running on Vita successfully. Fact is, Burning Skies feels like an unpolished, unfinished and disconnected experience. From the numerous technical errors, disappointing narrative and poor online multiplayer this game misses the mark. Burning Skies had a chance to be a milestone game on Vita; ultimately it falls short and leaves a blemish on the otherwise positive Resistance franchise.