Resistance: Fall of Man was the best-selling PlayStation 3 launch game in Europe, so it was no surprise to see developer Insomniac make an appearance at Sony's first London PlayStation Day event. Ted Price took the stage to announce that the game would be going from 40 players to 60 players online, and also told the assembled journalists how he intends to make this experience rewarding rather than overwhelming. After wrapping up a demo on the main stage, Price was on hand to demonstrate a new level from the multiplayer game so that we could see how the game has progressed since its first outing.
Considering the possibility of 60 players in one game, Price emphasised the need to make connections between players rather than having one disparate battlefield. This idea will be conveyed with individual squads, which will not only have different objectives within games, but they'll have team rivalries that Price wants you to develop a deep hatred for. You'll be spawned close to five or six players whenever you're killed in the game, and it will be these particular opponents that you'll want to take out over and over again. We didn't get to see quite how this will work in action, given that the games we saw were much smaller in scale, but it seems certain that Insomniac wants to play up the squad tactics of sticking together and protecting each other's backs.
We got to see one skirmish map from Resistance 2 called Scotia, which appeared to have a 45-player limit at the event but will purportedly support the full 60 in the finished game. The large, open map was set in a forest environment punctuated by log cabins and machines to traffic large trees through the level. The idea of the map is to advance to control points around the level and gain control, although we also saw how you would get secondary objectives to reinforce fellow squads when they come under fire. We also saw some of the shields that you'll get in the final game, one of which bends around the front of your body as you move, and another that's bigger and flatter but that has to be deployed in a static location. Both shields have a similar visual effect to Halo 3's bubble shield, and they looked like they were fairly integral to your success online. Other weapons included a grenade that you could throw that spiked up and exploded to send spikes in every direction.
Visually, the game is looking noticeably better than its predecessor. Branches and grass swayed gently in the wind, and the player models seemed to boast greater detail and smoother animation than before. You're still awarded points for headshots in the game, and it tracks your kills, deaths, and assists much as it did before. The game also dishes out tips as it's loading, pointing out that sprinting and firing gives you away on the enemy radar.
The other big news for Resistance 2 is that myresistance.net will be receiving a major upgrade in preparation for the release of the sequel. Ted Price claims that the inspiration for the makeover came from Facebook (We hope that doesn't mean it will include a proliferation of zombie vs. pirate minigames). We hope it means better integration of friends, stats, and multimedia such as videos and photos. The bad news is that Resistance 2 still doesn't have a firm release date; the only comfort we can offer fans is that it's looking relatively polished in its current form. Expect to see more on the game as the industry gears up for key events such as E3 and the Leipzig Games Convention.