Resistance 2: Online Co-op
Yesterday I covered the Campaign mode in Resistance 2, so today it’s the turn of the online co-op side of things.
I know Henning is big on split screen and wants to know how well the split screen co-op is faring but that side of things does not interest me. I haven’t tried it out so I can’t really comment on any of the issues people may have with split screen co-op.
Hmm, I’m not quite sure where to begin with online co-op, what I can say is it is a lot of fun, let down by poor structure and some niggles.
TEAMWORK IS NOT AN OPTION, IT’S A NECESSITY
As you may know by now, there are 3 classes to choose from. Soldier is the bad arse with the Wraith, best suited for the front lines blasting at anything that moves. He also has a very handy shield which not only protects him but also allows his team mates to stay behind the shield and shoot through it to damage and kill any enemies.
Spec Ops is the guy that provides his team mates with ammo and you will run out of ammo. A lot. He can also do massive damage with his electrical orb attacks and is armed with the Marksman as his primary weapon.
Medic is responsible for healing his team mates. He is armed with the Phoenix. His main attack is to drain the health from the enemies which is what he needs to do in order to heal his allies with the secondary fire. You won’t get as many kills playing as a Medic compared to the other two classes but using the Phoenix from afar allows you to avoid taking heavy damage.
You must have at least 1 person covering each class in co-op. You simply won’t survive long enough playing with less than two other people or with you all being the same class. I’m not saying it’s not possible to do co-op without the 3 classes covered, I’m just saying it is extremely hard to do so and you will be far better off making sure that all 3 classes are taking part.
Team work is also vital. You have to put aside personal glory as a Medic or Spec Ops and keep an eye on your team’s health and ammo needs, rather than aiming for kills. The Soldier is the guy that is best suited for racking up the kills but the other Classes play a vital role in completing each mission. It’s incredibly satisfying when 3 of you work together to complete a mission.
I found this while playing with Trieloth and Rodders9. Although I was the Soldier and racking up the kills, there was no way we could’ve progressed without Trieloth and Rodders maintaining ammo supplies and topping up each others health. Both got their fare share of kills too but the sense of achievement from working as a team was very satisfying!
It helps to have headsets so you can yell out “Medic!” or “Ammo!” when you are low on either, although sometimes randoms in the squad seem oblivious to your requests. 🙂
BRAVO INSOMNIAC, BRAVO
One thing that really stands out with online co-op is the sheer amount of action that you take part in. The amount of enemies that you are faced with really is astonishing, especially considering there are up to 7 other players taking part at the same time, yet there is no slowdown or major graphical glitches that I noticed while taking part with 7 other players.
There is a difference in the quality of how the enemies look and move compared to the Campaign but it really isn’t that big of a difference and certainly does not lessen the experience or make you feel like you’re playing a watered down version of the main game.
Compare this to something like GRAW2 which took a big drop in visuals when you played the 4 player co-op missions and that had way less going on in it than what you will see in Resistance 2 co-op.
The missions are varied enough initially and you are constantly on the go (much like the Competitive mode; Skirmish which I now really enjoy) moving around different points on the map. It keeps you moving and the action is always close by. Some missions will involve you defending AI allies, while others will have you taking down mini bosses with super health bars like the Titan or Elite Grims.
Online co-op is not perfect though and I feel they could’ve structured the actual missions better. It’s supposed to run parallel with the story in the Campaign but everything seems randomly done. If I choose to create a party and create the game, I only have the option of Chicago. The other areas aren’t unlocked until I’ve met certain criteria during the Chicago missions. Things like collect a certain number of Grey Tech or receive a set number of intel messages.
Another criticism is that when you start a game, the missions you will be presented with appear to be randomly presented to you, yet most involve doing the same objectives you’ve already done in a previous mission only in a different order or with a different objective added in somewhere along the line. This can get a little repetitive but because the action is so crazy and fun, I can push this to one side most of the time.
The characters you play as really don’t feel like characters. They have no background, no history, no story to tell so you feel like you’re just shooting Chimera and doing tasks for the sheer hell of it. Your commanding officer says go over there and press a switch. You go there, blast some Chimera on the way, fiddle with the device and then ask how high he wants you to jump and how far. Repeat eternally.
You also don’t really feel like you’re playing missions directly linked to the Campaign story. You get a written (sometimes different) mission briefing every time you start a game and you get voice commands shouted at you and your squad during the game but it never feels like you’re in the same battle that Nathan Hale and his Sentinels are in.
Maybe this will change for the later stages (I’ve only unlocked the first 3) but so far the Campaign mode and Co-op mode feel distinctly separate in both how the story is told and how the missions are presented to you.
If leveling up is your thing then you can plough hundreds of hours leveling up each class to the max level which is Level 30. You can unlock new weapons for each class as you move up the levels but I’m not sure exactly what else you can unlock as I’m only a Level 7 Soldier last time I checked.
Whether or not you will get worn down by the repetitiveness of doing co-op to get to Level 30 will come down to how badly you want to get the Level 30 Trophy or not, but it does add a reason to keep playing co-op for RPG geeks like me, that can’t resist leveling up. 😛
I really hope Insomniac add new maps to co-op via DC (that’s right, Downloadable is one word 😉 ) to offer players a fresh experience.
Overall, online co-op is great fun, especially playing with friends who understand the need for cooperative team work and who can fully take to the role of whichever class they are playing as.
The battles are just as impressive as the ones you will face in the main Campaign, with very little technical difference between the enemies, although AI is not as strong which is understandable.
How Insomniac managed to do all of this without any slowdown and screen tearing is pretty amazing. It is not without it’s flaws though but the real selling point is playing with friends and working as a team. You won’t progress unless you play with people on a similar wavelength and it offers a nice diversion from the more intense and stressful Competitive mode.