Resistance 2: Competitive
WHAT HAVE THEY DONE!!
When I first entered Resistance 2 online multiplayer, it was a bit of a shock. Having spent 100s of hours playing Resistance online, I had (mostly) fond memories of my time playing CTF, Meltdown, Assault and Breach. None of these modes are present in R2 which was a big disappointment for me.
I was thinking to myself WTF have they done and initially I hated it. I didn’t enjoy Core Control or Skirmish and I felt the maps were far too big, giving players way too many hiding places and favouring snipers.
There was also the feeling that as a beginner to the Competitive side of things, the odds were heavily against you. You can’t select region when you play ranked games, so you get put up against NA gamers who have had the game for almost a month longer than Europeans and have leveled up to Supreme Commander. This has allowed them to unlock the LAARK and Pulse Cannon (both are unlocked as Berserks) and other very useful Berserks such as Invisibility (which you get when you reach Level 12).
It simply felt like it wasn’t a fair playing field at all and far too many times I was killed by an invisible opponent or someone that self destructed killing themselves and killing or badly damaging anyone within the blast radius. Very irritating.
Luckily I persisted with Competitive mode and my opinion changed for the better
There are initially four game modes in Competitive. Hopefully Insomniac will add more modes like they did with Resistance somewhere down the line because I don’t think four is enough to keep things fresh and varied in Competitive.
You have Core Control, which is basically CTF only without the flags. The main difference here is when you grab the core, you lose the ability to shoot, so you’re a sitting target (or a moving target once you start sprinting) unless you drop the core. If you drop the core it stays where you dropped it, so if you encounter some trouble, you can drop the core, safe in the knowledge that if you survive you can pick it up and continue back to your base.
I initially played Core Control more than the other modes but soon got bored of playing with randoms who didn’t have a headset and seemed to want to do their own thing.
Skirmish feels very similar to online co-op because your objectives switch during the course of battle. One minute you’re asked to “Swarm the beacon” (Chimerans says SWARM apparently 😉 ) then you could be made the Primary target and be asked to survive or defend the target for a set period of time, or “purge him” (Chimerans also say purge too 😛 ) if your enemy has been made the primary target.
At first I hated Skirmish but I gave it another go after getting sick of playing Core Control and it’s now may favourite mode to play. You’re constantly on the go and the battle to take or defend the beacon can be epic and great fun. Team work is also more present in Skirmish and when it’s 20+ players involved it can be amazing fun seeing different battles kicking off on different parts of the maps.
Some players still use this mode as if it’s a TDM but you can counter this by concentrating on completing the objectives and winning the round.
Team Deathmatch and Death Match are pretty standard fare. I’m not really a fan of those modes. I prefer to have objectives to aim for rather than just killing for the sake of it.
Another key difference between R2 and Resistance in the Team Objective modes is that there is only one round. You no longer play two rounds, one as a human and one as a Chimeran. Instead it’s just the one round as whichever race you’re assigned to play as.
This is actually not as big a problem as it could’ve been thanks to the Berserks, which I will cover next.
GO BERSERK. IT’S YOUR DUTY
When you start off, you have a limited number of useful Berserks to choose from. One of the most useful Berserks is Ironheart. This greatly reduces the amount of damage you take from small arms and grenades. When you see your opponents covered in a glowing red ball, it means they have activated Ironheart and should therefor be avoided unless you outnumber them by at least 3 to 1 or have the LAARK or Pulse Cannon Berserk activated to deal heavy damage to them.
I’ve often taken out 2 or more enemies after activating Ironheart but have also been quickly killed by 3 or more enemies all shooting at me at the same time. It’s best to activate it when you see no more than two enemies nearby and are confident of taking them out before your gauge depletes. Unless you want to get a couple of kills before dying of course.
At level 12, you unlock the Invisibility Berserk, which makes you invisible (sorry to state the obvious) and is very useful for sneaking around the map and taking out unsuspecting enemies. You only show up on the radar and become physically visible if you fire your weapon. This can be very useful if you are hunting the Primary Target in Skirmish.
There are also some very useful Berserks that affect all nearby allies such as Advanced Radar which shows all enemies locations on the map and Ring of Life, which activates an aura that regenerates the health of all team mates that are within the circle of the aura.
Here is a video that will give some more tips and info about Berserks:
If you are playing in a clan, it will be best to have varied Berserks so that all team mates can benefit, giving you a better chance of victory. Playing on my own with randoms, I’ve came up against clans that have Ring of Life, Advanced Radar, Prototype Ammo and Ironheart and when they activate 2 or 3 of these at once, you simply don’t stand a chance.
You activate Berserks by pressing down on the D-pad once the gauge has filled up. You do this by earning EXP points from completing objectives, dealing damage to opponents and killing opponents. The quickest way to fill up your Berserk meter is by completing the objectives that are announced in Skirmish. This is what makes Skirmish so great. It doesn’t pay to sit and camp in a specific spot on the map. Your gauge will not fill up unless you can rack up the kills and it can take 3 or 4 kills alone to fill up the meter as opposed to completing around 2 objectives.
This doesn’t stop people camping but it’s definitely not as big of a problem compared to Resistance. You will still get snipers hiding outside the main area of battle but when you spot them and get a stealth kill on them, there’s nothing more satisfying! 🙂
WEAPONS AND TACTICS ON THE BATTLEFIELD
The final major difference between Resistance and R2 is that you can select which weapon and Berserk you start out with. All weapons are available from the start apart from the LAARK and Pulse cannon which are both unlockable Berserks.
Depending on which primary weapon you choose, you also get a different grenade to go with the standard Magnum as your secondary weapon. If you select the Carbine you get a Frag Grenade or if you choose the Fareye you get an Air Fuel Grenade for example. You can’t select which grenade comes with you which is a bit of a shame. It’s so rare to find the Air fuel or Hedgehog grenades on the battlefield.
You can pick up extra primary and secondary fire from any downed opponents too, aswell as their primary weapon. You don’t have an unlimited number of tags for the Bullseye anymore so you will need to find some secondary fire ammo if you’re a tagger.
You can also change your weapons and Berserks during the course of battle when you die. If your weapon and tactics are failing and you keep dying, you can do something about it by choosing a more suitable weapon and Berserk which could help change the course of battle.
Just like the Campaign mode, you can’t carry more than 2 weapons at a time but by allowing you to change weapons mid-battle, this is not a major problem.
LEVELING THE PLAYING FIELD
Just like in co-op, you level up by gaining experience points. As you move up the levels you unlock new outfits, skins and Berserks for your character. You can customise the appearance of your Human and Chimeran character as you level up so you can add a bit of individuality to proceedings.
Both level up at the same time and most Berserks are available for both, the main difference is how you customise the appearance of the characters but I don’t feel like I’m at a disadvantage when playing as a Human compared to a Chimera, like I did in Resistance, thanks to the Berserks.
It’s quite funny seeing the different looking Humans and Chimerans running around the battlefield. I always feel ashamed when I’m killed by a guy wearing a lab coat though. 😆
I think the quickest way to level up is by playing Skirmish (I don’t know the EXP gained from TDM and DM so I can’t compare). You can earn 20,000+ exp if you come out on top and dominate a round. The least you can earn is between 4,000 and 9,000 EXP if you have a bad round, which isn’t too bad.
As I’ve mentioned earlier, you gain EXP from dealing damage and killing enemies, aswell as completing objectives in Skirmish or capturing or defending the core in Core Control.
Your main goal should be to level up to Level 12 as quickly as possible so that you have acquired all the main Berserks, aside from the LAARK and Pulse Cannon which I think are unlocked at Level 15 (?), thus leveling the playing field quite a bit.
The best way to learn the maps is by playing ranked games because they change quite a bit in size and layout depending on how many players are involved. You also get to know where the Beacons will appear so you can find the quickest route to get there in Skirmish.
At first it’s a bit overwhelming because they are so big and you don’t know where you’re going but you soon start to recognise different areas and the quickest way to move around the map. You just have to grit your teeth and put the time in.
SQUADS AND SOME CRITICISMS
The most players I’ve been in a competitive game with was 37, which is some way from the 60 that can take part. You get split up into 6 squads of 5 players and you re-spawn next to the players that are in your squad. Well, I think that is the case because whenever I’ve died I’ve always re-spawned near the players that are in my squad.
The point of squads are to make you work as a team and stick together completing objectives rather than running off doing whatever you like. This is not always the case though when playing with randoms. It can be so frustrating when you get killed time and again because you’re trying to re-claim a beacon and your ‘squad mates’ are messing about thinking it’s a free for all.
To be fair, I’ve had some excellent games with randoms where we’ve been on the same wavelength and worked as a team of 4 or 5 and dominated Skirmish. It’s incredibly satisfying when you pull that off.
I do have a major problem with where you spawn and re-spawn though. Unlike Resistance, you don’t have a base to re-spawn at and you can’t press triangle to spawn next to your clan mates or squad mates. This does reduce the chances of you getting spawn killed by the scum that camped at your base in Resistance when the numbers favoured them.
Unfortunately, you can end up re-spawning in front of a group of enemies who don’t need inviting to shoot you in the back! This has happened way too many times now and I hope Insomniac do something about this. It’s incredibly irritating to re-spawn then die because of where the game has spawned you.
After a tough start to R2 online competitive multi-player, the game has balanced out to be a very fun and rewarding experience. Initially, you will have to put up with feeling like it’s a completely different game to Resistance but the more you play it the more you realise the majority of changes made to R2 are beneficial, yet it still retains the fast paced gameplay and feel of what made Resistance online multi-player so great.
The Berserks are a great addition and Skirmish is a great mode which keeps you on the move, while adding a fresh and challenging experience every time you play it.
Being able to change weapons and Berserks during battle is a plus too and the maps are mostly well designed.
Overall, I’m really enjoying Competitive multi-player. Just like Resistance, it can be incredibly infuriating when things go against you, some which you have no control over but when it clicks, it’s the best online multi-player fun I have had since the glory days of Resistance.
I just hope my clan mates can find the time to join me soon… 🙂